5 Tips For Utilizing Google Webmaster Tools to Improve Your SEO
Not only does Google bring your website relevant search traffic, they also provide a number of great tools that help you optimize your web presence and improve your search rankings. Google Webmaster Tools is one of these tools that can provide your company tons of incredibly valuable information about your online marketing efforts. Utilizing the functionalities that Google Webmaster Tools offers can help you create a more effective SEO campaign. Let’s have a look at the most useful features that Webmaster Tools offers.
Website speed is an important part of Google’s search algorithm, but is even more important for lowering your website’s bounce rates. If your website takes ages to load, many users will just find what they are looking for elsewhere instead of waiting for your site to show any sign of life. Especially on mobile, site speed is becoming increasingly important for search rankings and bounce rates.
You can find information about how long Google web crawlers take to download your site’s pages by going to the “Crawl” menu in Webmaster Tools and then going to “Fetch as Google”. Next, you just put in the URL that you want to test and click “Fetch”. On average you want your pages to take no more than about 0.5 seconds to load.
The Search Queries page provides information about your site’s keyword rankings (both current ones and averages over a specific period of time). They also show organic search impressions as well as click-trough rates for different keywords.
In Webmaster Tools’ Labs section you can find the Author Stats tool, which provides search information about guest posts you’ve written for which you’ve been identified as the author. This feature can help you come up with more ideas for content that is likely to be successful. For example, if you’ve written a guest post for a website about a certain topic and see in the Author Stats tool that this article is getting a lot of traffic on the guest blog/site that it was posted on, you can use this information as an indication that if you write an article for your own website on a similar topic, it would likely be popular as well.
Structured Data Markup Helper
The Structured Data Markup Helper, which you can find under the Resources tab, helps you correctly tag certain data fields on your website, which will help Google correctly identify what type of data different content on your website is. You can tag content as being about products, events, movies, restaurants and more. Using the Data Markup Helper can improve the look of your search listings and consequently your click-trough rates.
Webmaster Tools’ sitemap section shows the sitemaps that you have added for your site, or that were found by Google, including information about when they were last updated and how many pages have been indexed. There’s also a tool available that quickly allows you to check sitemaps for errors.
If Google Webmaster Tools isn’t part of your SEO arsenal yet, you should set it up today and start playing around with it. There’s some really valuable information to be obtained from this application and best of all, it’s completely free.
Zane Schwarzlose is an SEO at Fahrenheit Marketing, an Austin web design company. Zane thinks that Google Webmaster Tools is the best SEO tool.