Every website should be registered with both Google and Microsoft (Yahoo!) in order to ensure that the site is “inspected” on a regular basis for updates and changes. Google offers a webmaster account that allows the web marketer to study Google’s interaction with the site. While much of the reports are technical in nature and are meant for the webmaster, a marketing professional would be remiss in her duties for ignoring this plethora of quality information. It is a way to ensure that Google is paying attention, and it also serves as “quality control” of the webmaster, making sure that the valuable content is linking and functioning correctly.
- Sitemaps – Sitemaps are generated automatically by most web sites, and they are much like a “table of contents” for visiting search engines to scour. By creating (automated) a sitemap, the webmaster is telling visiting search engine spiders which pages on the website are worth viewing. Additionally, the rate at which Google and others visits can be recorded and modified to support the web marketers goals.
- Search Queries – The Google Webmaster reports show the top search queries that visitors have used to find the company website. This is great feedback and lets the web marketer know the effectiveness of the content marketing plan.
- Links – The Google Webmaster report provides a list of all internal and external links to the company website. This is great information to view on a regular basis, as the total number of incoming links is often times proportional to the popularity of the website. Google will find your company website far more attractive with many relevant links pointing to your internal pages.
- Errors – Perhaps the greatest benefit of monitoring the Google Webmaster reports is the list of errors on your company website. After the Google spiders crawl through your site, a report is generated listing all of the link errors that is could not follow. Whether through improper coding or changes over time, it is not uncommon for navigation links and pages urls to contain errors. These should be identified and fixed on a regular basis, as poor site construction could cause visitors to decide not to return.
For now, this ends our series of blog posts on internet marketing metrics. By no means was our list exhaustive, rather the purpose was to include enough content for you to be able to start thinking about the possibilities that lie ahead if you establish the right measurement processes. I like to think that anything worth doing is worth measuring, and my old platoon sergeant would remind me to say “you can’t expect what you don’t inspect!”