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eTips is a publication of:
Your Guide to Professional Web
Site Design and Development

Issue: #681
Date: February 18, 2014
Publisher: Shelley Lowery

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Welcome to all of our new subscribers!

In this week's edition of eTips, Nilantha Jayawardhana, of, will tell you about 7 useful Google Webmaster Tools to optimize your web site.

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7 Useful Google Webmaster Tools to Optimize Your Web Site

By Nilantha Jayawardhana Copyright © 2013

A basic step followed by Web Designers after completion of designing is to submit a Sitemap in Google. This ensures client that Google will start crawling their Website. However, there are many more insights that should be tracked for a better ranking position in Google.

Verify preferred domain for your site. (www vs non-www)

It is an important parameter that needs to be fixed before marketing your website for back-links. If you have hired an SEO Company which usually assign task of creating back-link to more than 3-4 different employees, these employees sometimes include your website as "" and sometimes "" while creating a back-link. It will be considered as two separate pages by Google hence it is always recommended to set preferred version of your domain.

Geographic Target

This parameter is important for websites with neutral Top Level Domain such etc. You may want to assign a specific location for improving your ranking in a particular region. If you have country level domain, you may want to skip this step.

HTML improvements

Another important parameter overlooked by SEO Company or Webmaster. Ensure that you do not have HTML improvement recommendations by Google Webmaster.

Structured Data (refer #10 for alternative option)

Get structured data for your Website use schema tags in your HTML while providing information such as address, product, discounts etc. Companies like e-bay are already using it on a large scale.

Crawl Errors

Ensure that you have zero crawl errors, if Google has identified errors while crawling it may contribute to negative ranking for your Website.



Security Issues

I always ensure to check on this link before logging out just to check that there is no potential threat to my Website.

Search Queries (Use filters)

Every month your SEO Company will provide you with keyword ranking report either in Excel, Word, PDF or in their own CMS. Prefer using Search Queries in Webmaster for accurate Data for your Keyword ranking. Use filters, Date Range and "With Change" button to check your keyword performance.

Manual Actions

Whenever Google performs Manual Action on your Website, you will be notified it in "Manual Actions" under "Search Traffic" Make a habit of checking this link once a week just to ensure that your SEO Company is not spamming to create back links.

Page Speed insights

Located under "Other resources" it will redirect you to Google Developers page in which you can check your page speed. Ensure that your Page speed remain above 85

Data Highlighter (alternative for Structured data #4)

Use this feature if you have a thematic Website Design. You can use this Feature if you do not want to change your site's HTML code for adding "Structured Data" (as mentioned in #4) It is a pretty simple feature where you can Tag contents on your pages. This way Google can present your data in new effective way.

These are simple yet powerful instructions to ensure a smooth functioning of Website on Visitors as well as Search Engine Crawlers point of view. You are welcome to share your Experience or any other point that you may feel should be included in this top 10 list.

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