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If you are a do-it-yourself website owner, then one tool that should be in your SEO toolbox is Google’s Webmaster Tools.  Inside this array of tools you’ll find handy features such as setting a region for your website, submitting sitemaps, and even checking how many pages have been indexed through your sitemaps.

Google’s Webmaster Tools goes much further than that, especially with the introduction of new statistics available to webmasters. You are able to review how often your pages appear in search results, what keywords or key phrases are used and how often your search listing gets clicked.  You are also able to see exactly where your pages rank in search results with the above data broken down for each search placement.

It can be a real eye opener to see one of your pages rank at number one for a search term and receive 1000 impressions yet only have a 2%-3% click-through while that same page may have 750 impressions and have a 10%-15% click-through – and you thought that getting that number one placement was all important.

You can see over time whether or not your search rankings are climbing, and whether or not your click-through rates are improving. If you have a low click-through rate, try rewriting your meta descriptions, then see if there is any improvement.

What makes Google’s Webmaster Tools even more attractive is that it is free. You will need to verify your website, but that too may play a small role in the overall SEO equation. Some people believe Google gives verified sites a small tick as part of it’s search algorithm. Whether it does or not is open to debate, but whether these tools are handy is not – I can assure you they are.

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