When we are looking to promote websites these days we want to have as much information at our disposal as possible. It is impossible to truly understand the people visiting our websites without tapping into the available data. In addition, limited data makes it extremely hard to structure the development of our website so that they are maximally efficient for the marketplace as it stands right now.
The Dynamic WWW
The Internet is changing faster than ever before. Broadband speeds mean that more people are doing higher intensity activities than in the past. Websites are richer and more interactive these days.
Indeed, average UK broadband has improved vastly over the last decade. If you looked at a broadband comparison of the last five years, you would notice that the speeds of residential broadband have improved threefold. There are now more broadband suppliers than ever before.
The ever-evolving nature of the web means that we need to stay up-to-the-minute with the trends online, and the trends on our websites. Being out of the loop is a dangerous place to be!
In this article we’ll take a look at how you can get the most out of Google Webmaster Tools.
How do you use the information at your disposal to make informed decisions about the way forward?
What information is relevant to the performance of your website?
We will seek to answer these questions and many more.
One of the first areas that you can use Webmaster tools for is to assess issues that may be happening with your website. For example, you can access the HTML improvement section of the search appearance menu in order to find out whether you are duplicating meta tags on your site. With many websites being built in WordPress, and other CMS platforms these days, it is very easy to end up making unwitting errors.
There is also a malware link in Webmaster tools. This provides you with warnings if any malware is identified on your website. Hackers and unscrupulous web invaders can install scripts on your website that can damage your visitors’ computers. You should always keep an eye on this section of the website to ensure that you are not going to be banned for malware offences.
There are a number of ways in which you can assess the growth of your website from the Webmaster Tools interface.
You can check the search traffic statistics to find out how far up the search engines you are for different keywords. The search query section shows you how many clicks and how many impressions you are getting for different keywords. You can download tables to use in your keyword research, and you can see percentage growth or decline figures based on these metrics.
In this section you can also find out about how many people are linking to your website, and with what keywords. Inbound links are a vital aspect of website development. If you aren’t getting links coming into your site then you aren’t going to be growing very fast.
The crawl stats will also help you to understand whether Google is taking your site seriously or not. It is worth keeping an eye on how many pages are being accessed by Google on a daily basis, so you can see whether they are regularly indexing your site. This is quite a good metric to predict the future growth of your site.
You should also keep an eye on crawl errors. If your website links are broken then this will have a severely negative effect on how your website is perceived by the search engines.
Webmaster Tools Site Map
You should definitely submit a site map to Webmaster Tools so that you can explain exactly which pages should be indexed, and when they should be revisited. There are lots of plug-ins that are available for WordPress that give you the opportunity to automatically build a site map with these details. If you have a static website there are also tools online that can provide you with this functionality, so that you can just download the code for a site map page for your website.
For most websites it’s important that you have a good stock of new pages going up on a regular basis. This will signal to the search engines that your content is fresh and flowing. The Google index section of Webmaster tools will provide you with information about how many pages have been indexed by the search engine. If you have put pages up and they are not getting indexed then you need to look into what the problem may be.
Looking For Site Load Speed Metrics?
It used to be the case that Google Webmaster tools provided metrics on the load times of your website. Google has stated that the speed of your website is a part of their algorithm ranking. All things being equal Google prefers faster websites, as they correlate with better experiences for visitors.
Unfortunately, Google has retired their site speed metrics in Webmaster tools. Therefore, if you want to find out about the speed of your website you will have to do a search online to find a tool that completes the task for you. There are lots of good options available online. All you need to do is pop in your website address and see the speed of your website. These tools will also put give you a breakdown of how the speed is measured, and which component parts of your website are being the heaviest.
With the Internet getting faster and faster, and more and more people getting online, the online opportunities to businesses are vast. By utilising Google Webmaster Tools you can ensure that you are ticking all the boxes to help you to rank well in the search engines. You can use the tools to aid your keyword research and help you plan the development and rollout of your website project.
It takes dedication and commitment to produce a high quality, high ranking website these days. Webmaster Tools can help you to stay motivated and to stay in the know!