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Lesson 14 – Part 1 – Configure Webmaster Tools

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Good evening everybody and welcome to this final session in our How to Build a Professional Website Using WordPress and Thesis. This is Lesson 14 and in this lesson we will be talking about a bunch of administrative tasks that need to be performed in order to effectively manage and maintain your own website.

Before we do that, we’re going to wrap up something that we started last week which was configuring our site to interact with Google properly. Last week we created a Google Analytics account and set up our site so that it works with Google Analytics. This week, we are going to configure webmaster tools and hook our site up to webmaster tools. Without further ado, we’re going to dive right into that right now.

Login to Your Google Account

You start off by being logged in to your Google Gmail account. I don’t have webmaster tools set up yet so I have to start there. I’m going to search for webmaster tools and sign in with this account and at the moment, there’s no site set up on this webmaster tools account.

Add a Site to Webmaster Tools

The very first thing we have to do is add a site and the site we’re going to add here is sbywh13.byobtutorial.com, it’s the same one we did last week. We’ll get started and the very first thing we need to do is verify that we have the right to be tracking this information. There’s a number of ways in which you can verify your ownership of the account but we’re going to follow the alternate method for verifying ownership.

What we’re going to do is use our Google Analytics account. We’ve already created a Google Analytics account and we’ve added the synchronous code to the account so we’re just going to use that as our verifier. Select “Verify” and it recognizes the fact that we are the owner based on our Google Analytics set up and we have successfully verified our ownership.

If we’re going to “Continue”, we’re here at our webmaster tools dashboard. There’s nothing here and there can’t be anything here because that’s all brand new. I will give you a tour of this but the very first thing we’re going to do is add our sitemap that we created last week to webmaster tools and we’re going to do is it in Site Configuration and Sitemaps.

Benefits of Google Webmaster Tools

The reason why you use Google webmaster tools is that it’s a diagnostic tool, it tells you whether or not there are problems with your site. Google Analytics is an analytical tool as to who comes to your site and why and what they do there. This is a tool that helps you manage your site by telling you what Google has in its index, what Google recognizes as existing and whether or not Google perceives problems. That’s where its real value is.

Add a Sitemap to Webmaster Tools

Right now, it’s showing that we have zero sitemaps so the next thing we’re going to do is add a sitemap. Remember that our sitemap address was sitemap.xml, that’s what we’re going to type in here and we’re going to “Submit Sitemap”. It says the sitemap has been submitted and it’s going to run out there and check it here. If we Refresh the Page, it tells us the sitemap is good, it has no issues and it has 20 entries inside the sitemap.

At the moment, none of those entries are currently in Google’s index but what’s going to happen here is that Google will run out to index those things now and it knows what to index because we created the sitemap.

What I’m going to do is move over to a site that’s been around for awhile. It can take 24 hours before you see any information back on the site here but what we’ll do is move over to BYOB Website and we’ll come over here to webmaster tools.

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