Monday, June 10, 2013

SEO Tips - Make use of the Google Webmaster Tools

Make Googlebot crawling smoother by using Webmaster Tools:

Major search engines, including Google, provide free tools for webmasters. Google's Webmaster Tools help webmasters better control how Google interacts with their websites and get useful information from Google about their site. Using Webmaster Tools won't help your site get preferential treatment; however, it can help you identify issues that, if addressed, can help your site perform better in search results. With the service, webmasters can:

  • See which parts of a site Googlebot had problems crawling
  • Notify us of an XML Sitemap file
  • Analyze and generate robots.txt files
  • Remove URLs already crawled by Googlebot
  • Specify your preferred domain
  • Identify issues with title and description meta tags
  • Understand the top searches used to reach a site
  • Get a glimpse at how Googlebot sees pages
  • Remove unwanted sitelinks that Google may use in results
  • Receive notification of quality guideline violations and request site reconsideration
Yahoo! (Yahoo! Site Explorer) and Microsoft (Bing Webmaster Tools) also offer free tools for webmasters.

High-level analysis is possible via Google Analytics and Website Optimizer:
If you've improved the crawling and indexing of your site using Google Webmasters Tools or other services, you're probably curious about the traffic coming to your site. Web analytics programs like Google Analytic are a valuable source of insight for this. You can use these to:

  • Get insight into how users reach and behave on your site:
  • Discover the most popular content on your site
  • Measure the impact of optimizations you make to your site - e.g. did changing those title and description meta tags improve traffic from search engines?
For advanced users, the information an analytics package provides, combined with data from your server log files, can provide even more comprehensive information about how visitors are interacting with your documents (such as additional keywords that searchers might use to find your site).

Lastly, Google offers another tool called Google Website Optimizer that allows you to run experiments to find what on-page changes will produce the best conversion rates with visitors. This, in combination with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools (see the video on using the "Google Trifecta"), is a powerful way to begin improving your site.

Thanks a lot for reading this post. Click to download the latest Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide from Google.

other related posts in this blog:
SEO Tips - Best Practices Part 5
SEO Best Practices - Part 4
SEO Best Practices - Part 3
Best Practices for SEO - Part 2
Best Practices for SEO - Part 1
SEO in my Blogs
On-Page Search Engine Optimization

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