Google Webmaster Tools for SEO
Google provides a number of tools for your SEO arsenal. The most obvious is Google Analytics, which offers an in-depth analytics suite to help even the most basic user understand and improve traffic to their website. But Google Webmaster Tools gives the advanced search expert another perspective on planning and evaluating his or her search efforts.
Here's a closer look at how to use Google Webmaster Tools to get the most out of your SEO campaign.
Google Webmaster Tools: The Background
Google's Webmaster Tools are essential for any strong SEO effort. To understand their full potential, it's helpful to think about what Google Webmaster Tools' role is for webmasters: it helps you see your website as Google sees it. The toolset gives you insights into what pages have been indexed on your site, what links are pointing to it, your most popular keywords, and much more.
A site that's active in Webmaster Tools has a better shot at being fully indexed and ranking well. There are also a number of deeper insights from Google Webmaster Tools can be turned into SEO tactical gold.
If you haven't set your site up on Google Webmaster Tools yet, getting started is simple. Once you've signed up for an account, login to the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard. From there, you're able to add your site.
You'll have to first verify that you own the domain. Depending on your host, Google may provide verification through an easy pop-up process that allows you to login and verify in just a couple steps.
Other options include entering a Google-provided meta tag to your homepage, uploading an HTML file to your site's root folder, or confirming ownership via Google Analytics if it's already installed on your site. After you've verified your website, it'll usually start populating data within 24 – 48 hours.
Google Webmaster Tools Features You Should Be Using
At its core, Google Webmaster Tools is all about metrics: what's getting indexed, what's getting linked, and what's getting traffic.