Jun 06, 2023
Are you looking for some guidance on setting up and getting the most out of Google Search Console? Well, you've come to the right place! 🤗
Google Search Console is straightforward and easy to use. But, if you've used Google Analytics or Google Ads before, you know that what you see at first glance is just the tip of the iceberg.
Here at Gretel, we use Google Search Console to keep track of the keywords our users search for and to check links that bring traffic to our site. We also use it to make sure our pages are indexed properly and to catch any errors.
💡TIP: if you have indexing problems, you can read our article to improve the positioning of your articles!
First things first, let's start with a quick intro for those who haven't set it up yet:
Setting up Google Search Console is a breeze (promised🤞!)! Here are the simple steps you'll need to follow:
After following these simple steps, you'll be all set to start tracking information from your visitors! 😊
When you've set up Google Search Console, you'll have access to loads of information about how your website is doing.
Here are some of the most important things you can keep track of:
But let's take a closer look at each of the sections we find in Google Search Console:
In the “Performance” section you’ll find the general situation of our URLs and how different parameters have evolved over time:
In this section, you can choose to look at current performance or compare performance over periods of time, i.e.: current 7 days vs previous 7 days, past 3 months vs previous 3 months, etc.
Below this first graph we find relevant information in different tabs:
In Google Search Console, you can find out how people found your website and what keywords they used. This information can help you improve your website's performance.
You can see which keywords led people to your website and which pages they visited. The most important information is the ranking of the keyword according to Google. Here are two interesting ways to use this information:
> Pages 📰
Here you’ll find what URLs the visitors landed on specifically after their search queries. You can dive more thoroughly into the metrics of a particular URL by clicking on it in the Google Search Console list.
> Countries/ devices🌎
You’ll be able to identify where the traffic to your website comes from.
URL Inspection is a tool in Google Search Console that checks a specific URL on your website for any problems.
It lets you know if the URL is on Google and if it's not, you can ask to add it. It also checks if the URL is properly covered and if it has good mobile usability. This is very important for website SEO and Google's organic traffic algorithms.
The Page indexing section of Google Search Console tells you if there are any problems with Google crawling specific URLs on your website. This is where you confirm that your whole site is being added to Google’s Search Engine.
If there are issues, this is a good place to get information on what needs to be fixed with your website. Pages that are not being properly indexed can hurt your overall web presence and business.
You can request Google to index them and solve the problems.
Remember that if you have an indexing problem, you may need to improve the content of your articles. Check out our guide to do so.
Submitting a sitemap to Google tells them which pages and URL's are important to show in search results. In Google Search Console, you can submit your sitemap by providing the URL where it’s located on your website (e.g. www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap).
If you don’t have a sitemap, there are a few ways to create one. You can use a plugin in WordPress, ask your web developer to create one, or use a Sitemap Generator tool.
Google has rolled out a whole new algorithm, as they do a few times a year, but this one is a core update that takes into consideration page experience. In Google Search Console they now have a few sections dedicated to Experience.
> Page Experience
Page experience gives several stats, particularly revolving around how many pages on your website have a “good page experience”. You can dive into sections they provide to correct the issues, such as Core Web Vitals.
> Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals also provide a global view of your website; however, instead of showing coverage issues when it comes to pages being indexed properly (or not), they show if any of your web pages need fixing on a technical level. The details they provide are definitely more for developers to address, which again is why you pay them the big bucks.
> Mobile Usability
Another key component of modern websites is for them to be mobile-friendly. Mobile Usability gives you specific points to address if / when you have issues with your website being mobile-friendly.
The final topic we'll cover is links. In Google Search Console, you can export a list of the links that point to your website. This gives you an opportunity to find redirects that are not relevant to you, outdated profiles, or pages that could be improved 👀.
You'll be able to see which pages have the most links, which pages have the most redirecting links, which pages are most linked, and the text that usually appears in the links. This information is very valuable for understanding the state of your link-building efforts!
Now that you have Google Search Console set up, let's take a look at some of the benefits of using this tool.
Google Search Console is a useful tool that provides multiple benefits. It helps us improve our online visibility and positioning, and identify areas of improvement to keep our website profitable. It also helps us improve the user experience by understanding what terms are driving traffic to the website. We can then improve meta titles and descriptions to match demand and create tailored content to meet these search needs.
Comparing key metrics over time allows you to draw conclusions about what is working and what is not. For example, you may see many impressions for a particular keyword, but few clicks. This could be due to keyword positioning or the page’s meta description. Adjusting the meta description can entice people to click on the link in the first place.
It is also important to look at the growth of branded keywords, which shows that people are getting to know your brand and directly seeking it out online. This is great for any company to build upon, along with keywords and particularly long-tail keywords.
In summary, the accumulation of insights from various sources will help give a clear picture of what is going on with your marketing efforts and where to focus your energy in the future.
Google Search Console is an awesome tool for website owners 😍. By getting it up and running and using the sweet intel it provides, you can boost your website's performance in search results, give users an even better experience, and get some killer insights into your website's performance. So why not give it a shot today?
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