Why Your Insurance Website Needs Google Webmaster Tools
Several months back, we discussed some of the practical uses your insurance agency has for Google Analytics. While Google Analytics is a great tool for digging through your website’s metrics and finding trends, it doesn’t have all the answers in terms of how your site is performing technically. This is where Google Webmaster Tools comes in.
The What and Why of Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is a free tool, provided by Google, in which you can view technical information regarding your website. You are required to verify that your website is your own, and once you do, you will be granted access to a plethora of information. Verification of your website can be done through your Google Analytics account, DNS records, uploading a verification file to your website, or putting an HTML tag on your website.
While Webmaster Tools contains a lot of in-depth technical data, it also contains easy-to-find information that you can use in better targeting your agency’s website.
Such information includes:
- Indexing Status
- Crawl Status
- Search Queries
- Search Appearance
- And more….
How Can My Agency Use Google Webmaster Tools?
First and foremost, you can verify and submit your agency’s website to Google through Webmaster Tools. By doing so, you’ll essentially be able to view your website the way Google technically views it. Having insight into the technical performance of your website and the associated data is just as important as having its marketing data. If your website has technical issues that you don’t address, this can hurt your online health.
The information found within Webmaster Tools can provide your agency with a number of takeaways. Here are three important things your agency can do with this information:
- Submit Your Sitemap
Submitting your sitemap (your website’s XML sitemap) to Google is one of the most beneficial features of Webmaster Tools. By submitting your sitemap, you are providing Google with a more efficient way of crawling and categorizing your website.
- Find Crawl Errors (or 404s)
When your site has crawl errors, that means there are URLs on your site that are not active, yet Google has tried to visit them. For example, if you delete a page from your website and do not redirect it to another page, anyone who has that page bookmarked won’t be able to reach it anymore – the page will result in what is called a 404 error. Making sure that you properly 301 redirected pages on your website will help to eliminate these errors.
- Find Top Pages & Search Queries
Once Google has started to crawl and index your website, you will have access to the data behind your top pages and search queries (up to 90 days). This data will tell you what pages are getting the most impressions and clicks, their click-through rate (CTR), and their average position in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This data will also show you what search queries (keywords and phrases) are getting the most impressions and clicks, their CTR, and their average position in the SERPs.
There is a lot more information contained within Google Webmaster Tools that can help you ensure that your website is not only technically sound, but also help you see how Google sees it. Stay tuned for next month’s post on Bing Webmaster Tools!
About The Author
Shawna Arnold is the Inbound Marketing Manager at Astonish, specializing in SEO and content marketing. She has been with Astonish for five years, allowing her to work closely with a variety of insurance agencies all over the country. She has a passion for SEO, content, social media, and all things inbound marketing. She thrives on educating small businesses and individuals on inbound marketing through blogging, eBooks, white papers, and more.