If you’re looking to make a good website which isn’t populated with spam (and I know you are) you’ll want Webmaster Tools to make sure you’re keeping on the straight and narrow. It’s the easiest way to keep track of what your site looks like in the eyes of Google, and it can be used to optimise your site even further.
Getting Webmaster Tools is easy enough. All you need to do is sign up for a Google account, and then upload the provided html file to your site’s root directory. If you have a WordPress hosted site, you just need to paste the provided code into the Website Verification Services of the Tools tab.
While you won’t be able to see any traffic which has come from Yahoo or Bing, though.
What can I see?
Loads of awesome stuff.
First off, you can check out your top search queries. This means you can check which pages have driven the most traffic to your site, and which pages have the best conversions.
If you’ve got more conversions on one page than others, you can modify title tags accordingly. There’s also the option to check out which keywords your site is ranking for.
Links are pretty much what SEO is all about, and the more links you have the better your site will rank (that is, unless you’re doing a spammy link program, in which case you’re likely to get a penalty. But I know you’re not doing that, so it’s okay.)
Google Webmaster Tools can rectify little problems, such as if you disallowed access for the GoogleBot to crawl the site. You can get your traffic back quickly by sorting it in Webmaster Tools.
Manual penalties are something you really don’t want – but if you’ve got a spammy backlink profile, you can expect it. Webmaster Tools shows you if you have a penalty.
As someone who has literally only just started using Webmaster Tools, I’d recommend you go take a look at these instructions on how to use it properly. Once I get a better idea of what I’m doing, I’ll give a more comprehensive guide on how to use it to optimise your site.