A lot people have heard of Google Analytics, but not Google Webmaster Tools. Google Webmaster Tools used to be the only way to gain insight into how your website was performing in natural search. Google does a pretty good job of listening to their users and so a few years back they were kind enough to integrate the search query data into the Google Analytics interface.

That made things very handy when doing over all analysis about:

  • Who’s coming to your site and where they are coming from
  •  How long are they staying and how many pages they are viewing
  •  What device they’re using and their technology platform
  •  How visitors are coming to your site: Direct, Organic, Referrals, Paid
  •  What content they’re viewing

And now there are also advanced features like segmentation, conversion goals, social interaction, blog dashboards, and more.

All that is awesome, but I cringe when I hear people tell me that they haven’t looked at their Webmaster tools since they set it up or that they don’t know whether or not they have it.

Here’s what you’re missing out on if you aren’t taking advantage of WebMaster Tools:

Site Health Information

  • Messages or warnings about the health of your site
  • Crawl Errors – you’ll find out if Google is running into errors when they crawl your page and which page the problem is on so it can be fixed
  • Crawl Stats – how many pages have been crawled on your site and when the search engines crawled them
  • Fetch as Google or Bing is a neat little tool that allows you to submit a URL and see your site the way the search engines see it
  • Index Status – the number of pages (URLs) that are available to appear in search results
  • Malware – the webmaster tools will let you know if any malware has been detected on your site

Site Traffic Data

  • Search Queries – top keywords and page (by search type)
  • Links to your site – who’s linking to you, what pages are linked, and how many links exist
  • Internal Links – how your pages are linked to each other

Site Optimization Information

  • HTML Improvements – discover issues with meta descriptions, title tags, and non-indexable content
  • Content Keywords – find out what words Google thinks are the most significant keywords within your content

By monitoring the information in Google Webmaster Tools, you can stay on top of  what’s going on with your website, uncover potential issues, and make changes to improve the performance of your website.

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to connect your Google Aanlaytics and Webmaster Tools accounts and enable the Search Engine Optimization reports in the Analytics Interface. This will provide you even more insight to what’s happening in natural search.

But don’t forget to use Webmaster Tools to monitor the health of your site.

Until Next Time.