03 February 2012

Improving website SEO using Google Webmaster

Improve SEO Website

Improving SEO is not just done from inside the website / blog, but should also use external tools like Google Webmaster.

Although there are several tools to monitor and improve your website search engine result page (SERP) on Google, but the most powerful tool are provided by Google itself, Google Webmaster Central.

You can access Goggle Webmaster at http://www.google.com/webmasters/, you must have Google account and verify your website ownership.

Google Webmaster Features:

  • Submitting sitemap to Google, it can be xml file or site feed
  • Permanent Redirrect from old URL to new URL, Google will redirrect traffic from your old webstite to the new website.
  • Keywords research, and the position of our website on Google
  • Setting your site demographic target
  • Setting Preffered Domain (www or non-www for your link in Google Search)
  • Setting Crawler Rate
  • Looking number of inbound links (both internal and external link)
  • Check coding error, html error, error crawler, or malware that may exist on your website
  • Website loading speed

Google Webmaster Verification

Google Webmaster requires you to verify your site ownership before it can make changes to setting and optimize website. Here's how to verify website in Google Webmaster:
  • Upload Html file to website root directory (the easiest way if you have your own hosting)
  • Inserting a meta tag in the header of your website / blog (if you're using free blog platform like blogspot)
  • Add a DNS record to your domain settings (less hassle) and lastly,
  • Link  with your Google Analytics account.

How to Increase Website SEO

Submit sitemap to Google

Sitemaps are particularly helpful to tell the Google which page on the blog / website that has not been indexed. A sitemap usually would have an XML format, or you can submit your  feed (RSS or Atom) as sitemap to Google Webmaster.
Submit sitemap to Google
Go to Site Configuration> Sitemaps menu, click the Submit button and enter the location of a Sitemap or feed.

Setting the target audience / website traffic

If your website / blog in Indonesian language, you expect the reader will come from Indonesia too. By setting up Geographic targeting to Indonesia, your SERP ranking will be higher when people search with google.co.id or filter the search with the options from Indonesia in Google Pages.

Geographic Target can be change in Site Configuration menu> Settings> General Settings, click the "Target users in" and choose the country you want to target.
Setting Google Geographic target

Setting Preffered domain

Preffered domain is the website address type that you want use when indexed by Google (canonical domain). It will improve your SEO website, because if we don't choose preffered domain, our sites can appear with two different addresses.

For example: http://infoteknologi.com and http://www.infoteknologi.com may appear two times in the Google index that causes SERP ranking divided between two different addresses.

To set it up, you need to verify it two times, either with www and non www. Go to the Site Configuration > Settings menu, and in the Preffered Domain decide which type URL you want to set as default (www or non www)

Note: do above steps for two website that has been verified

Setting Crawl Rate

Crawl rate Setting will make website visited more frequent by Google Bot, usually every website have different setting, you can change the default settings that already determined by Google.

If you frequently updating your website content, you should change the settings so Google Bot can visit your site more frequently. By doing that your new content can instantly indexed in Google search.

edit crawl rate
Go to Site Configuration> Settings> General Settings menu, in the Crawl rate options, select Set custom crawl rate. Move the slider to the left (slower) to slowing Google bot visit, or move to right (Faster) to ask Google bot visited the website more often.

HTML Suggestions

HTML Suggestions error or warning will show your website error that found by Google, fixing this error can enhance your SEO website and increase Google SERP.

To view suggestions or warnings that Google found, go to Diagnostics > HTML Suggestions menu.
HTML Suggestions
Although there are still other options in the Google Webmaster, I won't discuss it coz most of them are informational only.