How to maximize your SEO work using Google’s Webmaster Tools

Google offers more than analytics for you to gage the success of your website and any SEO work you are doing.   Webmasters Tools is also available and offers a wealth of information for those who know what to look for.  Here are some tips that will help you to use Google Webmaster’s Tools to fine-tune your SEO campaign.

1)      Everybody knows the importance of choosing the right terms for getting your site found and noticed by your target audience.  Use the Search Queries section to see how those key words are working for you.  Also, if you added or made some keyword changes and want to see what effect those changes have had, select the With Change button and take a looks at word performance over time.  Upward or downward trends for a term could give you an idea of what works or where you may want to make some changes.

2)      If you are trying to lead visitors to certain pages of your site and you want to see how your keywords are working for a particular page, while you are in the Search Queries section, click on any individual query term and you can see on what page(s) that term is most effective.

3)      What are your effective blogs?  If you blog for your site (or even for others) and have established Google Authorship, you can see which of you blogs are most read.  If you select the Labs option on the left-side navigation of Webmaster’s Tools, and choose Author stats, blogs and posts credited to you via Google Authorship will be listed in order of their view popularity.  These may be topics to explore more often or in greater detail in future posts since there is an obvious interest there.

4)      Speed continues to be an important factor in how well your site ranks.  You can test that in Webmaster’s Tools as well.  On the left hand menus select Crawl and then Fetch as Google.  Once you get a success message, click on it for your sites info.  Anything under 500 milliseconds is considered good, so if your site is much higher than that, you might want to check for issues that are hampering speed.   

By Don MacMelville

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