When starting a conversation with our style publishers about their Google Webmaster Tools, a common response is ‘Google Webmaster who?’ Whilst many bloggers know about Google Analytics, it seems few are aware of Google Webmaster Tools and how they can use it to improve their fashion blogs. With this in mind, I thought we should put together a quick Google Webmaster Tools guide to help you get started.
Signing up to Google Webmaster Tools
Like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools is a free set of tools provided by Google that you can use to gain a better understanding of what’s going on with your fashion blog. It provides a wide range of valuable data that you can used to make better decisions.
Signing up to Google Webmaster Tools is completely free, all you need to do is use your Google login that you use for Google Analytics, Gmail and Google Plus. Once you’ve registered, click ‘add a site’ and enter your blog’s URL. You’ll then need to verify that you own the blog by choosing one of the options (using Google Analytics, adding a meta tag to your blog’s homepage, etc.). Just follow the instructions and you’ll have your blog verified in no time.
Once that’s all done, your Google Webmaster Tools account will be ready to use, though it may take a couple of days for data to start appearing.
What to look out for
Your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard will provide you with a brief overview of what’s going on with your blog. It’ll tell you if there’s any messages or critical errors you need to deal with, as well as any errors it has found and how many search queries your site is ranking for. You can click on these sections to learn more about your blog.
The search queries section will tell you what keywords people are using to find your fashion blog, how well it’s ranking for them and the click through rate. You can use this information to find out what keywords you need to optimise within your blog content (to increase your rankings) and improve your meta descriptions in order to generate more click throughs.
You can find out more information about the keywords Google is ranking your blog for by going to Google Index > Content Keywords. Here you’ll also be able to see the variants of each keyword that are relevant to your blog. If these aren’t the keywords you want to rank for, you will need to think about altering your blog content accordingly!
Who’s linking to your site?
Go to Search Traffic > Links To Your Site and you will get a list of the websites that link to your blog. It’ll tell you how many links you have, who links the most, which posts are linked the most and how your data is linked.
It’s important to continually monitor this part of your Google Webmaster Tools account, as you need to make sure the links you are getting are from high quality relevant websites and not spam sites that could harm your blog’s SEO.
The crawl errors section (Crawl > Crawl Errors) will tell you if Google’s bot has had issues finding a particular page. The most common errors you’ll come across are called 404 errors; these are often caused by page names being re-named, as Google will have indexed the old page name a 404 error occurs when a user visits until Google deindexes the old name.
These can also be caused by other websites linking to one of your blog pages that no longer exists. It’s a good idea to make a list of the websites that are linking to dead pages on your fashion blog and contact them to see if they’ll change the link to a valid blog post / page. Alternatively, you can create 301 redirects that will take users (and Google) from the old URL to the new URL instead. Doing this will prevent the errors and help to improve your blog readers’ user experience.
As you can see there’s a lot to get out of using Google Webmaster Tools and it can really help you to transform your fashion blog. The info above should be enough to help you get started but if you have any questions, feel free to give us a tweet!
Are you a chloédigital publisher? Take action with this post by submitting a request with your support specialist to help setting up your Google Webmaster Tools.
Want to become one? Find out all the benefits here.