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Get hands on with Webmaster Tools on our brand new Advanced SEO Strategy Training course - the most up to date course on the market.
Google Webmaster Tools is an incredible tool for running health checks, monitoring your site's progress or uncovering the source of a problem. It's also an essential SEO tool.
If you're not familiar with Webmaster Tools or you haven't been keeping up with the latest changes & additions then we are here to help.
Learn about every feature of Google WMT and find out how you can use it for quick and long term SEO wins.
If you want to get hands on with Webmaster Tools then come down to Brighton for our 2-day SEO course which will give you hands on experience using WMT for SEO. We are always updating our SEO courses with the latest trends and best practices. If you're more interested in the analytics side of Webmaster Tools then we also recommend our 1 day Google Analytics or Advanced Google Analytics course.
I've thrown in a lot of tips along the way based on our experiences at Silicon Beach so you will have some good ideas to use Webmaster Tools to improve your site's performance.
Let's start from the top...
There's no denying the utility and effectiveness of Google Analytics as a means to better understanding the way users interact with your website. Among all the features that GA has though, Real-Time Reports are often a bone of contention; it's a matter of dispute as to exactly how useful they are.
I decided to ask some experts for their views on the matter to try and get some answers.
On our Google Analytics Course you'll learn exactly how to make the most of its impressive features to maximise your online efforts, including Real-Time reports.
So let's take a look at what the experts say:
Great for Testing
A key theme that seemed to crop up regularly was how many found real-time reports useful for testing technical aspects of a campaign, whether that's for code, tracking or links.
@AaronCharlie Great for testing code, 'walking the shop floor', and getting non-experts interested in analytics. Underrated reports.
— dan barker (@danbarker) July 26, 2013
very useful for checking new tracking (e.g. events, goals, etc.). Also for testing emails to make sure all tagged links work — Dara Fitzgerald (@darafitzgerald) July 26, 2013
Every new statistic confirms that Mobile search is on the rise, overtaking desktop search in some locations and niches. If you're not already looking into mobile search then you should be, especially as mobile search intent is usually very different to desktop intent - and this has strong implications for your search strategy.
Use the tips in this post to dive into your mobile search analytics to discover your existing mobile search traffic and begin to look for new opportunities moving forward. If you need help with SEO or Google Analtyics then take a look at our SEO courses which include Google Analytics training.
1/ Are Your Visitors Using Mobile Search?
The very first thing you should do is check what percentage of your visitors are using mobile, this should give you an indication of how much time you should put aside for mobile. However, don't forget that mobile is still on an upwards trend so your niche might be just about to explode onto mobile. You might also be providing a horrible mobile experience which will make returning visitors unlikely.
We set up a Mobile Search filter that allows us to dig into our data and find out more about our mobile searchers. Click the link to add the filter to your profile or set a new filter up as below. This Advanced Segment is your go-to for any mobile search related data.
Mobile search is big business. In fact, it's set to overtake desktop search by the end of this year.
Whether it's finding your nearest pub or finding out what's on TV, mobile search is increasingly becoming a ubiquitous feature in our lives. It's essential then for SEOs to work with mobile in mind, which requires added considerations.
Regardless of whether you opt for a mobile or responsive site, two of those considerations that do have an impact on your SEO efforts are the loading speed of the site and how easy it is to navigate, both of which we emphasise on our 1-day Mobile SEO Training.
These factors are essential as a means to providing the sort of quality experience your users expect. According to a Google Study, 81% of mobile searches are driven by speed and convenience. In that sense, if your site isn't quick and easy for the user, then you're not providing what they want and they'll move on.
On the other hand, if the site is fast to load and simple to use, you'll be keeping your users happy. And if your users are happy, you're (generally) going to be keeping Google happy.
So what can you do to help speed up your site and improve the way users access it?
Make It Accessible
This first tip is less about the technical minutiae of your site than it is about good customer service.
Most devices these days have a touchscreen interface, so having a text-heavy site with tiny buttons that are suited to a mouse-click rather than a tap is probably not the best idea. This goes for responsive and mobile-only sites.
In this first session of the brilliant Brighton SEO, we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to hear some ex-Google employees answer questions posed by the audience.
Hearing details about Google's processes straight from the horse's mouth is like gold-dust to SEOs but for an up-to-date understanding of the direction that the industry is headed, you can't beat our Mobile SEO Course!
Google Team Structure
First up they were asked about the structure of the teams at Google.
The teams are split into algorithmic and manual search engineers. The algorithmic side take a big-picture approach while the manual side (in which our ex-Googlers were working) take a more detailed and case-specific approach.