Google offers a free tool for anyone who owns or operates a website called Webmaster Tools. It is a great and free tool for gaining insight into how Google sees your website when it crawls and indexes it.
What it Does
- Displays Google’s view of your site
- Helps you diagnose site issues
- Lets you share information with Google to improve your site’s visibility in search engine results
- Provides you with crawl statistics, recent queries, errors, and other information that Google collects about your site
Here’s a quick little video from Google that explains it better:
Setting Up Google Webmaster Tools:
There are four ways you can add your site to Google Webmaster Tools. You can upload the HTML verification file that Google generates for your website, you can add an HTML tag to your sites home page, link your Google Analytics account to your Google Webmaster account or link your domain name provider with your Webmaster account.
If your website was built using WordPress, there are several plugins available to assist you in verifying your website. Like this one for example.
Once your account is setup and your website has been added, there are a multitude of reports you can view to gain insight into what Google thinks of your website. The most important being under the Health heading. Here you can see what issues Google may be having accessing your site. Such as 404 errors (pages that don’t exist) and malware detection (if your site has been hacked and is distributing a virus).
Some other areas worth a look is under the Traffic heading. The Search Queries report will show you what search terms your website was shown for in Google’s organic search results and how many times it was shown and clicked. You can also see how many web pages throughout the Internet are linking to your website and what link text they use to describe your site.