If there’s one thing all high-ranking websites have in common, it’s Google Webmasters Tools.
Google Webmasters Tools are a suite of analytics, statistics and other handy tools that help you manage your website and improve its performance on the web. And since these tools come straight from Google – the king of all things search – it’s pretty obvious that they’re a must have in any business owners’ online arsenal.
With Google Webmasters Tools, you can make your site instantly more searchable. You get invaluable insight into your website’s performance and audience, you get up-to-date information on your search rankings, and you can get an in-depth look at the overall health of your site – any error pages that are cropping up, mobile usability issues, and more.
Couple this with Google Analytics, and you have all the data you need to increase your traffic, bring in more leads and run a wildly successful and profitable website.
Do you know if your website is connected to Google Webmasters Tools? If it’s not (or you’re not sure), the time to act is now. Here are just a few of the reasons these tools are crucial to your site’s success:
It gives you direct communication with Google.
Google Webmasters Tools opens up a vital line of communication between you and the biggest search engine on the web. Once your account is set up, Google can send you direct messages regarding any health or performance-related issues on your site.
Unnatural, spammy links popping up? Google will let you know. Error pages or loading issues occurring daily? Mobile usability problems plaguing your users? Google will alert you of that, too.
Whatever issues or problems Google encounters when accessing or crawling your site, you’ll know instantly just by checking your Webmasters panel. Then you can make the appropriate changes and updates – before those errors start to affect your search rankings or your traffic.
It helps you optimize your site content.
One of the most powerful features of Google Webmasters is the “search queries” area. Here, you can access detailed data surrounding your site’s search performance and keywords.
Though it’s not as exhaustive as Google Analytics, it does give you a pretty long list of keywords and phrases that your site is currently ranking for. Then, beside each keyword, you’ll see:
- Impressions – This is the number of times your site showed up in search results for a certain keyword or phrase. If you notice that impressions are particularly low – especially for an important, high-level keyword – that could be a sign that it’s time to make some SEO changes. Update your content, start blogging or change up your page titles. If impressions are high, then that means you’re on the right track. Keep making small edits until your numbers are where you want them. (Note: sometimes you’ll see keywords that aren’t really related to your business. Though these can provide some insight into your customers’ minds, most can simply be ignored.)
- Clicks – This is the number of times an impression turned into a click – meaning a user actually went through to your website. Often, if your clicks are low, you can turn them around simply by re-vamping your page titles and Meta descriptions. Make them more relatable to your content – and the searchers’ needs – and this will usually do the trick.
- Average position – This is the highest position your site ranks for a particular keyword. Generally, a 1-10 position is great (it means you’re on page 1), and anything below that means there’s room for improvement. Consider better optimizing your content, blogging or using social media to promote your site.
Once you’ve analyzed this data and made your on-site changes, you can come back to the same queries section and click “with change.” It will automatically show you how the numbers of changed since you last checked in.
It helps you improve your coverage in the Google index.
Sitemaps are crucial to getting your pages indexed on Google. (And if they’re not indexed, they won’t show up in search results). While you could just post a sitemap on your website and hope Google’s spiders find it, the truth is that’s not always guaranteed to work.
With Google Webmasters Tools, you can actually upload an XML sitemap directly, giving Google a guidemap of sorts to navigating and crawling your website. It tells them which pages are important, which ones to index and when to crawl them, and it can make a huge impact on your search results in the long run.
If you don’t know how to create a sitemap, don’t fret. If you’re on WordPress, all it takes is a simple plug-in, and you’ll have an up-to-date sitemap in minutes. Just copy the URL, submit it to Google, and you’re good to go.
It lets you connect locally.
If your business serves only customers in a specific location, then Google Webmasters is a must – especially if you don’t want to waste your hard-earned time or money. In the Site Configuration/Settings area, you can set geographic limits on who sees your site in search results.
Without these settings in place, your site could be showing up for people all over the world – people who have no way of purchasing from you or doing business with your brand. By setting a geographic location, you’re increasing the number of qualified leads who see your site, and you have a higher chance of getting a customer or sale out of the deal as well.
Integrate Google Webmasters Today
If you haven’t integrated Google Webmasters into your site, get moving today. These free tools not only make managing your website easier and more streamlined, they can also make it more profitable in the long run. Have questions? Want to learn more? Contact SpotOn Digital Marketing today.