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  • How to Use Google Webmaster Tools for SEO Inspiration

    Ever since Google Webmaster Tools added the so called “search queries” data I’ve become a huge fan of them. I’ve listed the 10 Google SEO tools everybody should use in the past but to be honest I focus on three of them right now Google Insights, Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools for SEO inspiration. The wealth of information GWB offers is like a goldmine.

    The tool-set has grown over the years steadily but I was neglecting it. By now there are numerous ways to use Google Webmaster Tools for SEO. Again I will focus on three of them here and explain how to use GWB for

    1. Keyword Research
    2. Link Building
    3. CRO/Conversion Rate Optimization

    In case you haven’t used Google Webmaster Tools yet at all I strongly advise you to read this excellent intdroductory series by Search Engine Guide.

    Keyword Research
    While Google offer several outstanding keyword research tools, Google Webmaster Tools enable you to find out keywords that really matter for your actual site. Hugo Guzman has written a good post on how to find your most valuable keywords using it.

    The idea is to seek out the low hanging fruit of keywords already ranking on the verge of top 5 and to push them higher via low level SEO to get a high ROI. This is a really neat concept. Usually I’d focus on the big earners, high traffic keywords and important queries. Probably everybody else does as well so by focusing on these “almost there” terms you save time an money not fighting that many competing websites.

    Link Building
    I’m often surprised at which of my pages get the links and where from when checking “Links to your site”. Even orphaned pages (that have no connection to my main website) get inbound links. Also it’s amazing to find out that sites you have never got any significant traffic from link to you. These are often crappy scraper sites and other automated set ups but sometimes you’ll find a gem.
    Then you can target these sites to get even more links. For example you can discover who links to you on Tumblr and then follow these users. While repeat links from the same do not count as much as from new ones there is only a finite number of places in a given industry so there is no problem with getting links from the site again and again. Especially authority sites that link more that once to you are a great asset.
    You’ll discover these links by using other link tools be it paid ones or Yahoo Site Explorer but often you get too many links, mostly nofollowed ones via these tools to find the good or great ones.


    CRO/Conversion Rate Optimization
    You can find out your best and worst converting keywords. The first step of a conversion is converting a searcher to a visitor. You fail already here in most cases and it’s quite surprising which keywords and phrases get the highest CTR (click through rates). For instance we have a 100% CTR on the query [rss meta]. The searchers end up on a tiny post from 2006.
    In contrast our huge resources lists often get quite low CTR. Does it mean that we should write dozens of microblogging like posts instead of one gigantic list? The 100% CTR is no anomaly, it’s just the most striking example.

    Also we rank high for [seo services uk] and similar queries but the CTR is disappointing. It seems that we need landing page optimization as our competitors target the query directly in their titles and have extra pages for it. At SEOptimise users land on the homepage and don’t find the term “SEO services” immediately.

    How do you use Google Webmaster Tools? Does it inspire you to take concrete steps? Do you optimize your websites based on GWT data? I often check Google Insights, Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools for SEO inspiration. Whenever I need some input on what to write about I check what’s popular already and don’t rely solely on my imagination. I can check popular items on Topsy, Delicious or elsewhere but Google offers me much more accurate data for my niche and particular site.

    I help people with blogs, social media & search. I help you succeed on the Web. I've been online publishing for 15 years. I started back in 1997.

    19 Responses to “How to Use Google Webmaster Tools for SEO Inspiration”

    1. Philippe says:

      I love the query tool from webmaster tool as well. It really gives good insight on rankings. However, I can”t seem to have access data from more than 5 weeks before current date??? Am I the only one?
      Potentially the previous version of the tool was better for ranking trends over time.

    2. Tad Chef says:

      Philippe: No, Google has officially admitted it. The data gets deleted after 6 weeks. Also the data is a bit a late, takes 3 days to arrive here.

    3. Maciej says:

      Google webmaster tools are great. Everyone should get in there once in a while and evaluate their links pointing at their website.

    4. Hugo says:

      Thanks for mentioning my article! Much appreciated. GWT is definitely the bomb.

    5. Philippe says:

      6 weeks is lame, isn’t it? It gives good insight for sure, but we can not measure anymore how rankings improved month by month for specific keywords.
      With a bit of data manipulation, this was possible with the previous version of the tool :-/
      It might look better, but overall, we’re losing insights with this new tool.

    6. Swayam Das says:

      Nice Post! Thanks! I was checking out Webmasters yesterday and was wondering how to utilize it..

      Now I know it! :)
      Cheerz! Have a Nice Day! :D

    7. [...] How to Use Google Webmaster Tools for SEO Inspiration | SEOptimise [...]

    8. [...] How to Use Google Webmaster Tools for SEO Inspiration | SEOptimise [...]

    9. I agree with Tad Chef, the data is very late and often not ACCURATE! I manage a few tens of web sites and some of them (I don’t speak about exceptions) get nice traffic and rank high in SERP for keywords which are not listed at all in the Webmaster Tools! How can you explain this?

    10. the idea behind the low hanginf fruit is that conversion is better through relevancy, as opposed to going in for broad keywords which would yield lower conversion but more traffic.

    11. I haven’t really used their tools yet but will definitely take a look at the CRO for finding out the best/worst keywords

    12. internet fax says:

      That’s interesting that you focus on keywords already ranking on the verge of top 5. I didn’t know that. It makes sense that you don’t kill yourself trying to compete with top sites, especially as many top sites seem to have a stranglehold on those top keywords and it becomes a very difficult market to make any headway in.

    13. [...] How to use Google Webmaster Tools for Optimisation – SEOptimise [...]

    14. nina says:

      I would strongly recommend this tool as otherwise you are not optimising your website or blog. It has information which is a must; such as who links to you and what keyword queries are being used. An excellent resource.

    15. James says:

      Right on point. You know what you can also glean from that information? conversion rate… clicks/impressions. This will help to see if you can tweak your title for more clicks… Great post, Tad

    16. This article provides some very useful insight into the information that is available in Google Webmaster Tools. I also agree with some of the other commenters that it would be better to keep older data available for longer to be able to keep an historical perspective.

    17. Nathan Davis says:

      Great post Tad! I enjoy using Webmater tools and even the video series by Matt Cutts. I liked a video where he talks about tips for building natural links, apart from creating good content on http://blog.directorymaximizer.com/2010/07/23/matt-cutts-tips-on-link-building/ The tips he gives can be applied to websites and blogs…

    18. The data is very late and often not ACCURATE! I manage a few tens of web sites and some of them (I don’t speak about exceptions) get nice traffic and rank high in SERP for keywords which are not listed at all in the Webmaster Tools!

    19. Hey I am in search of some instructive material regarding the google webmasters .I really learn somewhere what google webmasters is logically but can you provide me the answer regarding what is google webmasters and how googlewebmasters and google analytics are inter connected? please provide your relevant answers.

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