Google Webmaster Tools is a free service offered by Google to monitor the health of your website as seen by the (spider) eyes of Google. How often do you check the health of your website? There are some important stats Webmaster Tools provides that will help you tune up your website.

If you haven’t already setup your site in Google Webmaster Tools, open up a Google account and then follow Google’s directions to add your site. Once you’ve verified ownership of your website, you’ll get access to Google’s feedback on the health of your site.

Site Dashboard – Provides a nice summary of how your site is viewed by Google. Is it being crawled as you would expect? Is Google finding broken links on the site? Over the past month, how many unique queries have resulted in pages on your website displaying in Google’s search results, and how many of those results were actually clicked on?  And lastly, what are the results of any sitemaps you’ve submitted to Google?  Has your content been completely indexed?

Search Appearance – How does your content display on a search results page? Google results are not just a page title, description, and a link, but can be structured to show sections of your website. As an example, if you display events on your website, your search results can be configured to display these events directly in a search results page. You can have some control over this in the Search Appearance section.

Search Traffic – What queries are people using that result in pages on your website displaying in their results? What is the average position in the search results page for the given search term? Are people clicking on your pages for the given term? We’re all interested in SEO for our sites, and the data in these pages give an indication of the success of our SEO efforts, or lack thereof.

Google Index  – What keywords does Google see as the focus of your website? While we all have a number of keywords we think are the focus of our business, the question is, does our website say that? If you’re not getting the traffic you expect on your site, maybe your content doesn’t speak to your audience and this section will help you identify that.

Crawl – Google can better index your website based on a sitemap submitted through Google Webmaster Tools. Based upon a submitted sitemap, Webmaster Tools will provide information on the success of that submission, and the status of indexing of pages within that sitemap.

So if you’re looking to better understand why your site is under performing, a great place to start is Google Webmaster Tools!

 

 

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