The most under-used and under-rated tool in the entire SEO and content marketing sphere is Google’s Webmaster Tools. The reasons why it’s so under appreciated stem largely from it being a technical tool that’s not especially friendly to use. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find no substitute for all it can do.

Today, let’s look at how you might be missing content in Google’s eyes. Start by going to Webmaster Tools, and if you haven’t already set up a free account, do so. Once you’re all set up, find your website:

Webmaster_Tools_-_Home.jpg

On the home screen for your website, you should be presented with 3 boxes:

Webmaster_Tools_-_Site_Dashboard_-_http___www_christopherspenn_com_.jpg

Box [1] tells you if your site has serious technical problems. We’ll skip that for now, but if you don’t see 3 green check marks, you’re in a heck of a lot of trouble and should call tech support right away.

Box [2] tells you how often your website is appearing in search results, and how often you’re getting the click. We’ll save this part for another time.

Box [3] is what you should be concerned about as a content marketer. The red and blue bars should be nearly identical, as you see above. This means that of the URLs you’ve submitted to Google in your sitemap, it knows about virtually all of them. That’s a good feeling as a content marketer, because it means that your chances of appearing in search are high.

Suppose you had a Box [3] that looked like this:

bad_box_3.jpg

This is a serious problem. Google is only aware of 15% of the site’s total URLs. This means that 85% of the pages on this site aren’t being indexed by Google. If you’re a content marketer and you discovered that 85% of your work was effectively invisible to the world, you probably wouldn’t feel great, would you?

How do you remedy this? You’d begin by building a new sitemap. Tools like Screaming Frog or Scrutiny can help you build a new sitemap, and there are plenty of services online that will do it as well. Once you’ve got a new sitemap, upload it to your website’s server:

CSP.jpg

Then load it in Webmaster Tools:

Webmaster_Tools_-_Sitemaps_-_http___www_christopherspenn_com_.jpg

This will give Google a chance to evaluate all of the content you’ve created and index it.

Content that no one can find does you no good. Don’t let technical issues devalue the hard work you do! Check out Webmaster Tools and find out if your content marketing has gone missing in action.


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