Small business owners are always looking for ways to get more customers, raise revenue, and beat the competition. A well-designed website can give you that competitive edge and help more customers find you through online searches. Core Managed uses Google Webmaster Tools (and you should too) to monitor our clients’ website performance, improve search rankings, and prevent virus infections.
Google Webmaster Tools is a free tool that helps you see your website as Google sees it. It is a very important tool for optimizing your website and getting better search results, yet most small business owners aren’t sure what it does or how it can help them.
Here’s what you can do with Google Webmaster Tools:
- Find broken links on your website.
- See what keyword searches on Google led people to your website.
- Keep malware and infections off your website. This is important because Google will penalize websites that are infected.
- Monitor and improve your website’s load time. If your website loads too slowly, Google may penalize your search result ranking.
- See which websites are linking to your website. The more links you get, the better your search results.
- Submit a sitemap. This will help Google determine what pages you have on your website. If you don’t submit a sitemap, your pages are less likely to be found through Google Search.
- Submit a robots.txt file. This is the opposite of a sitemap – it tells Google which pages not to show in search results. This is commonly done for private pages such as member logins.
At this point you may be asking, “Is Google Webmaster Tools the same as Google Analytics”? No, they are two separate tools. Google Analytics stores metrics only for your website. Google Webmaster Tools allows you to tap into the entire Google universe to see what’s going on with your website. Jayson DeMers at Search Engine Journal explains it best: “Even if you’re already using Google Analytics, you need Webmaster Tools. In fact, I check both every day for my websites. Analytics looks at who’s already coming to your site and what they’re reading. Webmaster Tools lets you see your site as Google does, pointing out problems with the crawl, code or links.” [source]
To get started, log in to www.google.com/webmasters/ with your Google account and claim your website. Need help setting up Google Webmaster Tools for your website? Core Managed is here to help! Contact us to get started.