Thursday 31 December 2015

Free Web Tools from Google

Nicki Edgell

Google Webmaster Tools vs Google Analytics. What's the Difference

I received a couple of questions following up to last week’s  post on Google Analytics asking what the difference is between Analytics and Google’s Webmaster Tools. There are some pretty significant differences between the two. So I figured be  it was a good week to define what exactly Webmaster Tools is.
Google Webmaster Tools is another free tool provided to improve and optimize websites by giving a clear picture of exactly what is going on within the site. While this may seem similar to what Analytics does, there are distinct differences between the two. Only using one piece leaves a great deal of important information on the table that could be used to leverage more traffic and more sales from a website.

As I said last week,  Google Analytics is meant to give a picture of who is coming to a website, how many hits a site gets, how people are finding the site and what content is popular.Webmaster tools differ in that they are designed to provide a picture on how a website is seen by a search engine. Specifically, Webmaster Tools provides the following information: 
  • Crawling- Gives information on which pages search engines are unable to crawl. If a search engine cannot crawl a website, site rankings are shot. It also gives the ability to tell Google not to index certain private pages that should not be accessible to the public.
  • Search Results- Google gives an insight into how many searches returned pages from your site, the total number of pages shown in search results, number of times a search result ended in a click-through, percentage of time a web search resulted in a click-through and the average position a website is showing up on searches. This is all essential information for anyone doing any sort of SEO or Adwords campaign as it gives insight into if the campaign is working or if changes need to be made.
  • Links- As I’ve said many times, Links are essential for a successful website. Webmaster tools can show if there are broken links pointing back to a website. These links can then either be fixed or removed. It can also show how many internal links each page has. Internal links are a great way to get some love from Google, knowing which page Google feels is the most important can be extremely valuable.
  • Site Configuration- Submitting a sitemap to Google is a good way to ensure all of the pages to a website are indexed by Google. This may not seem too important, however if a page is not indexed, there’s no way someone can find it in a search. This means less traffic to a website. There are also features included such as the ability to choose which sitelinks show up in a Google search and how to notify Google if the URL to a website is changing.
  • Diagnostic problems- Webmaster Tools will send out a notification if the website becomes infected with malware, giving a heads up to get that cleaned up and keep a site from being blocked by Google. In addition, it can also point out any errors within the HTML on the website and give insights into the load times of a website.
These are just some of the things that Google Webmaster Tool offers. Overall, this free tool  is incredibly valuable to have in your website tools. Choosing not to take full advantage of this can prevent you from seeing vital information on a website. Don’t delay, add it today and you will see the differences very quickly. 

Thursday 17 December 2015

Why everyone should wear magnets (7 min soundcloud)

Nicki Edgell

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