Congratulations, you’ve set up your website and are now ready for visitors! But, how do you get visitors? The first step is getting setup with Google Website Submission and Google Webmaster Tools. This tutorial will walk you through the steps to get all Setup with Google.
Google: Submit Your Content
The first step is going to Google’s Submit Your Content and clicking on the appropriate content program. If you aren’t sure which category you fall under, start with Website Owner. You can always go back later and check out the other options.
Almost every option starts with getting your site setup with web tools.
- Add your URL – Basic website submission to Google.
- Google Search Console – Adding tracking information and a whole host of other resources.
Add your URL
Adding your URL is very quick and easy. Click on the Add your URL link. Enter your website’s homepage (for example http://www.anphira.com) and the captcha. If you click on submit and get a red error message, it means you didn’t enter the captcha correctly. Just try again, some captchas are harder than others. If the page just reloads and doesn’t tell you anything, then you forgot the http:// at the beginning of the URL.
If you get a yellow submission succeeded message, you’re all done with this step!
Note: Once you successfully submitted your URL it can take Google’s crawler 1-3 days to get around to visiting your site. It’s nothing personal, there are just a lot of sites to crawl. Submitting your URL more than once won’t speed this up.
Tip: If you already have a Google Analytics account, use the same account for Webmaster Tools. This can save you a few headaches.
If you have an existing account you will see a list of the sites that you have setup with Webmaster Tools. If this is a new account you will see a welcome screen. In the lower right of the welcome screen is a field to Add a Site. Enter your website URL (remember your http://) and click on Add a Site.
Google will now ask you to verify your site. There are a few methods to do this, but I’ll show you the three easiest. Click on Alternate Methods on the verify screen.
The three easiest to use methods are HTML file upload, HTML tag, and Google Analytics. Generally I prefer the HTML file upload.
HTML File Upload
File upload requires that you have FTP access to your site or some sort of file manager. Almost every hosting company out there gives you at least one of these two tools.
Select the HTML file upload method and click on the file download link. This will download a very small HTML file to your computer. Upload this file to your website. Make sure the file is in the main directory where your home page lives.
Once uploaded click on the confirm link (#3), this should bring up a webpage with the google numerical code displayed. If it does, everything is good to go ahead and click on Verify. If you get a page not found error, you didn’t upload the file to the correct location.
The HTML tag method is very easy to use as long as you have access to the HTML head code of your website. This is available on most websites, however some website builders strictly control access to HTML.
To get started, go to your website’s homepage (or header file if using a CMS). You will need to find the <head> tag. Once you have found it, create a new line and add the meta tag that Google generated for you.
Don’t make any other changes to the file and save it. If you modified a copy of the file on your desktop, you will need to upload it to your server.
Google Sites Note: You will need to go to Manage Site > General to access the meta tag entry area. Just paste your meta tag from Webmaster Tools into the text area.
If your website doesn’t allow direct file uploads or full HTML editing you will probably want to use the Google Analytics verification. If you have already installed Google Analytics on your site this is also a quick and easy one to use.
First, you need to make sure that you are using the same Google account with both Webmaster Tools and Analytics.
Second, you need to have Google Analytics already installed on your website. Google provides instructions for getting Analytics setup. Once Analytics is installed on your site you may need to wait 24 hours for it to be recognized. Some things just take Google a little while to recognize.
Once recognized (at least 24 hours has passed since installation), you can click on the Verify button here.
On your main dashboard of Webmaster Tools you can see the sites you have and see if your sites are verified or not with a single glance. When a site is not yet verified you will see the Not Verified on the image of the homepage. Once the site is verified that text will be removed.
What About Bing and Yahoo?
Getting your website initially submitted to the Google search engine and setup with Webmaster Tools may sound a little challenging at first; but once broken down it goes quite quickly. Happy setup!