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Google Webmaster Basics for Photographers

In the previous article, we covered Google Analytics for Photographers. The second must-use tool for all website owners is the Google Webmaster Tools. It’s also free and can be accessed here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/
There are many important features of Google Webmaster Tools, but we’ll go over just a few. First, you’ll need to insert the Google Webmaster Tools script onto your site.

If you’re not using Squarespace or WordPress, there is a lot of documentation on the Google Webmaster website that you should follow. After you’re all set up, you’ll have access to some important information about your site.

Submit Your Sitemap

Submitting your Sitemaps to Google is one of the most important things you’ll do within the Webmaster Tools. Some content management systems automatically generate your XML sitemap for you while some require plugins. We covered this in previous chapters.

In this step, we now need to submit the sitemap to Google. Your sitemap names are most likely http://www.yourdomainname.com/sitemap.xml and http://www.yourdomainame.com/image-sitemap.xml. Within your Webmaster Tools, test the URLs via the red button you see in the screenshot below. If they are correct, submit your sitemaps. If your sitemaps are processed, then that’s it!

Sitemap Submission Page within Google Webmaster Tools

Sitemap Submission Page within Google Webmaster Tools

Other Notable Features

Security Issues – If your site is hacked, Google Webmaster will notify you via email. You can check the status of your site in the “security issues” section.

Search Queries – Under “search queries,” you’ll be able to see what users are searching to discover your site.

Links to Your Site – Under “links to your site,” you’ll find valuable information regarding which websites are linking to yours.

Crawl Information – In the Webmaster tools, you’ll also gain valuable insight into how search engines interact with your site. In the “Crawl Errors” section, you’ll see a report of any issues that Google Bots encounter while crawling your site.

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