Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) provides many functions that are very useful to search engine optimizers. It is a free service provided by Google. My top 5 reasons for opening a GWT account are as follows:

1. Indexing – GWT provides a sitemap submission service. This allows you to submit an XML sitemap of all the pages on your site. By providing this to Google you are ensuring that all your web pages are found and indexed. Pages that Google cannot index will not appear in their search results and therefore you will not rank for the key phrases that page is targeting. It is important that all your pages are indexed and for new websites it is important that they are indexed quickly. This feature will help the process.

2. Geographic Target – If you possess a .com website and you only target 1 country then you are best off setting your geographic target to Ireland (.ie) if you are an Irish based business. Google will associate your website with Ireland and this will help you in the local searches on Most people search on local search engines so gaining improved rankings would be very important for your business.

3. Link Analysis – Inbound links are possibly the most important ranking factor. Gaining any information on the links pointing to your site is highly important. As Google is the most popular search engine, finding out what link records they have is very important. GWT can provide information on both your inbound links and your inner links.

4. Geographic Target – If your website is solely targeting Ireland and you have a .com TLD then your website is at a disadvantage on local search engines. Most people search through local search engines like so it is important that you level the playing field. Ideally your website should have a .ie TLD but for many reasons this option is not always available to businesses. To fix this you can set a geographic target in GWT. Google will then associate your .com website with being from Ireland.

5. Geographic Target- If you have a .com TLD and you are solely targeting the Irish market then it would make sense for you to use a .ie TLD instead. Changing your domain name is not something that you should do without some serious contemplation of the consequences, as it can affect your rankings and branding efforts negatively. For those websites that have a .com and only want to target Ireland then GWT will allow you to associate your .com website with a geographical target. This is ideal.

Increase Your Local Business Using the Internet

Internet marketing is critical to any local business. Here are the five things
every local business should do before considering spending a dime on Internet

Know what people actually search for to find your business: Search engines have
far less to do with computers and more to do with language. Google provides a
free tool for finding out what the most popular searches are for your type of
The tool allows you to enter the keywords you think are the best for your
business and it will tell you the top 50 or so related terms along with
statistics for ranking them. Using the 80/20 rule, make a list of the top 20
keywords related to your business.
CRITICAL NOTE: Add the cities within your service area to the list. If you don't
know all of the cities within a county, search for the county name on and they will provide you with a list of every incorporated city
within the county.

Put the keywords into your site where the search engines can find them. If you
want to be found for “purple people eaters” then the words better be in your
site where the search engines can associate them with your business. Here are
the short-cut methods for making sure the search engines know what your business
is about:

a. Create a unique title meta tag for each of your site's main pages using a
maximum of 60 characters. Includes your top cities as well.
EXAMPLES: Lifetime Fence Company – Lewisville | Flower Mound | Denton – or – AC
& Heat Solutions | Air Conditioning and Heating | Hurst

b. Create unique description meta tags for each of your site's main pages using
a maximum of 200 characters. Incorporate top keywords and cities so that between
all of the pages each is used at least once.
EXAMPLE: JBC Custom Remodeling is your Real interior and exterior expert serving
the DFW Metroplex including Dallas, Fort Worth, Richardson, Plano, Frisco,
Highland Park, Irving, Lewisvile, Flower Mound.

c. Create two paragraphs. The first tells what you do and includes the top 20
keywords. The second tells where you do it. Length does not matter.
EXAMPLE: The best selection of durable home medical equipment in Denton County
including: oxygen supplies, sleep therapy (CPAP & BiPAP), Wheelchairs, lifts and
walkers, compression therapy systems, incontinent supplies, diabetic shoes and
supplies, foot orthotics and custom orthopedic devices, hospital beds, physical
therapy supplies, rehab mobility aids, breast prosthesis and bras, bathroom
safety equipment and personal care items.
Over 30 years in Denton county and conveniently located near: Lewisville, Flower
Mound, Corinth, Hickory Creek, Denton, Highland Village, Lake Dallas, Coppell,
Corinth, Argyle, Aubrey, Bartonville, Carrollton, Copper Canyon, Dallas, Double
Oak, Hebron, Justin, Plano, Ponder, Prosper, Shady Shores, Southlake, Trophy
Club, and Westlake.
Add the paragraphs to EVERY page in very small text in the footer (the bottom
where the copyright info typically is). This information is for the search
engines and not designed to impress customers, so do not worry about making it
sound consumer-friendly.

Add an interactive map to your Contact page using the code from either Google or
Mapquest. Search engines look specifically for this code on a site to help
determine whether it is addressed to local prospects or national. For instance,
eBay, Amazon and Dell do not include maps on their site because they are
national. Your site should, because you are local.

Take ownership of your local business listings in places like Google Maps,
Yahoo! Local and Bing Local. According to, up to 24% of a
local business's new customer contacts can come from a Google Maps listing
alone. Make sure your listing accurately reflects your business. Claimed
listings with a web address are known to show higher in ranking than unclaimed

Make asking for online reviews a part of your everyday business. Nearly every
online business directory allows consumers to leave reviews. Many even uses the
quantity of reviews as a factor for ranking the listings. If you think about
human nature, a significantly higher percentage of people who are upset with a
business will leave a review than the percentage of satisfied customers. Protect
yourself from a bad review by making sure you have multiple good reviews.

The top review sites are:
Google Maps
Yahoo! Local
Make the most of these 5 recommendations and you'll start seeing results in
often less than a month. Done properly, any business can be on the first page of
localized search results – and stay there – within 4~6 months.
You may view the latest post at

Configure Analytics for Your Local Business Website Being able to measure the performance of your web site is of critical importance if you’re doing any marketing at all. Although the accuracy and transparency of measuring the performance of adverti Infects Computers with Viruses from Their Ads You can get a virus from the most unlikely places. Today, I was infected from the website It was attached to one of their ads. Lesson? Always keep your anti-virus program updated. ba

U.S. Businesses Need a Mobile Ready Website

So, business owner, you think you don’t need a mobile ready website? Think about this little factoid;

For the three month average period ending in June, 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices.

That’s right. 234 million!

How about this?

78.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in June 2011, up 8 percent from the preceding three month period.

And over half of those people are using those smartphones to search the web.

Are you being seen? Click on this link for more about mobile ready websites.

Visit here to read the full Comscore report.,  Tom Watson at W Realty has a new beautiful home for sale listing, Real Estate in Irmo, S.C.