This is a free service which tells you what Google knows about your site. It will tell you what they see wrong with it and explain how to fix it.
You just have to prove that you own the site which simply involves downloading an identifying code which needs to be uploaded to the server where your site lives.
This is where you upload sitemaps so that search engines can find what is on your site.
You can use the rich snippetts tool to see how each page appears in the search results. And you can see if your site is mobile friendly in the eyes of Google.
This is rather important as from the 21 April 2015 Google will downrank/penalise sites that do not look right on a mobile.
The information that you can gather here is amazing and if you are not already using it then you should start straightaway. Simply visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools.
And if you really want to get involved then Bing and Yahoo have their own set of tools as well.
The next essential tool is Google Analytics which can easily be linked to the Webmaster Tools account. Again it is free. The information you can get here is phenominal.
Not only does it tell you the number of visitors that came to your site but also where they came from, what they looked at, what they did, what they used to get there, and how long they stayed.
If it takes say 4 clicks then how many are dropping off before getting what they are looking for?
This enables you to redesign the site so that the visitor is able to get what they are looking for easily and quickly.
And if you are getting say 50 visitors a day but 40 of them stay for less than 10 seconds then you have a “bounce” rate of 80%.
So something is wrong…..either it takes too long to load or the landing page is not relevant to what they want.
Analytics is a great way of finding out why your site is not working well and when linked to Tools what you can do to fix it. You can have a look at the benefits by visiting http://www.google.com/analytics
Another free service but this one is optional. It is what the Reputation Managers use. You simply ask Google to send you an email whenever your business is mentioned on the web.
You use the google for the country where your business functions and add alerts. So in England I would use http://www.google.co.uk/alerts
and in Canada http://www.google.ca/alerts.
Once there you can set the parameters for what you want to be notified about and an email will be sent to you.
So if someone posts a review or comment about your business you can have a look at it and decide how you want to respond.
This is about getting traffic to your website. I have already explained that this is one of the ways Google makes money in the article Google Plus for Business.
You have seen the adverts that appear whenever you do a search.
There are 3 places where they appear and the cost is set by the position. The most expensive is to be one of the 3 at the top of the page.
Then there are those down the right hand side and the cheapest appear at the bottom.
Google runs a sort of auction automatically so that whoever bids the most will usually get the top position….but not always. Google has its own Quality Score which takes into account the state of your website technically and the relevance of your advert to the search term.
So a poor Quality Score will mean you pay more for a top position.
I run adwords campaigns for clients and so can write volumes about the mistakes that people make but that is for a different post.
This is sort of linked to Adwords but this time Google pays you….Yes Google will pay You!
What happens is that you give over a part of your site (usually in the sidebar) so that Google can display adverts relevant to the content on the page the visitor is looking at.
So if your site is all about Green Widgets people will see adverts about widgets and if they click on any advert Google will pay you for every click.
Not every business will want adverts from other businesses appearing on their own site but it is a way of monetizing your own site.
As I have said before It Is All Connected.
The more you use Google then the more it likes you.
The aim is to get visitors to your website so that they become customers.
So there is no point in driving traffic to a crappy website.
You will have just wasted your time and money.
I go into more detail about the connections in this article where I talk about the mistakes that are all too common but understandable.
Here I am concerned with showing you how Google can help you achieve what you want namely customers.
In the process it also helps Google as the searcher on some level is grateful to Google for pointing them to your site and so will continue to use Google…..and continue to see adverts which one day they will click.
There is the lovely story about the two men in the jungle who come across a lion…..who is hungry. One man stops and changes his shoes to running shoes. The other says “you wont outrun the lion wearing those” to which the man says
“I dont have to outrun the lion. I just have to outrun you”
When you start to use Google properly you are “changing your shoes” and your business will prosper.
If you want to chat about adwords or anything else you have found interesting on the site then get in touch via the Contact Us page.
My thanks for reading….and as always,please click the button if you like what you have read