Optimize your site using Google Webmaster Tools
When I talk to website owners or their webmaster, most of them use Google Analytics (GA) for analysing traffic and conversion rates. Some of them use Google Adwords for targeted advertising on Google's search result pages. However, most of the times they don't know about Google's Webmaster Tools at all. Do you?
On top of the on-site analytics provided by GA, Webmaster Tools provide data from Google Search. Some functionality is still in beta but the application provides great insight in the performance of your website through the eyes of Google's search engine. This blog is about giving your website a boost on Search Engine Result Pages (or SERP) using Webmaster Tools.
Is your website configured correctly?
The site configuration option let's you specify some information about your website. With these options configured correctly you make sure your website indexation is optimized. Make sure Google understands what to incorporate in the index and where to find information about it.
How to use the Webmastertools to optimize your website
You can find the top 50 websites that have a link to yours, better yet it tells you which pages in your website are most linked to. And to top that, it tells you what keywords are used most often in these external links.
I consider the 'search terms' page the most important page in the Webmaster Toolkit. Like GA, this gives you insight in what terms were used to find your website. But it also gives information on the number of times your website was actually found in the result pages using this keyword. You can use this information to optimize your website's content. For example, rewrite some texts using this information to test if your pages show up more often. And while you're at it, you could also remove the keywords with which you don't want to be associated with.
On top of all this information, Google even tells you how many of their users clicked on the link provided for each keyword, including a Click Through Rate (CTR).
Set goals and make your website perform even better
The above is only a quick sketch on what Google Webmaster Tools is all about. You can get even more information and Google is upgrading the toolkit every now and then with more functionality. But, with what I've told you you can start collecting more information on how your website is doing on Google Search. You might want to set new Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) for your website based on CTR for the top 10 search terms. Please read my blog for more information on that topic: Conversion funnels start on Google.
You should definitely set a goal to get the errors found by the crawlers down to zero. I should write a blog about that too, but I haven't (yet).
- ‹ Higher conversion rates on webforms, remove the Captcha
- 13 Sources of inspiration for online strategy and conversion ›