For SEO agencies, individuals, organizations and businesses with an online presence, Google has provided an array of tools that you can use to measure your conversion rates, analyse your traffic, determine popular search queries, optimize your website structure, track and monitor links and identify potential site detractors or things that could potentially affect your website rankings. This wide array of tools can be easily found in the Google webmaster tools dashboard.
Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to use this veritable information mine. Instead, they just use the disavow tool to notify Google of recent changes made to their websites’ back links. Google’s webmaster tools are useful for much more and on so many levels. To get a broad overview of what it can do, read this post.
1. Helps You See Your Website the Way Google Sees it
If you’re aiming for higher search engine rankings, then you need to be able to look at you website objectively or the way Google looks at it.
Google’s webmaster tools provides you with information on things like the search queries that helped people find your website, traffic stats, possible tweaks that could help your website rank better, number of indexed URLs, number of links pointing to your website and those within your website. Think of it as a powerful tool for an SEO audit and one that helps prevent the common SEO mistakes that people routinely make, if you follow some of its recommendations.
2. Spots Errors that could Cost You Your Rankings
Many factors affect your site’s ability to get ranked on the search engines. For instance, Google also considers things like page load speed, frequency of errors and poor site wide linking. So, when the Google’s query bot or crawler visits your website, it logs crawl errors, site errors, crawl stats, index status and so on.
All of these contribute to how high your website will get ranked and vice versa. Using the tools, you can easily detect pages with specific issues and make the necessary corrections on time. Hacked websites or websites infected with malware will also get a notification on their dashboard.
3. Real Time Data on Your Sit Indexes and Crawls
It’s easier to spot real time changes on your website by simply refreshing the dashboard when you’re logged in. The tools will help you effect changes almost immediately and track/show their impact on your website in real time.
For instance, if you changed your title tag from search engine optimization in Devon to Devon SEO and want it to reflect almost immediately, you can submit the site using the “Submit to Index” tool and watch the changes go live in real time. It’s simply amazing.
4. Helps Spot Duplicate Content Issues
Google is seriously cracking down on duplicate content. In fact, sites with such content are typically avoided or de-ranked by Google. Using this tool therefore, you can often view links to content on your website that aren’t selected. These links would be content that Google isn’t viewing favorably.
If the number is low, you probably shouldn’t worry about it. However, if it’s on the increase, it could be a pointer to the fact that you have a duplicate content issue on your website.
5. Tracks Your Traffic Performance and Ranking Metrics
This is also great for tracking traffic growth and ranking metrics. With the data you can easily measure your website’s popularity and growth.
So, you’ll typically find information like number of impressions (number of times your website showed up for certain keywords and search queries), click-throughs (how many times people clicked through to your website), what keywords your website is ranking for, your position on the search engines for specific keywords, average increase or decrease in search positions among other things. You can also track the conversions by providing certain yardsticks or targets.
So, How About You?
Enough about us and how useful we think the tool is. What about you? What do you use Google’s webmaster tool for? Has it helped you do a better job with your SEO? Have you found it just as insightful and as useful as we have? Let us know in the comments section.