At the forefront of the SEO combat zone lies a highly-advanced toolset that helps websites improve their SERP ranking and visibility – Google Search Console!
The utility SEO tool provides you with a thorough analysis of the people who visit your site daily. 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 are using to find your site, and above all else, what makes your site successful or vice versa.
Every successful SEO professional and webmaster has this mighty tool at his/her disposal. Once you understand how powerful GSC is, you’ll want to jump in and examine how each functionality can benefit your search rankings.
In this brief guide, we’ll explain what does Google Search Console exactly do and how it can help your website along with 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 SERPs. Of course, the Search Console is not necessary to be included in Google Search results, however, Search Console helps you grasp and ameliorate how Google perceives your website.
Search Console offers tools and reports for the following activities:
- Confirmation that Google can locate and crawl your website.
- Fixing indexing problems and re-indexing requests for new or updated content.
- 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.
- Receiving notifications when Google comes across indexing, spam, or other black hat concerns on your website.
- Showing you the sites that link to your website.
- Troubleshooting AMP problems, mobile usability, and other Search features.
Anyone that owns a website should use Google Search Console, it’s as simple as that! As an entrepreneur, you should be informed about it, get familiar with the SEO basics, and know the Google Search features. SEO professionals need GSC to monitor web ranking, optimize the website for better ranking, and make data-driven decisions about the search engine appearance of your site.
A site administrator 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 issues.
The benefits described above are precisely what Google Search Console does to improve your website.
When you work with SEO, it’s vital to understand search engine visibility, impressions, and the number of clicks that you’ll get as a result of a Google search. The number of impressions and clicks that you get from Google determines the number of your web links that the users opened while they performed their Google searches.
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.
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 the purpose, you can use the following tutorial from WPBeginner.
Filtering out Your Data with GSC
GSC provides you with numerous ways to view and filter your data. These filters are extremely useful, but also complicated as well if you’re still getting acquainted with the tool.
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 now provides you with 16 months of data! You can choose from a group of predefined time frames or a custom data range.
In the same manner, as with search type, you can also compare two date ranges by accessing the “Compare” tab.
Queries, page, country, device, search appearance
If you click on “New” next to the Date filter, you can insert an additional five 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
GSC can help you successfully improve your SEO. 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, the demographics of the visits. Those reports are not only helpful for SEO practitioners, but they’re also 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 SERPs. From structured data to checking duplicate meta tags, this report is crucial for your SEO campaign.
Structured data is a way of delivering information about the content of your pages. It helps Google to precisely comprehend your content, and deliver more relevant search results for the users as a result. 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 fix them with your developers. Even if structured data is not a direct ranking factor and ignoring the errors will not affect your rankings, you’ll provide your web visitors a much nicer experience if you fix these errors.
Rich cards 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. This results in a boost in sales and traffic.
Data highlighter improves your content in the same way as structured data does. The data highlighter is that it does not require writing code. You just need to follow Google’s directions to highlight the specific data.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Classified among the most useful ranking factors is Accelerated Mobile Pages. 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.
Search Traffic is one of the most useful areas of Google Search Console. It has several important subsections:
This report gives you details about the URL frequency 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
Internal links are vital for SEO. This is where the Internal Links report steps in! You need to link to the pages that summarize the context of your website. Revamping your internal linking map will help in immensely improving 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. 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.
The Google Index segment of GSC can help you find index bloat instances, discover if CSS is blocked, or removal of URLs. When you baffle with penalties, Google Index provides you the data that tells you more about your content’s performance in the SERPs.
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.
From including 301 redirects to visualizing your website the same way Google does – the Crawl segment 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 environment. The small alterations of 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 our website.
Sitemaps are an essential part of every SEO strategy and the Google Search Console. 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 circumstances a sitemap will enhance 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 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.
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 for 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.