July 21, 2011
The world of SEO is full of various tools to make all our jobs easier, which are perfect for thorough, in depth analysis. However, to quickly unearth any onsite issues and how best to fix them; there’s no need to look any further than Google Webmaster Tools. Here’s a quick rundown of how to quickly get a good insight into the Search Engine compatibility of your website.
Running this report will provide a list of URLs that Google has tried to crawl but can’t access and prevents distribution of link juice. You can easily fix any broken links by ensuring that they link to the correct page, or redirect them if not.
Go into the Diagnostics tab, and run a HTML suggestions report. This allows you to find any pages which have duplicate description or title tags. Are these compelling? Are they unique?
Track your keyword density and relevance to your campaign using the keywords section. These are the keywords which Google is most associating with your website. Are these the correct terms for which you are optimising? If not, you may want to think about changing your content. If you click on any of the keywords, it gives a breakdown of variants and which pages Google most associated with them.
Crawl Stats Report
This is an ideal way of monitoring the time which Google has spent crawling particular pages and how much data has been downloaded per day. From this, you can then you track any performace issues. For example, if the time spent crawling the page is rising, then it might be that factors such as hopsting, large data volumes or images are causing an issue.
The ‘Links to your Site’ metric shows you which external links are providing the most power to your site and ‘How is your data linked’ gives a clear overview of anchor text distribution. Are you over optimising anchor texts or linking on irrelevant sites? You can see easily and clearly here.
The Search Queries give a breakdown of your ranking positions; ideal for the panic ranking check (we have all been there!). This also shows which queries are getting the most clicks and gives a more detailed overview so you can easily track trends, changes and CTR. It also has a handy ‘average position’ section so you can benchmark progress overall.
Last but certainly not least, Google Webmaster will keep you informed of any major changes in your inbox, so be sure to check it frequently!