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Webmaster Tools Basics Website Owners Should Know.

As manager of a Digital marketing company in North West Sydney, I have lost count of the number of times I have had the following conversation with a client:

Client:                  I need my site to be number 1 on Google; I’m not getting any sales or enquiries.

Me:        Great, first I need to see were you are at, so may I have access to your Google webmaster tools and analytics accounts?

Client:  What’s that?

The aim of being number 1 on Google sounds great, but to achieve it you need to understand how Google sees your site and how people interact with it. Without such knowledge, you’re flying blind.

Google offers two free tools for website owners: Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. To put it simply, Webmaster Tools gives you an insight as to how Google sees your site directly from the Google database, whereas Analytics shows how users are using your site through onsite client interaction.

Setting up webmaster tools is easy and free; just sign up for an account install a file to your website and verify and you’re good to go, but once you get it setup, how do you use it? While at first glance it can be baffling, below are a few quick tips to quickly examine the data and use it to help your site.

1/ Dashboard

The first thing you will see when bringing up a site is the dashboard which gives you a good insight as to how a site is performing.

dashboard

It is broken up into 3 sections; all their headings can be clicked on to delve further into the information but a quick summary is.

A/ Crawl errors – This shows if Google bots are having trouble with your site navigation. If you don’t have three Green ticks here, talk to you web developer immediately. URL errors are present if Google hasn’t been able to find a page or has trouble accessing it. Depending on how a site is setup, these might be normal … if there are a lot of errors, again discuss with your web developer as errors should be avoided if possible.

B/ Search Analytics – If you’re getting any organic clicks from Google it will show up here, obviously more the better. Unlike Google Analytics this data is direct from the Google database so will differ slightly and just shows Google organic traffic. If you want to see how your site is going on Google, this is the data tolook at.

C/ Sitemaps – If you have a sitemap on your site it should be uploaded here. This panel lets you now at a glance if your pages are being indexed and if any issues are present.

All three provide a quick general overview of your site. In future blogs we will delve deeper into each area and show you how to access and interpret what you’re seeing. Your first step though is to setup Webmaster Tools for your site, as it’s free and an indispensible process to getting your site ranking. Information is power and when its provided for free from Google, you would be remiss not to use it.

SEOCycle is a digital marketing and web design company based in Cherrybrook. If you need advice or have any general queries about your, site feel free to contact us anytime.