How to Use Google Webmaster Tools For SEO


What Is Google Webmaster Tools?

This post centers on how to use Google Webmaster Tools For SEO. This is a set of tools provided for webmasters to optimize their blogs or websites for Google search engine. Since Google is the world's largest search engine and most of the free traffic webmasters are likely to get comes from it, it makes sense why one should give their website a proper SEO structure. With Google webmaster tools, you get to see your site's performance within a specified period of time, most important pages and indexed pages on your website, list of external and internal links to your site. Also you can adjust the crawl rate at which Google bot indexes your site, and generally ways on how you can improve your website with the site metrics provided.
 
To use Google Webmaster Tools For SEO, you have to verify your website on it. For blogger blogs, you can see this post on how to verify blogger in Google webmaster tools. For other blogging platforms, you can visit Google webmaster tools, add your site, then verify using either of the following:
  • HTML Meta tag
  • HTML file upload
  • Google Analytics
  • Google tag Manager and, 
  • Domain name Provider.
Verification of your website proves you're the owner and enables you to gain access to all of the features listed above and many more.  


Google Webmaster Tools For Seo


Several tools which webmasters can use in analyzing their website for better rankings can be found in Google webmaster tools, In this post, a list of the basic ones are given. These include search queries, links to your site, index status, content keywods, crawl errors, crawl stats, fetch as Google, Sitemaps, robots.txt tester and page speed insights.

Search Queries:

A review of your site's popularity  is shown using a graphical representation. You can set the date range which lets you know if your site's performance is improving or declining in Google search results. Things you should watch out for are the impressions, number of clicks for that date range. Also, in the search queries tab the keywords used to find a post on your blog is shown with the impressions it got, number of clicks and it's average position in search results.



Keywords- With the keywords, you get to know the search strings that was inputted before a visitor accessed your website. With this, you can edit existing posts on your blog that matches that keyword in order to increase their ranking.

Impressions : This shows the number of times your post came up in search engines and the possibility of  a user clicking on it. A post with a higher impression should be optimized properly by giving it a better description, and catchy title etc.

Number of Clicks: This gives the actual number of users who clicked on the post to visit your site. If a post has a high impression but with very low clicks, you need to spend time to make the post SEO friendly. By using header tags to categorise the post, relevant keywords in post title and description, increasing the length of the actual post, this can do the trick.

Average Position: When your post comes up in search engines, it falls into different positions for different users who search for it on Google. If for user A the post was on position 3  and for user B , the post was on position 5, then the average positon for that post will be 4, since 3 plus 5 divided by 2 is 4. If the post has an average position above 9, then it's likely on page 2 on Google which means less traffic to your blog. The higher the average position, the lower its rank on Google.

What you can do here is to check the impression for that post, if it is high, then you can try and move the post to page 1 on Google. To do this will require backlinks, keyword density in post, keywords in the post title , at the beginning of the post etc. For backlinks,  instead of building them to your homepage's URL, you can start building them to internal pages on your blog using high PR social bookmarking sites, high PR Gov and Edu Forums, directory submission sites and commenting on dofollow commetluv blogs.

Links to your Site


This shows the number of websites that are linking to pages on your site and the number of internal links on your site. For links to your site, you get to see your most linked content, the URL of the website that is linking to it, an the anchor text used for each link.You can use this as an online backlink checker tool.

Index Status

The index status shows the number of pages on your site that have been indexed by Google, meaning they're accessible by users on searching for it.  To allow Google index the pages on your website, you need to add/submit a sitemap  in Google webmaster tools, to do this:

  • On Google webmaster tools,
  • Click on 'Crawl'
  • Select 'Sitemap'
  • On the top right corner, click on 'Add/Test Sitemap'
  • Type  Sitemap.xml  or type system/feeds/sitemap  in the space provided, then click on submit.

You can also create an HTML sitemap page in your blogger blog which can help index the pages on your blog faster and help users navigate easily through your blog.

Fetch as Google

As the name implies, you can use this tool to fetch the content of your homepage or individual pages on your site. An advantage is that the content gets indexed faster instead of waiting for hours or days for Google to crawl and index your blog posts after you've published them.

Content Keywords

The primary keywords used on your blog are shown with the level of significance they have. It shows you how how Google sees your site.

Crawl Errors


The Crawl errors section shows the errors encountered by Google bot while crawling your site to index its pages. This is usually shown in form of messages on visiting Google Webmaster tools. These errors can arise when there's inability to communicate with the DNS server, robot.txt is not accessible and there's a slow response in server connectivity .

Page Speed Insight


Here, the speed of your website is given out of a possible result of 100. If your page speed is low, it can affect your blog's position in search engines since it  takes too much time to load. Another effect it'll have is an increase in its bounce rate. Most users on visiting your blog will leave immediately if it takes too much data or is slow. You should keep in mind that the information they're looking for is also on several blogs who are your competitors. You have to remove unnecessary Ads, gadgets and widgets on your blog. Compressing images, reducing their sizes and minimizing the number of images on pages can help improve you blog's page speed. On Google webmasters tools, you'll get other sugestions on how to increase your site's page speed on mobile and desktop devices.

Also Read:  Get High PR 9 Dofollow Backlinks From YouTube

With these tools listed above and many others as provided in Google Webmaster tools you can get detailed information about your site's performance and the areas that need modification in order to improve its SEO. 



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About Grace Joseph

Grace Joseph is a tech blogger from Cross River State, Nigeria. She studied Computer Science in University of Calabar and is a lover of tech, music and the Internet. You can follow her on Facebook and Google+

12 comments:

  1. One of the post I love most as a de tutor fan! I mixed this theoretical aspect with my video I have on GWT! And I understood a lot! Which I could get that of Google Analytic Tool. Thanks Grace

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  2. This is amazing, your post yesterday helped me a lot after implementing it.. Got to try this very post

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    1. Glad I could help. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. This is really a tip for some us, and to those that are novice, you ll get to know what a Google webmaster is and the usage...great article and thumb up

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  4. Wow, comprehensive and educative . i like this your blog its gives relevant information and that's good.thanks

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  5. Grace; you have really helped me with this post. I do have little knwoledge about SEO but after reading this, i fully understand what SEO is all about. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  6. I dont think I have read in any blog the information I saw here. Although I'm used to google webmaster tool so well. It better in using it to check sites linking to you as alexa won't show you all.

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  7. In the webmaster tools, there is a part in the "International Targeting". If set to a particular country, does that mean only visitor from the country will be able to view one's website in Google search engine?

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    1. Hello Tuham,

      Visitors from that country and other countries can view your site. But if the visitor restricts the search results to be displayed, to be from a country which you haven't set in GWT, your site will not be included in the search results. Setting your website to a particular country only makes Google give more priority to your site when displaying it to visitors in that country than other sites that haven't set that country as their target location. But the disadvantage is that your site's ranking for users in different locations will be low.


      From the help article for International targeting, this is what Google says

      "If your site has a generic top-level domain, such as .com or .org, and targets users in a particular geographic location, you can provide us with information to help us determine how your site appears in our search results. This improves Google Search results for geographic queries, and it won't impact your appearance in search results unless a user limits the scope of the search to a certain country."

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  8. I have been using the webmaster very well to rank higher,
    you teach like me, thats why I called you my Personally person.
    To correct or avert those crawling errors,

    add/submit sitemap like this

    http://YOURURL.com/sitemap.xml

    before that, the robost.txt has been enabled to allow googlebot.

    With that format, you get no error at all.

    Just My addition
    My Lady!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and the tips Marx, I appreciate. But on Google webmaster tools, after clicking on add/test sitemap, you'll notice that by default, your URL has already been included in the form 'http://YourURL.com/' and all you have to do is add 'sitemap.xml'. The image above confirms this.

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