What is Google Webmaster Tools (GWT)?
From freelancers to professional digital marketing agencies, it seems as if everyone with a website or e-commerce store is utilizing Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) to improve their website’s performance.
If you’re unfamiliar with GWT, you might be wondering why it has become a staple tool in website and marketing management efforts. So let’s find out.
What is Google Webmaster Tools?
Google Webmaster Tools (also known as Google Search Console), is a powerful platform that website owners can use to monitor how their site interacts with Google.
GWT gives you a detailed insight into the health of your website, reporting technical issues such as crawl errors, mobile optimization problems, and security concerns. It’s also packed with a bunch of trackable metrics that are invaluable for SEO, providing you with the data you need to improve your website’s organic performance.
It’s also completely free and integrates with Google Analytics and Google Ads for PPC testing.
So, what features do Google Webmaster Tools have and how do they help you manage your website and SEO strategies?
Google Webmaster Features
There are many things that GWT can do. How useful each is will depend on your specific business needs. Below, we’re going to discuss some of the most universally beneficial features and uses of the platform.
Monitor your website’s performance - This includes clicks, impressions, average click-through ratio (CTR), and your average ranking position on Google search.
Watch for indexing errors - This lets you see how many of your website’s pages have been indexed by Google since the last site crawl. Additionally, it also highlights any indexing errors or warnings and gives you information for analysis.
Your website's sitemap - Submitting a sitemap to GWT can improve your site’s crawlability and reduce the risk of indexing errors. It’s a great tool for large websites because it’s easy for Google to miss changes or additions, but new websites can also reap the benefits of being indexed faster.
Perform a URL inspection - The URL inspection tool allows you to analyze specific URLs. You can see a side-by-side comparison of your live URL and the URL that Google has in its index. This allows you to check for any errors or inconsistencies, and you can also see the date that the page was last crawled.
Keep track of your links - With backlinks still being incredibly important for any SEO strategy, GWT’s links section is one of its most valuable tools. Not only can you view your website’s total number of backlinks, but you can see which domains are linking to you and the anchor text that they use to do it. This allows you to optimize your backlinks to rank higher on Google search.
Security - GWT will send you email notifications if any of your pages are not compliant with Google’s webmaster guidelines. For example, if Google detects spam, cloaking, or purchased links, it will penalize your site and provide further instructions via this tab. You can also keep track of any security issues here.
You can combine Google Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics best practices for a comprehensive analysis and overview of your website’s overall health.
Once you get to grips with how GWT functions, you can begin to use it to optimize your website, boost your site’s ranking, and increase your traffic.