Webmaster Tools is a free service offered by Google and one that is now essential for the success of any search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. In short, Webmaster Tools allows you to see your website the way that Google sees it, which can show you which pages are being indexed and whether your site is experiencing any problems that are affecting its ranking.
Some of the things it allows SEOs to do include:
- Submit and check your XML sitemap: this provides information about all of the pages on a website, allowing Google’s spiders to quickly and easily index even the deepest pages of your site.
- Configurations that improve your website: you can configure anything, from sitelinks to your preferred domain and your 301 redirects to your URL parameters.
- Viewing key diagnostic data: this will show you some helpful SEO information, including web crawl data, content analysis, mobile crawl errors, and general crawl errors.
- Viewing statistics about how Googlebot accesses and indexes: having access to this sort of information can be vital for SEO, as it identifies blocked URLs and keywords that are leading people to your site.
- List of internal and external pages that link to your site: this can help you to identify which pages are in need of SEO linking assistance and which ones are actually performing quite well link-wise.
If you are yet to begin using the Google Webmaster tool as a part of your SEO strategy, there really is no time like the present. Much of the information garnered through the use of such a tool can be vital in crafting an SEO strategy that provides you with the power to direct traffic to your website through the avenues of your choice.