If you’re not using Google Webmaster yet, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to improve the SEO performance of your website.
Google Webmaster is a suite of online tools that provides you with a wealth of data on the health and performance of your website. All you have to do is sign up for an account, submit your website’s URL and verify that you are the owner of the site, and you’ll be given access to this essential toolbox.
Once you’ve activated your account, however, the sheer amount of data offered may initially be daunting. Here are some of the features you have to keep in mind when managing your Google Webmaster account. Of course, as you explore the site, you’ll probably find more features that will be valuable to you, but these are the ones that can be immediately useful.
- Search Queries. Found in the “Traffic” section of the Webmaster site, this tool offers data on which specific search phrases for which your site has been indexed in search engine results pages, and a rough estimate as to how many clicks each phrase has received and its click through rate as well as the average position in which your site was ranked. You can use this tool to find the keyword phrases that give you the best results in search engine results pages.
- Crawl Errors. Found in the “Health” section, this tool notifies you when ‘crawl errors’ or instances in which the Googlebot was unable to reach certain pages on your site so that you can act to restore access to them. This tool is important since there are many pages on your site that may be SEO optimized and able to generate traffic but are not displaying on search engine results pages precisely because of these errors.
- Links to Your Site. Found in the “Traffic” section. Although Webmaster does not offer a comprehensive set of data on your site’s backlinks, there is still enough information to tell you what pages are receiving the most links as well as which sites are linking to your site. Quality backlinks are essential in getting high rankings in search engine results pages and this tool will help you determine if you are getting them.
- Site Performance. Found in the “Labs” section, this tool tells you how your site speed is performing compared with other sites. If your site is loading too slowly, this may be a reason why you are not getting the traffic that you want even if your site is ranking high in search engine results pages.
- Author Stats. Also found in the “Labs” section, this tool helps you track down your verified content that uses the rel=author tag. Using this tag helps confer authority on your content and makes it easier to use Google+ to build your brand, as the tag has been integrated with this social networking site.
If you’re still not using any of G’s tools -> I highly advised you to start using them now.