Tips on Using Webmaster Tools to Learn, Fix Your Site And Improve Your Search (SEO)

By Mila Araujo | Small Business

Have you checked out your Webmaster tools lately?

Sitting back and waiting for results on your web site is a big mistake, one many people get trapped in. As soon as you have content on a blog or web site, the first thing you’ll probably do is sit back and wait for the results. You read about how it takes at least several months, maybe years before the results of your labor or social network activity will show significant impact, and so you don’t worry too much when you don’t see an immediate result. Although this is partially true, there are many things within your control which need to be addressed and be seen fairly quickly.

An Easy Tool Most People Overlook or Assume Is Active

I recently spoke to someone who was having a problem understanding why their web performance was suffering. Their sites weren’t coming up on search properly, cached versions of their old site were showing up everywhere, traffic had not improved and based on what they thought had been significant work, they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I suggested they check out their Webmaster tools and verify the site indexing date and make sure their site was submitting updates. They thought they had done this, so I took a look. What I discovered was, they didn’t even have their site on Webmaster tools, they were in their analytics.

Tip 1: Webmaster Tools is Not Google Analytics

Analytics can provide extraordinary information about your site performance, search results etc. I won’t go into the numerous benefits in this post, needless to say it’s essential for anyone who is operating online to be using their analytics. This post is about Webmaster Tools, which is still a Google service, but is accessed in a different section and is a tool of it’s own. If you want Google’s insight on it, you can check out their article here.

When you log into Google WebMaster Tools, even if your site isn’t attached to it, you will still see your account. Don’t be fooled thinking that because you logged in, the site is registered and your tools are working!

Step 1: Add your Site

This takes about 30 seconds for Google, and between 2 minutes and half an hour for you (depending on if you have ever checked the code on your themes before, or if you need to get someone else to do it for you.) If you have a site manager, ask them to add you to the people who have access to WebMaster Tools, this is an important place that you can gain insight from and require no expertise to use. Do not just leave it to the person you hired!

Enable Webmaster Tools data in Google Analytics

~read how to do this here.

Tips on Using Webmaster Tools to Learn, Fix Your Site And Improve Your Search (SEO) image Results 300x234Tips on Using Webmaster Tools to Learn, Fix Your Site And Improve Your Search (SEO)Now that you have this set up, you can start investigating what is really going on with your site. You will be able to check where your content is linked from (for example guest blogs, citations), see where search is coming up with errors, fix broken links and gain insight into your popular posts and key word searches.

Have you been using Webmaster Tools to learn from, monitor and improve your performance?

What cool things did you notice or learn?

I would love to hear your experiences and have you join the conversation in the comments below!

Want to know more about what I learned? You can check out this article here, where I talk about the difference between linked content and click through – there is a difference – in some cases a major one! I will be writing a few more posts with some of the tips and information I have learned so if you haven’t signed up for my email updates, you might want to do so now

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