5 Reasons Why You Need Google Webmaster Tools For Your Website
Google Webmaster Tools is an often overlooked free tool for small business owners. Quite often you don’t know of it’s existence, and more often than not in my experience, your web developer either doesn’t set it up, or doesn’t give you access. You should ask for this to be set up as part of your brief when developing your website to ensure your developer (or you!) doesn’t overlook it.
So Why Do You Need Webmaster Tools?
For a start it’s free, and it provides a different type of information that Google Analytics. Once it’s set up it starts to gather information on your website, which is generally, but not always a bit more technical in nature to what Google Analytics gathers. You can information like some search terms, any technical issues with your site, how many pages are crawled, where your site ranks for certain keywords and much more. Even if you’re not ready, or don’t have the capacity to look at this now, get the data gathered.
Here’s the the other main reasons :
1) You Can Verify Your Business in Google My Business
Ever struggled getting your business verified on Google Places in the past – lost verification postcards or been struggling as you don’t have a physical postal address? Now you can verify your business if your site is verified with Webmaster Tools. This has the potential so save you a lot of grief and time if you haven’t claimed your listing yet. If you haven’t claimed it, go and do it right after you set up Webmaster Tools, as it’s one of the most important things you can do online for your business.
2) Find Out What Google Thinks Your Website is About
You may think you know what your website is about, but stop guessing about keywords you’ve used and see what Google thinks the most prominent words on your site are. If you think your site is about accommodation and Webmaster Tools thinks your most prominent word is skiing, it’s an indication that you need to revamp your website content. You may find your main keywords is way down the list.
3) Find Out Which Positions on Search You’re Ranking
Webmaster Tools will give you an indication of which search results you’ve been displayed for, your average search rank position, the click through ratio from the impressions, and how it’s changing over time. You don’t need paid tools if you’re only needing the basic information. You’ll need some more sophisticated tools to find out how you rank against your competitors.
If you’re not being clicked on how can you make your site more engaging? Better Titles and Description? This can be gold if used properly.
4) Discover Problems With Your Site
If you have broken links, downtime with your site, or there are technical structural issues with your site, Google Webmaster Tools will let you know. You can find out how many pages have been indexed, what crawling issues Google has had and more.
5) Google Authorship
Google Authorship verifies your site with your Google+ Profile. You can do this using Webmaster Tools, then adding your site to your Google+ page.
Ok I said 5, but it’s always nice to get some extra snippets and this one is great if you are using Google AdWords for online advertising…..
6) Gain More Insights Into Your Adwords Campaigns
You can link both your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to your AdWords account to get more insight and analysis. If you have an third party running your campaigns, let them know you have Webmaster Tools set up then you can correlate some more traffic statistics.
If you’re unsure if you have Google Webmaster Tools setup, log into your main Google account you usually use for your business (or Google Analytics), and search for Google Webmaster tools (or click this link). If you don’t have access you may have it set up under another account but more than likely not.
To set it up you’ll need access to the hosting side of your website, either to your content management system or the ‘FTP’ access details so you can upload a file to your server.
Note : To make life easier you really want these properties set up against the same Google Account. Some of the best advice around this is to keep a spreadsheet of all the relevant accounts, managers and administrators so you don’t duplicate accounts, or leave access with staff who may leave your company.
If this is the first time you’ve went in to have a look around, are the stats what you were expecting?