6 Ways Google Webmaster Tools Can Improve Your SEO Strategy

Most search experts rely on Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) to analyze the technical aspects of a website. These experts focus on data like crawl stats, page errors and rich snippets.

In addition to technical analysis, I recommend using GWT for basic on-page SEO improvements. Here are 6 easy ways to use Webmaster Tools to improve your on-page SEO.

1. HTML Improvements

Under Search Appearance, you will find HTML Improvements. This report provides a snapshot of any issues with your site’s meta descriptions and title tags, along with a record of any content that isn’t indexable.

HTML Improvements

In the SEO world, we know that it’s important to have unique meta descriptions and optimized title tags. This report allows you to easily identify title tag/meta description issues and prioritize your efforts.

For example, in the screenshot above, you can see that 634 pages have a duplicate title tag. If I were to click on the “Duplicate title tags” link, I’d be taken to a screen listing all 634 pages, giving me a quick and easy way to identify page titles that need to be updated.

2. Content Keywords

Under Google Index, you’ll find Content Keywords. This tool allows you to determine not what you think your site is about, but how Google sees it.

It shows the keywords that are used on your site, along with keyword variations and significance. These data help you quickly determine if you need more content created around certain keywords, themes and topics. It also shows which pages the keywords appear on. Very helpful! (See the examples below; keywords were shaded out due to confidentiality.)

Content KWs

3. Structured Data

Structured data is a helpful way to explain the content of your website to the search engines — which can, in some cases, can help with rankings and traffic. If you have structured data on your site, GWT has a feature that shows the type of structured data that Google was able to detect on your site, along with the URLs containing each type. You can find this report under Search Appearance > Structured Data.

Structured Data

Note: This tool includes only the top-level entities discovered on a page. For example, if your page contains a schema.org/Event that in turn contains a schema.org/Place, only the Event item will be counted.

4. Data Markup Helper

Under Other Resources, the Structured Data Markup Helper allows you to tag the data fields for events, products and more on your site.

If you aren’t sure where to begin with structured markup, this is an easy to use point-and-click tool. The nice part about this is that HTML changes are not required. Your mouse highlights and tags each key piece of data on the appropriate page of your website.

Data Markup Helper

5. Sitemaps

The Sitemaps section allows you to view all the sitemaps that you’ve added (or Google found) along with statistics such as the last date it was processed and the number of pages submitted and indexed.  These stats can be viewed by content-type, meaning Web, video, images and news.

Another great feature is the sitemap test option; you provide the URL of a sitemap, and Google scans it, quickly detecting any errors that need to be fixed.

6. Removing URLs

If you need to remove a URL from Google’s index, you can use the Remove URLs feature in Webmaster Tools. This can be a very powerful tool, but use with caution! Only use this tool if you want to permanently remove a URL (as opposed to redirecting it).

Google gives a great example in their help section — if you have accidentally displayed confidential information such as a credit card number and you need to have a page removed, you can request expedited removal of the URLs. You will find this tool under “Google Index” in the left-hand navigation.

Webmaster Tools For Fast, Easy On-Page SEO Fixes

I find that these tools help me prioritize SEO improvement efforts and reduce analysis time. But these six features just scratch the surface of what Google Webmaster Tools has to offer. I encourage you to explore the ways in which GWT can help you implement an effective on-page SEO program.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Google: Webmaster Central | Top News


About The Author: is an SEO expert at SmartSearch Marketing. Susan has been in the search industry since 2002, and has experience with account leadership, training, strategy and implementation of both organic and PPC programs. Susan has worked with a variety of B2B and B2C clients ranging from pharmaceutical to retail brands.

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  • https://www.quantumpcsupport.com/ QuantumPCSupport

    These are basic and old even tough useful for all. Yes i
    regularly monitor these areas. These areas deserve some attention because they
    have impact on Search Engine.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    Google Webmaster Tools is a good place for every website owner to start their SEO program. Does it have everything you could want and then some? No, but at the very least is shows you how Google views your website, what underlying issues there may be on your site that can hurt your SEO, and if you are suffering from a penalty.

  • http://www.brand.com/blog James R. Halloran

    Good thoughts on removing URLs. It needs to be understood that to remove a URL means to do so indefinitely. The same is so with the Disavow Tool. It’s definitely a wise idea to explore whether such links improve or impede your site from ranking in the SERPs.

  • http://seohour.com/ Akash KB

    No, the URL removed is not indefinite. By submitting the removed URL by using the feature “Fetch as Google” in your GWMT, you can index it at anytime.

    As such, Google index the removed URL after 90 days, if the URL persists on your site (server).

  • http://www.showcasemarketing.com/ideablog/ Bill Freedman

    I’ve been an active user of Webmaster Tools for some time, mostly around keywords and sitemaps. Thanks to your article I’m inspired to experiment with structured data and the structured data markup helper. Thanks!

  • http://www.dizylocal.in/ DizyLocal.in

    Apart from this i check “link to your site” section to check and confirm is there any new links and will check for it’s worthiness. This helps me to keep away from Penguin affect over my website.

  • http://www.formertourist.com/ Gaurav Srivastava

    Right, old but gold.

  • oliver

    Great post. The HTML improvements section is always a good place to start. Fixing duplicate Meta descriptions or long title tags can make a huge impact to your SEO campaign.

  • Larry Bloodworth

    Thanks for the post Susan. I have found Google’s Webmaster tools to be invaluable as well as the community forum. Keep up the great work and keep the great posts comming!

  • Faizan Khamisani

    Webmaster tool is always important for SEO. If you know how to use it in a right way.

  • Alok Raghuwanshi

    Awesome Post, #GWT is always Essential for SEO Webmaster. I really enjoyed your article, Thank You!!


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