The SEO Guide to Getting Started With Google Webmaster Tools: Part 3

Does Tiered Link Building Actually Still Work? Here’s What You Need To Know
June 13, 2019
The SEO Guide to Getting Started With Google Webmaster Tools: Part 2
June 13, 2019

The SEO Guide to Getting Started With Google Webmaster Tools: Part 3

By now, you should be starting to get familiar with what Google Webmaster Tools can deliver for your SEO campaign and your site in general. We now summarize the final part of the toolbar so that you have everything you need to go away and make the platform work for you.

Internal Links

A classic mistake made by some novice website owners and webmasters is to get internal linking strategies completely wrong.

The two most common outcomes are this:

· No internal linking happens at all, thus making a site difficult to navigate for readers and index for search spiders

· Far too many internal links are created, in some cases meaning Google will not index a site at all

In Google Webmaster Tools, this feature will show you your internal link structure and give you an idea of whether your internal linking strategy is on the right track. Use internal linking where it is relevant and you are sending visitors to a page that will add to their experience of your site. When Google crawls your site, they will notice these factors. Strong, relevant internal links are great for SEO.

Sitemaps

This feature will show you any sitemaps that you have submitted to Google. You should aim to submit at least an XML sitemap; sitemaps in general are one of the quickest of quick wins when it comes to SEO.

Also use this page to check for any errors that Google have found with your sitemaps. Like with other aspects covered in parts 1 and 2, these will normally be easy fixes.

Removed URL’s

Another tool that newcomers to Google Webmaster Tools might wish to keep away from, this function allows you to remove specific pages from Google’s index, whatever the reason for you wanting to do so.

HTML Improvements

This feature is fantastic, as it can point you towards anything on your site that is having a negative influence on your SEO, from duplicate content that you cannot locate because your site has grown, to page tags, titles, and descriptions that are not as well optimized or relevant as they could be.

Content Keywords

The chances are that you have already chosen your keywords and were targeting them long before you started to use Google Webmaster Tools. However, if you are writing your content ‘naturally’ without specifically looking at keyword density, this tool will show you how often particular keywords appear across your site.

Immediately, you will know whether your natural content is enough to hit the keywords you want to, or whether you need to change the way you write or the approach you take to keyword optimization. Importantly, it can tell you if you have been going overboard with your keyword optimization and need to rein it in before you are hit with a penalty.

Structured Data

Structured data will be a major part of SEO in 2013 and beyond, as it will become one of the main methods for Google to identify the most important content on your website quicker than ever before.

It is definitely worth starting to get to grips with structured data immediately. Everyone will rush to implement structured data when they realize its importance and significance. Get ahead of the game and give yourself a competitive edge for the future by implementing it now.

Other Resources

This is just a small part of Google Webmaster Tools, but has three great features that will be of assistance.

· Rich snippets can be used to ensure Google can understand any mark up or structured data you have on your pages

· Google Places (now Google+ Local) can help you get started with local SEO, if you have not already done so

· Google Merchant Center is a tool for uploading ecommerce product listings. Merchant Center and Google AdWords are now integrated. Ensure you connect both to enjoy greater exposure in the ‘Shopping’ part of search.

Author Stats

Your Google+ account will probably be your main resource for checking readership if you are using the “rel=author” tag to attach your name to content. You will be able to view the numbers here, too, if you have attached your Google+ author account to your website.

Custom Search

Not everyone will use this, as it relates to sites that have a Google search box on their website. This part of Google Webmaster Tools lets you know the terms people are searching for on your site itself. You might ask whether this is necessary, but many searches could be a good indicator that your landing pages are not as effective or helpful as they should be.

Instant Previews

If you have heard about web design trends moving towards simple, mobile orientated design, then this is going to be a great tool for you. Instant Previews shows you what your site looks like on a mobile device, and can be a great starting point for planning a redesign or cutting a lot of the fat from your site.

Site Performance

An attractive title, but ignore this feature, even Google do not use it anymore, so expect it to be removed from the platform at some point in the future. Google Analytics’ Site Speed is the tool to use as an alternative.

Disavow Links

The final tool on the list, this is another that should see novices steer clear. The disavow link tool might be necessary if you have had a warning from Google concerning spam backlinks, for example, but it should really be the last thing you do, hence why Google have placed it well out of the way from the more day-to-day tools you will use.

Get Started

You now have all of the basic knowledge you need to start using Google Webmaster Tools to great effect on your own site and start influencing your SEO in a positive manner. Using these will build your experience and over time enable you to do even more to get the best out of your SEO campaigns.