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Lesson 15 – Part 6 – Tour Google Webmaster Tools

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This video is part of our old WP eStore Course Go to our Updated WP eStore Course for current videos.

Welcome back to the sixth and final part of Lesson 15 in the Build Your Own E-Commerce Website tutorial series. In this final part of the lesson we are going to take a brief tour of Webmaster Tools. We’ve already seen how powerful Google Analytics can be for your ec0mmerce website but now we’re going to see what you can do with Webmaster Tools as well.

Open up a page and go to Gmail. I’m going to sign in as byobwebsite and then go to Web, Settings, Google Account Settings and then Webmaster Tools is this little icon right here. In my Webmaster Tools I have a whole bunch of different sites but the site that we’re going to take a look at is the site. So I’ll select that and that brings us to our Dashboard.

Webmaster Tools Dashboard

So in our Dashboard you can see first what Search queries have resulted in visits to the site. You can see the search queries where Google has returned one of our pages and so for example, there have been 720 impressions of one of the website pages when somebody searched for wp estore, and of those 720 impressions 16 people clicked. So you can see what the search queries are that Google returns for byobwebsite.

The next thing you can see is links to your site. This represents all of my internal links but then these are different links from various other places to the website.

Next you can see the Crawl errors and this tells you that it believes that there is one error in my site map and it also believes that there are four not found errors that happen when it crawls my website.

Then come Keywords and these are the keywords that are considered to be the most significant on my site, thesis, forum, videos, post and WordPress. It’s actually quite interesting because it certainly is the case that I was not trying for Thesis and forum as one of my sets of primary keywords, but this is based on the actual content of my site and so that’s what Google thinks of it as.

Finally down to Sitemaps and you can see that I have a videositemap with 91 URLs in the index. I have a regular sitemap with 510 and then I have a feed map with 10.

You could see more of each of these. If you wanted to see more information about keywords you could select this more and it would bring up the whole Keyword page showing you all the different keywords, and you can keep on showing more keywords if you want and so on and so forth. But this gives you in the Dashboard a summary of that information.

Webmaster Tools Dashboard – Detailed Information

Besides the summary information we have this Detailed Information. So if we look at Site configuration and we go to Sitemaps, here you can see that in all of my sitemaps I’ve submitted 782 URLs but its only indexed 613. So there are 11 in my feed sitemap but it only indexed 10, there are 671 in my regular sitemap but it’s only indexed 510 and there are 100 in my video sitemap but it’s only indexed 93.

You can see what that information is and you can see the last time it downloaded the sitemap as well. Today’s the 5th of November but the last time it downloaded a sitemap was on November 4th.

You can also take a look at Crawler access and you can see that Google crawled my website 54 minutes ago.

Webmaster Tools – Site Links

There is a section called Site links which isn’t going to do you any good at the moment because you won’t have these. It’s taken me a full year to get here but these are the site links that show up when Google feels like they’re appropriate for a search and in my case I do have these four site links. So if you were to search for byobwebsite without the dot, com, it brings up this result here, Building Your Website Here, BYOB Blog, Build an e-commerce website, and Customize Thesis Like a Pro.

I wish that if somebody was to search for build a website, or how to make a website this would come up and unfortunately at this point in my career it doesn’t. But nevertheless that’s what a site link is.

Then under your Settings you have this place where you can determine a crawl rate, you can set a preferred domain, you can set a geographic target and that sort of thing. Okay, so that’s site configuration.

Then Your site on the web has more detailed information about search queries. So right here in terms of search queries where there are more than 10 clicks, there’s only one according to Webmaster Tools and that is wp estore. You could select All queries and then you would see all the different queries and you could tell whether or not people are clicking on your site from those things.

Then Links to your site is actually quite important. It gives you a chance to see who’s linking there and see what kinds of link text is being used. In particular, obviously I link to myself the most often but if I want to see all of the links to my site, I can see that this is organized in such a way that for example tipsandtricks-hq has 60 links to my site and all of those links are actually to subscribe-to-our-site which is fascinating. It’s very nice of them to link to that subscribe-to-our-site page. You can see that thesis.css has 25 links and it links both to the page and it links to some videos. You can see that youtube has 10 links to, has 8 links to my home page and then a link to a couple of different videos and so on and so forth. There’s just a whole bunch of different places where people are linking to my site and you can see where those are in this Links to your site.

Okay, the same kind of thing is true about Keywords. Here’s where you can see all those different keywords. If you want to see how good a job you’ve done with internal linking you can see which pages are linked to the most and how many links there are for those pages.

Webmaster Tools – Diagnostics

Then finally I’m going to show you Diagnostics. Now Diagnostics is a place that you can use to try and keep your site error free. For example if you select Crawl errors here you can see that it shows that there is one error in the sitemap and that’s this 404 error. It says it cannot find Now that’s kind of funny but it says it’s linked from 100 pages and it found this problem on October 31st. You can easily decide to investigate that by opening the link in a tab and you can see here that actually the page really is here and so for whatever reason when Google searched for it, it didn’t find it so it’s showing that. But the problem doesn’t really exist. Now somewhere down the road Google’s going to figure that out and it’s going to stop showing that as an error. But it’s good for you when you see those errors to go back and try to find where those errors exist because sometimes the errors are legitimate.

Okay then next you can take a look at Crawl stats. This will show you how often and how much Google crawls you. So currently the high number of crawls were 602, the average is 229 a day and the low is 92. In terms of the amount of kilobytes downloaded it’s the same, and the time spent also ranges and you can see that.

Webmaster Tools – HTML Suggestions

Then HTML suggestions – this is another place where you can use to make sure your site’s functioning correctly. In terms of Meta descriptions it will tell you if you have duplicate meta descriptions or meta descriptions that are too long, or in some cases too short. Now it says this page’s meta description is too short. If we open that page this is one of the video pages. If you went to view source for a moment and we looked up here at the top it has a meta description of Video Lesson such and such, How to use Thesis Hooks. I’m not quite sure why it thinks that’s too short and probably it doesn’t matter. But nevertheless it’s again a good thing to check.

If we go back to HTML suggestions you can see that it says some of these pages don’t have title tags. The pages that it says doesn’t have title tags, each of these are actually sort of hidden pages inside of simple forum, so it’s not really anything to worry about in this case. But if you are actually missing them it can be very important.

In terms of duplicate title tags, which happens a little bit more often, you can see still nevertheless most of these duplicates are generated inside the forum. I don’t really care because some of the title tags are generated automatically by simple press. It doesn’t really matter to me that there are duplicate pages here. But if some of my regular pages had duplicate title tags I’d want to change that.

So anyway this is a way of double checking and maintaining your website’s health. It’s a very useful tool that you should look at on a regular basis because it will help you identify and solve Google’s search problems before they get to be too serious.

That wraps up Lesson 15 of the Build Your Own E-Commerce Website tutorial series.

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4 Comments… add one
4 comments… add one
  • Chung Tang March 25, 2011, 5:48 am

    Rick, this is the 3rd time I’ve been back to refer to videos 2 to 6.

    Thanks rick for these awesome step-by-step tutorials…saved me lots of time.

    Beats any other tutorials I’ve found on the web.

    5 Stars – Highly Recommended

    Chung Tang

  • sybille January 10, 2012, 7:46 pm

    thank you Rick, this is truly the easiest way to verify a website in webmaster tools. Have a look at the google analytics and webmaster help forums, and you’ll see that this subject causes a lot of sleepless nights – not when using the instructions in your video. Maybe you can rename it “Google Analytics 101” – just kidding

    • Rick Anderson January 11, 2012, 7:00 am

      Google forums can be a hard place to get good information. I’m glad the videos helped you.

  • Maxine Stephenson August 9, 2012, 10:33 pm

    Oh Boy I feel like such a dunce. My google analytics and webmaster tools pages didn’t look anything like those shown on these videos 🙁 Can’t find where the “edit” button is even! Even gmail interface looks completely different. Please tell me that google has changed the layouts since you made these videos so I’ll feel better. 🙂