In part one of this three part series, we looked at how to set up your Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics accounts and noted that these would need to be in place a little while to gather the information you’ll need to get from them. Hopefully some info will have started to show up in there by now and you can sign in and start reaping the rewards. Today we’ll look at some quick and easy things you can check up on in Webmaster tools. Find part one here if you missed it.
4. Your Dashboard and A Tech Check
Log in to Webmaster Tools using the gmail account you used to set it up and click on the link for the site you’re going to be checking up on. Keep in mind, if you have more than one website you’d like to monitor – such as a French version of your site and Russian language version to some large target non-English speaking markets, you can add these here and monitor them in the same way.
You’ll be taken to a ‘dashboard’ as shown below where you can navigate to the different information now available to you.
Here, you’ll also see Crawl Errors, Search Queries and Sitemaps. If you see any errors, let your web developer know and ask their advice and let them know you’d also like them to submit the sitemap for each of your websites – this helps Google recognise all available pages of your website and index them accordingly for search results.
5. How are people finding your site?
Click in to ‘Search Traffic’ on the left hand side and select ‘Search Queries’ for more detailed info. You’ll be shown a graph that maps how many times your site has shown up in search results. Below this, you’ll see a very useful list of the words or phrases people have typed into Google, that brought your site up along with data related to these searches.
Impressions: This is how many times your site has ‘shown up’ in Google for that search term.
Clicks: How many people have clicked on that impression.
CTR: Click through rate – the percentage of impressions that were clicked on, taking a searcher to your site.
Avg. Position: This is your average position in Google. Number 1 being the best you can do. The first page of results will be one to ten, so you can gauge approximately what page you’re showing up on using that. Google always has ten results per page.
Using this data. Are your search terms relevant to you and the services you provide? If not, you might need to look at all of the copy (or writing/information) on your site and edit it, making sure to use the kinds of words and language potential customers will be looking for. If you’re click through rate is low, but impressions are high, you may need to look at how to edit the Meta Title and Meta Description for your web pages and blog posts. This is the little heading and description that show up in Google – make them enticing!
6. What does Google think your website is about?
Next, click on ‘Google Index’ on the left and select ‘Content Keywords’. You’ll be shown the top 20 words that Google sees as most relevant to your website. If you have a French language website to target French customers, these of course, should all be French – or mostly! Have you been writing blog posts in English and relying on people using Google Translate to figure out what it says? That might not be doing your SEO for that particular market any good. Look at incorporating more of the words and language you’re customers use and speak.
Using this data. Put together a list of the words and phrases you imagine your customers will be using to find a service or product like yours. Enlist the help of a professional translator if you need these to appeal to countries overseas. Add these terms into your website content – on your home page info, about us page etc. and begin to incorporatee them into the titles and main copy of blog posts. Carry this out for a few weeks and then check back in with Webmaster Tools to see how much of an effect it’s having.
And in part three, we’ll look at some more useful information you can find easily in Google Analytics.