There are a lot of moving parts in SEO. From technical audits and keyword research to content planning, it’s a multifaceted strategy that requires dedicated project management skills.

Like working out at the gym, gains are made through continuous effort and a commitment to recurring SEO tasks. This checklist walks you through the essentials of an effective SEO project management routine:.

Google Webmaster Tools

If you’re a digital marketing agency, SEO wrangler or website owner then you probably already know that Google Webmaster Tools is one of the most powerful free suites of tools available. GWT, as it’s also known, bridges the gap between Google search results and the websites that appear in them, providing valuable insights into how to improve performance. It’s not a tool to be ignored, but it can be overwhelming when trying to understand all that is on offer.

The good news is that Google’s Webmaster Tools, now officially called Google Search Console, has evolved significantly since its launch in 2005 and the rebranding was not a cosmetic change. In fact, it was a response to the shifting landscape of web use and the way that websites interact with searches, enabling marketers to more effectively optimize their sites.

One of the most significant changes to GWT is that it now includes rich results, which are search listings that can include additional information on products, services and events. This is a great opportunity to increase the relevance of your search listing, driving more traffic to your site.

Another key feature of GWT is a section called ‘Diagnostics’ that offers website owners insight into issues that may be impacting their site and search performance. This is particularly important as even well-designed websites can experience problems such as coding errors or malware that can have an adverse effect on SEO.

There are a number of other features in GWT that are useful for those who want to improve their search performance. One is the XML sitemap which acts as a roadmap for search engine crawlers, ensuring that all of your most important pages are included in the index. Another is ‘Queries’, which gives you a looking glass into the queries that are leading people to your site. This information, combined with impression data and average position, can help you identify issues such as seasonality or a dip in traffic.

Lastly, there is a feature called ‘Data Highlighter’ which allows website owners to mark up certain pages on their sites so that they are recognized by search engines as containing structured data. This can be a great way to increase the visibility of important page elements such as prices and product availability, which can help to increase conversions.

Google Search Console

If you’re in the SEO business, then it’s likely that you’ve heard of Google Search Console (GSC). It is a free tool from Google that provides valuable data to website owners that can be used to improve search performance. In addition to providing information on how Google crawls, indexes, and serves websites, it also offers a variety of tools that can be used to optimize SEO.

Some of the most important features of GSC include monitoring organic traffic and keyword ranking, submitting sitemaps, analyzing link data, identifying errors, disavow files, examining mobile usability, and troubleshooting security issues. It is an essential tool for any SEO manager and should be integrated into every SEO campaign.

Using GSC is simple and easy to understand, but there are some things that need to be taken into account before getting started. For example, if you’ve just set up an account or verified a property in GSC, it may take time before all of the reports are fully populated. This is normal and usually occurs when Google has a bug or needs to make some adjustments. In this case, you should just wait a few days for the reports to be updated.

Other tools and features that you can use to optimize SEO on your site include the URL Inspection tool, which allows you to see what Google thinks about different parts of your website’s code. This can be helpful for finding errors in your structured data, such as missing or incorrectly formatted FAQ, How-To, product, and review markups. It can also help you determine whether your website is responsive and mobile-friendly, or if it is experiencing slow loading times.

Another useful feature is the Fetch and Render tool, which helps you to test live pages and indexed documents for any problem, much like the Rank Revival tool. This can help you find out how well your website is performing in terms of speed and other factors that affect search rankings. Additionally, it can tell you if there are any errors or warnings that are not being explained by Google. The latest updates to Search Console have included errors being explained by Google, and you can also link your GA accounts to get search query data directly within Analytics.

Google Webmaster Tools API

Google Webmaster Tools, or GWT, is the system built by Google to give you feedback on your website from how it views it. It offers ways to diagnose technical SEO errors, resubmit pages to be recrawled, manage and test sitemaps, and see how your website appears in search engine results pages (SERPs). It also gives you the ability to monitor the quality of your backlinks, spot spammy links, and more.

The GWT API offers programmatic access to many of the most popular reports and actions in the tool. This can be used to build SEO tools that integrate with GWT data, and also for developers that want to create applications that pull and display Search Console data.

One of the most useful features of GWT is the ability to check how Google sees your page by using “Fetch as Google”. This feature can be very helpful when trying to debug issues with a website’s connectivity, security, or if you want to see what the webpage looks like to a user. It can also be used to check if you’ve received any penalties.

Another great feature of GWT is the ability to see your search performance over time with “Search Analytics”. This can help you identify trends in keywords that you’re ranking for, or give you insights into which keywords are giving you the best results. Using the GWT API, you can build software that automatically syncs your Search Analytics data with a spreadsheet or other reporting platform.

Using the GWT API, you could build a software tool that automatically fetches SEO performance data every day or week and sends it to a Slack channel for your team to review. This allows you to easily keep your team updated on the latest trends and insights without having to manually log into GWT and view reports.

The GWT API has some limitations that you should be aware of when integrating with it. For example, it has quotas and rate limits that prevent abuse and maintain API performance. These limits may impact your ability to process large amounts of data. Also, if you use the GWT API to retrieve search results for a large number of websites, there may be delays in processing your request.