This utility SEO tool provides you with a thorough analysis of the people who visit your site daily, as well as other useful performance information. For instance, how much web traffic you’re getting, what pages do people search when they open your site, the device and platform that people use to find your site, mobile-first indexing status, a core web vitals report, and so much more. In a nutshell, everything that makes your site successful or vice versa.
Furthermore, probably the best thing about the Search Console, is that it is free of charge and easily available to website owners. Every SEO professional and webmaster has this mighty tool at their disposal.
If you haven’t taken advantage of the benefits of Google Search Console yet, once you understand how powerful it is, you’ll want to jump right in and examine how each functionality can boost your search rankings.
In this brief guide, we’ll explain what Google Search Console exactly does and how it can help your website. In addition, we provide several useful tips and strategies that you can utilize to get the most out of GSC.
What Is Google Search Console (GSC)?
Google Search Console is a free service provided by Google that helps you analyze, maintain, and improve your site’s presence in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The purpose of the tool is to enable website owners, marketers, and SEO experts to understand how Google perceives their websites. Using this information, they can monitor and improve performance, identify issues and fix them.
Search Console offers tools and reports for the following activities:
- Website Health. Overview of your overall statistics and rates, and whether Google has encountered any issues.
- Search, Discover, and News. Details about the performance of your pages in each of Google’s products.
- Crawling. Confirmation that Google can locate and crawl your website.
- Indexing. Fixing indexing problems and re-indexing requests for new or updated content.
- Organic Traffic. Analyzing Google Search traffic data for your website: how frequently your site shows up in Google Search, as a result of which search queries is your site shown, how often searchers click through on your website for those queries, and much more.
- URL Inspection. Details about errors in the code, canonical tags, usability inconsistencies, etc.
- Issues. Receiving notifications when Google comes across indexing, spam, or other black hat concerns on your website.
- Backlinks. Showing you the sites that link to your website.
- Mobile-First Indexing. Information whether your website has been switched to mobile-first indexing or not.
- Mobile Usability. How mobile-friendly each of your pages is, and whether there’s room for improvements.
- Core Web Vitals. Details on how your pages perform based on field data from real users.
- Sitemaps. Information about the current status of your submitted sitemaps, and any indexing issues that the bots may have encountered.
- Rich Results Status. Analysis of the rich results that Google has crawled, and whether there were any issues.
- Other Relevant Tools and Reports. There are also reports about security issues, manual actions, links, migrations, redirects, associations, troubleshooting various issues, and more. Also, you have access to AMP, and mobile-friendliness testing tools.
Simply put, anyone who owns a website should use Google Search Console!
As an entrepreneur, you should be informed about what Google Search Console does, get familiar with the SEO basics, and know the Google Search features. SEO professionals need GSC to monitor digital presence, optimize the website for better ranking, and make data-driven decisions about the search engine appearance of your site.
Site administrators should use GSC to monitor and resolve server issues, site loading problems, as well as security hazards such as hacking and malware. As far as web developers are concerned, when they develop the website code, the Search Console can help them discover and solve markup/code problems, as well as data structure, and technical SEO issues.
The benefits of Google Search Console are practically limitless when it comes to improving your website and ranking.
When you work with SEO, it’s vital to understand search engine visibility, impressions, and the number of clicks that you’ll receive from Google search. These show the number of your links in the SERPs that the users opened while they were googling information.
Google Search Console is one of the best ways to ensure that your SEO campaign is thriving because it helps you analyze your website the same way that Google does with its bots. Google bots determine the pages that have been indexed, the quality links that improve your rankings, the most popular keywords, and so on. Getting this type of data is crucial, and those insights are what GSC is all about!
To get this type of data is crucial, and those insights are what GSC is all about!
Setting up Your Website with Google Search Console
One of the most significant steps in optimizing your site for better search rankings is adding your WordPress site to Google Search Console. Using GSC along with the reports and tips that we’ll provide below in this article will have an immense benefit for your SEO strategy, but not before you add your WordPress site to GSC. For this purpose, you can use the following tutorial from WPBeginner.
Filtering out Your Data with GSC
Google Search Console provides you with numerous ways to view and filter your data, based on the information you need. These filters are extremely useful, but also complicated, especially when you’re still getting acquainted with the tool.
So let’s have a look at some of them most useful ones:
There are three search types: web, image, and video.
You can also examine two types of traffic against one another. Just click the “Compare” tab, pick the two categories you want to compare and click on “Apply.”
GSC provides you with 16 months of data! You can choose from a group of predefined time frames or input a custom data range.
Similarly to the search type, you can also compare two-time frames by accessing the “Compare” tab.
Queries, Page, Country, Device, Search Appearance
If you click on “New” next to the Date filter, you can insert five additional other types of filters: query, page, country, device, and search appearance.
For example, if you want to see data for SEO-related queries that show up on a mobile search, you can add a filter for queries containing “SEO” on mobile devices.
Inspecting and Improving Each SEO Aspect
The greatest benefit of Google Search Console is that it can help you successfully improve your SEO. As mentioned, it provides you with thorough reports about the total number of web visits, the type of browsers and devices that are used for those web visits, and the demographics of the visits. Those reports are not only helpful for SEO practitioners, but are valuable in market research, and can also be useful for business owners, marketers, designers, web developers, and more.
The following are the core SEO reports of GSC that your SEO strategy can benefit from:
The Search Appearance reports and tools display how your website is set up, and how it appears in the SERPs. From structured data to checking duplicate meta tags, this report is crucial for your SEO campaign.
Structured data is a way of organizing and delivering information about the content of your pages. It helps Google to understand your content, and deliver more relevant search results.
When you implement structured data, your pages can become qualified to be presented with an improved appearance in SERPs.
If you’ve diagnosed errors, you need to have your IT team or your WordPress Agency fix them. Although structured data is not officially a ranking factor and ignoring the errors may not affect your rankings, giving Google accurate and original information is always better than relying on auto-generated texts.
Rich results are one of the best ways to be featured in the SERPs. Although they work similarly as structured data, they produce prettier visuals for better user engagement. Furthermore, they not only look better but provide more information to the user that can encourage them to click on your link.
More clicks mean more leads, and, respectively, a boost in sales and traffic.
Data highlighter helps Google better understand and connect the structured data on your website. The tool does not require writing and additional code and is simple and intuitive to use. You just need to follow Google’s directions to highlight the specific data.
Once you do, Google can recraw your pages and provide better and more detailed rich results.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Accelerated Mobile Pages are an important ranking factor, especially for digital publishers. With AMP, you could enjoy a wide range of mobile search engine result benefits.
From boosting load times to enhancing server performance, everything must be covered in your AMP strategy. The most optimal way to gauge and monitor the results of your AMP strategy is by using Google Search Consoles’ Accelerated Mobile Pages feature.
Analyzing Search Traffic is one of the most useful benefits of Google Search Console. It has several important subsections:
This report gives you details about the URL performance in search results. It provides you with information on how often a particular URL is clicked, how it ranks, and the click-through ratio of the keywords that you use.
With the data that you’ll collect, you can detect:
- Pages with low CTR
- High-performing pages
- The number of clicks and impressions per keyword
- Performance fluctuations
Internal links are vital for SEO, and using the GSE Internal Links report can help you analyze and improve your strategy.
Revamping your internal linking map based on the insights you obtain in the Search Console will help you immensely improve your SEO and link-building campaign.
Google can issue a manual action against your site if one of their human reviewers established that the pages on the site are not compliant with Google’s webmaster quality guidelines and don’t follow the latest EAT regulations. Most of the issues reported can result in lower ranking or omission from search results.
If your site is affected by a manual action, Google will notify you in the Manual Actions report and the Search Console message center.
If you have a multilingual website or you target a particular country, you probably use hreflang tags. The International Targeting feature of Google Search Console helps you to evaluate your hreflang tags, and identify the errors that they contain.
The mobile usability report lets you know about the problems your website users may face while accessing and using your website via mobile devices.
With mobile-first indexing becoming the norm and people browsing the internet predominantly on their mobile phones, you want your UX on mobile to be impeccable. The GSC console analysis will help you identify any issues and fix them in a timely manner.
The Google Index segment of GSC can help you find index bloat instances, discover if CSS is blocked, or and implement removal of URLs. When you are faced with penalties, Google Index provides you with data that tells you more about your content’s performance in the SERPs and what may have caused the penalization.
You can find out whether your website experienced an instance of index bloat by comparing the data that you get from the Index Status of Google Search Console to the data from Google Analytics.
If there are some pages on your website that you want to keep private, you can use Google Search Console.
This tool will notify Google about the links you don’t want to be indexed, the links you want to hide from search results, the links you want to conceal now but index them in the future, and the URLs that include thin content. This makes it invaluable in managing old content on your website and removing it without affecting ranking.
From including 301 redirects to visualizing your website the same way Google does – the Crawl section of the Search Console will certainly be beneficial for your SEO campaigns.
The Crawl stats report tells you how often Google crawls your site, and when they crawl it. Crawl Stats has three sections:
- Pages crawled per day
- Kilobytes downloaded per day.
- Time spent downloading a page.
The quicker Google crawls your site, the better it is for its indexing. Furthermore, if your site’s crawl rate is on the rise, your rankings will rise as a result as well. On the contrary, if the lines in the graph are going down, you might have problems that need to be resolved on your site, and your SEO rankings may be lower as well.
This tool delivers data on how Google fetches and renders your URLs. You just need to enter the URL and press the Fetch button to see if it connects, redirects or encounters errors.
There’s a file embedded in your website that is often neglected in SEO optimization – the robots.txt. Small alterations into this file can provide you with a huge SEO boost.
The Google Search Console’s Robots.txt Tester tool helps you learn why Googlebot is blocked from the URLs of your website.
Sitemaps are an essential part of every SEO strategy and the Google Search Console as well. From the tags exclusion to categories removal, everything is incorporated in the Sitemaps subsection.
With a sitemap, you show Google how the information is organized within your pages. You can also place important details in the metadata, images, videos, and podcasts, and even refer to the rate with which the page is updated.
There are four main reasons why a sitemap enhances your site’s crawlability:
- The more pages you have, the simpler it is for Googlebot to miss any modifications or additions.
- You’ll discover “isolated” pages, and a page that has less inbound links from other pages is tougher for a web crawler to detect.
- Newer sites have fewer backlinks, which makes them less discoverable.
- Your site is using rich media content and/or shows up in Google News. In such a case, your sitemap makes it easier for Google to format and display your website in search results.
The best way to resolve the errors in your Sitemaps report is to find the root cause of the error. Even if your website has more than 100,000+ pages with different sitemaps, only one uppercase letter in the entry is enough to wreck thousands of your URLs.
Core Web Vitals
The Core Web Vitals report can provide valuable insights on the performance of your pages. As we know, Google values user experience above all and CWVs are amongst the signals it uses to identify how well you treat your website visitors.
If your results are far from perfect, you must take immediate actions to fix performance and page speed issues.
Using Google Search Console is one of the most beneficial ways to recognize problems, repair them, and even uncover new opportunities for SEO and conversion rate growth. You’ll find search queries and figure out the problems that can hurt your SEO strategy.
Once you figure out the toolset, you can use it to your advantage. You can use the data to improve your articles, pages, get more backlinks, and optimize your website better.
And optimizing your website for better conversions and search ranking is pivotal! The more visible your site is on Google, the more clicks it will get, and if everything is done right on your pages, you’ll get more conversions.