Like any good digital marketing firm NeONBRAND uses Google’s Webmaster tools for tracking our clients progress in search engines. Although a powerful tool it is, there are some limitations that have to be filled from other sources.
A nice feature of Webmaster Tools is their API. I say nice but unfortunately it is very limited in what it can actually pull. You will find if you use it that the data it gives you is not any more useful than just logging into the site directly, which leaves many webmasters scratching their heads thinking “You don’t say? Tell me something I don’t know.”.
If you insist on using it you will be able to access the list of your sites in webmaster tools and basic traffic data for each site. I shouldn’t be too critical as this can be helpful if you want to store a site list or basic information, but really useful information like rankings are not passed through making the real good data inaccessible.
Moving on. There is data that can’t be ignored in order for any company to do well, which means you will have to regularly check for updates to make sure you are playing nice with the search engines.
Here’s my short list.
1. Rank Data: Google tracks all of the different keywords your site receives impressions on in their search engines. Obviously this is important for lots of reasons the greatest of which being the ability to track important keywords, and get ideas for new ones.
2. Quality Tracking: The overall health of your site plays a big role in search engine ranking. I can’t think of a better tool for tracking your site’s health than Webmaster Tools. From 404s to page load times, you can see snapshots or details of your site’s health and submit changes as needed right in the dashboard.
3. Analytics Integration: A relatively new feature is the integration of anaytics and tools. Now you can see ranking data right next to traffic and keyword results in analytics. Oh if only the data could be grabbed from the anaytics api. But I digress.
In a nutshell. We may never have everything we could ever want from tools like Google’s Webmaster Tools but we can benefit greatly if we use them how they were meant to be used. From the creators perspective Webmaster Tools is just that. A tool for webmasters to manage their site’s quality and improve the internet as a whole. Using it with that in mind will yield positive results and any missing areas can be supplemented with other online resources.