SEO Strategies Link Analytics & Webmaster Tools

  July 20, 2011   Category :     Search Engine Optimization | SEO,   SEO Analytics,   Webmaster Tools   Philip O'Hara

Web Marketing with Webmaster Tools

Houston web developers use a variety of constantly improving tools to track the way sites function. Our Houston SEO company spends a lot of time between Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, among other programs. One of the interesting new developments in these tools is a recently added function that allows users to link accounts for the same site together in Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.

Although these programs both return data about site analysis, Google Analytics reports metrics that involve on site visitor interaction whereas Webmaster Tools reports the way the site appears on and to search engines. There is even a function within Webmaster Tools where you can see how your site appears to the Google Bot during site crawls. Google Analytics is only able to report data on computers that have JavaScript enabled, and that don’t block cookies. The result is that there is some variation on data – such as keyword data – however both reports are valid and refer to each other. For example Analytics tracks keywords visitors enter the site on against other site metrics, and Webmaster Tools reports the number of times your site showed up on search results per keyword as well as actions performed on the keyword based on those impressions.

There are three ways to link Analytics and Webmaster Tools:

  1. For sites that already have both Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the “Manage Sites” link on the right side of the page, adjacent to the site listing. Select “Google Analytics Profile” from the drop down menu, and click on the Analytics Profile that matches the website you are managing.
  2. If you don’t have Analytics set up on your site yet, you can create a Google Analytics account from this page. Click the corresponding link at the top of the page, adjacent to the site name, and you will be directed to Google Analytics, where you can sign up for the account using your URL. You will be required to access the FTP site and drop a snip of code in the <head> of the site in order for the account to start reporting and collecting data. The code will need to be added to every page on your site, which can be time consuming on a large site that doesn’t have includes. It’s worth it in the long run though, if it means you can see how your site functions.
  3. If you have Analytics and are new to Webmaster Tools, you can verify Webmaster Tools with your Analytics account. What a relief! I know the amount of code you insert into your site to track metrics can add up, and it’s nice when you don’t have to add any new code. The two other popular methods of verifying Webmaster Tools for your site include adding a meta code to the head of every page on your site, and dropping an html file on the ftp site in the /public_html folder.

If your site has both Analytics and Webmaster Tools under separate email addresses, and you wish to link the programs, you can add users at the bottom of the page that pops up under the “Add or Remove Owners” drop down menu for “Manage Sites” in Webmaster Tools, or add user access in Analytics at the bottom of the profile’s page under “Edit” “Actions” in the Analytics Settings. Remember that if you grant an email address Administrator privileges, that email address can access reports for all profiles in the Account. User privileges allow access only to the profile the access was granted in.

Why link Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools? This option was done at user request to integrate the two programs, so that users don’t have to constantly log in and out of sites during the day – provided that both accounts are listed under the same email address. Right now there is not a lot of interaction available between the programs, however Google does intend on further developing the integration. Currently, integrated sites are allowed to see an Analytics Referring Pages report (which is great for tracking natural search engine optimization services) from the Links to your site page report in Webmaster Tools. This provides more detailed data about the sites that are driving traffic your way, which is imperative to tracking online lead generation.

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