If you are keen to make the most of your SEO campaigns, it makes sense to use as many appropriate and effective tools as you can. You should find that Google Webmaster Tools is a tremendous way for marketing and content departments to generate data that will allow you to construct an effective SEO campaign.
You may be using Google Analytics already but you should use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. This is because Analytics helps you to see who has arrived on your site and what they are reading whereas Webmaster Tools enables you to see what Google is doing. This will help you to work out any problems that are occurring with links, code or even the crawl on your site. Analytics is a way for you to create an understanding of your audience while Webmaster Tools helps you to create campaigns that bring in new audiences.
Webmaster Tools can provide you with information on:
• Keyword ranking data
• Keyword insights
• Traffic trends relating to content
• Google Authorship statistics
The data is very easy to download and it can be manipulated in a simple manner.
Getting started is also easy, especially if you are use Google Analytics or you hosted on a site that is recognised as an “approved” provider, like GoDaddy. Once you have been verified, you can get started on exploring what data is available to you.
This section will show you what the current and average keyword rankings area, as well as providing you with information based on organic search impressions and click through rates (CTR) for every keyword. If you are interested in trends, use “With Change” to quickly see how your search engine optimisation campaign has been performing over a time period. You can analyse search query movement to determine if any keywords offer the chance to rank well or you can determine how particular groups of keywords are performing or impacting on your ranking and CTR.
As well as providing you with the average position for the leading search queries that drive people to your site, Webmaster Tools offers the average ranking position for all of the pages on your site, including blogs.
This should allow you to determine:
• Which content is ranking best
• Which content is ranking worst
• The CTR for each page
• Content that has a positive CTR but which has a ranking that is lower than average
By adjusting meta description tags on well ranked content, you should be able to boost your CTR and for high CTR-content that is poorly ranked, you should focus on link building. This information will help you to determine what sort of content or topic provides you with the best traffic and what will help you to rank well in search engines.
If it turns out that video content or images bring in the most traffic for you, you should look to focus your content strategy on using this style of content. Similarly, if you achieve success with attention-grabbing blog titles, you should look to be more controversial or proactive with your strategy.
When you are looking to optimise your site for certain keywords, being able to view the search queries by individual keywords will help to uncover which pages on your site are ranking well for the keyword. To find this information, click a keyword on the “search queries” table.
When optimizing for specific keywords (which usually include industry-specific keywords relating to products and services), viewing search queries by individual keyword reveals which pages on your website are ranking the highest for that keyword. To view this data, simply click a keyword from the “Search Queries” table.
This data will help you to work out what Google believes are the most relevant pages on your site are for each keyword you use. This can help you to focus your on-site SEO strategies to greater effect. Google Webmaster Tools will provide you with keyword metrics relating to the pages that obtain the best traffic on your site.
By viewing the keywords on the pages that are visited the most; you can then use the most common keywords when creating new content or when carrying out link building work. You should all look to ensure that your pages carry all of the natural variants of the main keyword that Google Webmaster Tools utilises for the page.
Site Speed Metrics
There are many things that Google take into consideration when ranking sites and the speed of your site does have an impact on how you are ranked. This tool provides you with an opportunity to see how long your site takes to load, and you should be looking for anything below 500 milliseconds. If the loading time is higher than this, you will find that users will log off to another site. Knowing this information can give you some insight into your statistics but also give you a pointer on where and how to improve your site.
Here’s what Matt Cutts had to say about Page Speed;
Google Webmaster Tools can provide you with virtually everything you need to know to make the most of your SEO campaigns. Being able to track changes over a lengthy period of time will provide you with insight into your campaigns, as well as providing you with the opportunity to improve your campaigns in the future.