Are you eager to make sure that you are optimizing your site and enhancing its presence online by increasing the ranking? Then, you need to check how Google views your website. You can do this through GSC or the Google Search Console. If you haven’t heard this term before, it was previously known as Google Webmaster Tools. This Google Search Console guide will tell you everything you need to know.
What Is The Google Search Console?
The first factor to be aware of is that the GSC is a free platform. This means that anyone should be using and benefitting from the power that it provides. Through the platform you can explore everything from your mobile site performance to highest-traffic queries and the rich search results. It’s all right here for you to explore and discover. Anyone interested in SEO should be using this on a daily basis.
You can use the platform to find out what is happening with a specific post on your site and how your site is performing overall. Of course, first, you need to make sure that your site is on the GSC. Before you start looking for Google Search Console tips this is a crucial first step.
Adding Your Site To The Google Search Console
To do this you just need to make sure that you are signed into your business Google account. On Google Webmaster Tools, you can then add a property. The add property option is available in the top left hand corner using the hamburger menu. Once you have chosen your website from the drop-down menu, click on continue. You will have to choose a way to verify your website and then you are ready to access all the features.
You don’t have to verify your site to start getting the benefits of the GSC. Google will start searching for data as soon as you are online. However, verifying can be beneficial and there are multiple ways to do it. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply upload an HTML file for a certain area of your site.
Add Site Map
The site map helps Google index your website faster. The site map is a live XML file of your website. The Google help centre also offers a guide to Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster
What Data Can You Access Through Google Search Console?
A lot is the short answer, but it’s worth exploring some of the best data sources that you can view here.
Clicks – This provides info on the number of people that have clicked on your website from the search results. Here, you’ll be able to explore the performance of meta descriptions and page titles.
Average CTR – This shows the percentage of people that have seen your website and clicked through. Again, focusing on the meta description could help you fine tune this and improve your ranking.
Impressions – Here you can discover what pages on your site are ranking for specific keywords and phrases. If pages are not ranking for keywords that you are targeting, they will require optimization and improved content.
Average Position – This is ranking of the search term in Google. If your website has a blog it is likely that this is the average position across the world (and not just one country). The rankings of One PPC for example, are much higher in the UK than in say the USA.
Index Coverage – Using this, you will be able to find out which pages and sections of your website have been indexed. It will also point out and highlight any issues that are stopping your site from being indexed by Google. This tab should be checked often to make sure that no errors are being overlooked. AMP is a similar tab but with this one you will be able to check the Accelerated mobile pages. If you have this set up on your website then using the Google Search console to seek out errors is a smart move.
There are various other tabs that also provide beneficial features. However, it will largely depend on what you want to use the GSC for.
Learn More About Your Users Through The Google Search Console
Beyond the raw data from these tabs, there are a number of factors that you can learn using this tool. If you’re looking for Google webmaster tips, a good starting point would be to make sure that you are checking where your visitors are coming from. You’ll be able to discover the geographical location of your visitors through the GSC which is great for local companies. You can find this data in the keywords and pages section underneath the countries menu.
You’ll also be able to find out what devices users are accessing your site with. It’s quite possible that you haven’t yet optimized your site for mobile use. The GSC will tell you whether this is necessary. All you need to do is select devices from the tabs menu to get a good idea of whether mobile really is the favored option for your users.
Of course, you can also use the GSC to make sure that you know what keywords your users are focusing on when they find your business. This is a vital piece of information as it will help you to understand what keywords you should be targeting and which you can perhaps ignore. This is also a great way of pinpointing and rooting out negative keywords for Google Ads. You can also find the number of clicks related to each keyword. So, you’ll discover which are the most valuable to you as well. Notice how the impressions are increasing in the screenshot over time. GSC help your see which search queries and pages are responsible for this improved presence in Google.
Links - External & Internal
Links to your website boost SEO performance. Links are a signal of a quality website that attracts links organically (naturally)- unlike spam links from low quality domains
Other Vital Information Available Through The GSC
Using this tool, you can discover more about the general functions and setup of your site. For instance, you can explore which sites are currently linking to yours. Remember, authoritative websites that link to you will increase your authority level. One of the best benefits here is that you’ll be able to see exactly which pages of your sites are favored by authoritative sites and this will inform you where your focus should be when producing content. It’s important to keep track of the general functions of your site. With the GSC, you’ll be able to quickly and easily check for broken links. Broken links can lead people away from pages that you want them to access and impact the crawlability of your website. With the GSC, you can find any 404 errors that need to be corrected. By doing this, you’ll be able to improve the website experience that users have.
As you can see then, the Google Search Console is a vital tool for any business owner. It’s also completely free so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be accessing this yourself. Now that you know the basics with this Google Search Console guide, you can explore and take your SEO campaign to the next level.