The best things is that Google will email you when your site is having issues. This is huge.

Google Webmaster Tools emailing me

Google warned me that I was having issues back in January with my domain.

How do you know when your website is having issues with the search engine? You don’t. Google needs to tell you.

But there’s also a ton more it does. I’m just going to give you a few highlights.

 

Search Queries Reports

Since Google Analytics doesn’t give up keywords people are using to search with when they discover your  website (only if they are logged in), Google Webmaster tools will provide these search queries regardless if they are logged in or not.

The only issue is that it’s not tied specifically to their visit. 🙁

But you will find a ton of information on your keywords and landing pages like impressions, clicks, click-thru-rates and rankings.

Google Search Queries

Search Queries will tell you what keywords people used to find your website

There’s a ton of information to be found here and here’s a great article from LunaMetrics explaining a lot more of it.

You’ll also want to connect your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. It’s pretty easy to do. Just go to Acquisition -> Search Engine Optimization -> Landing Pages.

The only thing you need to worry about there is that only one account Google Webmaster Tools account can be connected to one Google Analytics account.

 

Links to your website

Understanding your backlinks is very important because it’s one of the most fundamental features of how Google ranks you. You should have a grasp of this and you can see that Google serves it up as well as which pages have the most inbound links.

Sites linking to your website

You can see which sites link to your website as well as which content has the most.

There are other tools out there at I use for this as well but most are paid like Ahrefs and Majestic SEO.

 

How mobile is your website?

Mobile Usability

Google Webmaster Tools will also look through your website and tell you how friendly it is to mobile. And the way mobile is rising with web analytics you want a mobile friendly website.

 

Crawl and 404 Errors

Another great feature is that you really need to know how many 404 errors (page not found) are on your website and you need to fix them by using 301 redirects especially if you’ve just done a website redesign and changed your navigation. You’ll lose a lot of hard earned traffic from this if you don’t take care of it.

404 Errors

You need to fix your 404 errors so people don’t get upset and you don’t lose traffic

Check out SearchEngineland’s how to create 301 Redirect Maps if you are unsure of what I’m talking about or get your technical team on this.

There are many other wonderful things that Google Webmaster Tools will help you with on your website as well as a great Help resource on website-building. They are the experts on how to get a website found. I think you should listen to them and do what they say.

So when are you going to add your Webmaster Tools?