Google Webmaster Tools Guide

Most website owners are familiar with Google Analytics but a lot less are familiar with Google Webmater Tools.

In this guide I’m going to try and give you some basic tips that can go a long way when using Google webmaster tools.

But first of all –

What is Google Webmaster Tools

Google webmaster tools can be accessed with this link and will give you a lot of information about your site and is very important to use when trying to fully optimize your site for SEO.

  1. Let’s start with the dashboard – webmaster tools dashboardAs you can see, there are 3 main sections within the dashboard:
    • Crawl Errors – crawl errors mostly occur when there is a link to a page that does not exist. These could be links from within your sites that you can control and they can be external links to your site that are out of your control.
    • Search Queries – This graph shows you the amount of times your site appeared in search results and how many incoming clicks your site had on a given day or time period.
    • Sitemaps – After submitting a sitemap, you will be shown a nice visual of how many pages were submitted and how many were indexed.
      Each of the 3 sections can be clicked on to see further information and fix errors if there are any.
  2. Search Queries – What queries are you ranked for? search queries In the left sidebar, under search traffic you will find a search queries page. Within this page you will be able to find a lot of information. Since Google barely shows you keywords in Google Analytics reports anymore, this page can give us a lot of information. You will see keywords you are ranked for, how many impressions each keyword had, how many clicks each keyword got and eventually CTR (click through rate) – percentage of clicks per impressions. You can get some deeper understanding of what the surfers think when seeing your site in the results.
  3. Links to your site – where are my links coming from?
    links to your site
    Although there are plenty of tools that their sole purpose is to show you your backlinks, this will give you a good indication of what Google is looking at. They won’t show you all your links but only the ones they decide to show you, probably the most significant ones to them. This is also very useful if for some reason you get a penalty from Google and need to clean up your link profile.
  4. HTML Improvements – do I have any mistakes on my site?
    HTML improvements
    Assuming you accidentally wrote the same title twice, have duplicate pages without even noticing it, too short meta descriptions etc. This page will be a huge help for you.
  5. Sitemaps – See exactly what’s going on with your pages.sitemaps sitemaps
    As you can see, you will get a full picture of everything happening with the pages you submitted to Google, how many of them are indexed and even get a warning if there are any problems such as long response time or a page blocked by robots.txt

Need some help with your site?  Contact us and we’ll help you out.

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