By Wes Germain
Webmaster Tools has plenty of insights into how your site is functioning as well as how to make improvements. But don’t worry; you don’t have to be a wizard of the web to understand these tools and insights. Below are four items that a non-webmaster can use to benefit their digital efforts and improve their website.
Tracking your rankings on search isn’t the only way to measure success through your content creation efforts and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. It is great to rank for keywords with a lot of local monthly searches, but impressions capture the visibility your website gains. If rankings aren’t improving but impressions are, it’s safe to say your strategies are still working.
Click on the image below for a full-size view of the site’s impressions:
The health of your site includes many factors: crawl errors, blocked URLs, and malware. Crawl errors are links on your website that are broken and either lead to error pages or to a page that no longer exists. It’s important to keep tabs on crawl errors and correct them as soon as you can. If this is your first time looking at it, select all of the errors, mark them as fixed and come back to it later. The errors there may be old and already taken care of. When the new ones appear, send them on over to your webmaster or website platform vendor to redirect and clean them up.
Have you seen multiple links underneath a website on search results? These are called sitelinks. They help users navigate to popular pages on your website. Google selects these based on a number of factors. If you are ever faced with a sitelink that you don’t want appearing underneath your website, you can demote it. Under “Configuration” in Webmaster Tools, select “Sitelinks” and enter the URL you would like demoted. An example of sitelinks is outlined in blue below.
Google Webmaster Tools has the answers to the who, what, and where of linking to your website. Even with a number of updates over 2012 to Google’s algorithm, linking is still a vital element of SEO. To view how you fare, look under “Traffic” and select “Links to Your Site.” In one easy click you can view the top links, most linked to content and anchor text. Do you see any links that you don’t want pointing to your site? Use Google’s Disavow Links tool (must be logged in to use).
There you have it, four easy things to track in your Webmaster Tools account. Now get out there and show those webmasters you know more than they thought you did!