How to use Google Search Console for SEO?
Search engine optimization is no longer a surprise to anyone today. Which position your website ranks on the search engine results page is of great importance. This is because it helps you reach new users and increase profits from sales of the products you offer. However, the order in which URLs appear in Google search results does not happen by chance – Google has developed a number of algorithms that it uses to determine the order of pages in the browser. If your website appears at the top of their list – you do not have to worry about lack of traffic. However, if it is not displayed at the top – it is a sign that it is time to reach for more effective internet marketing. Google Webmaster Tools, or the current Google Search Console, will certainly come in handy when it comes to SEO. In the following article we tell you what it is and how to use it. Read the article and learn how to use the reports available in GSC for SEO purposes.
Google Webmaster Tools and websites
Google Webmasters is a free platform that was created to gain better search engine visibility. Google Webmaster Tools is also a previously used term that has been superseded by the platform’s current name, Google Search Console. With tools like Search Console, you can, among other things, check the indexing status of your site in Google search. It also allows you to optimize the content on your website for SEO. Currently, it has become one of the most commonly used tools by webmasters. With its help, you will attract more potential customers to your website – and it’s completely free. You can use Google’s tool for free – all you have to do is register and go through verification. Then, with the help of available reports and testing tools, thanks to Search Console, you can display your website at the top of search results. GSC is currently one of the most useful tools for webmasters, which was created to solve problems and optimize websites for search engines. However, this is not the end of the possibilities of its use.
Google Search Console – key features
The Google Search platform is the primary tool used by webmasters to take action to drive traffic to a site. It is also a great complement for those using Google Analytics. With the help of Search Console you can:
- Receive notifications of issues that affect your site – including penalties and filters;
- Get a full list of links leading to your site – and those going out;
- Evaluate the visibility of your site – over any given time period;
- Monitor your site’s traffic – including the number of hits, the number of times your site is displayed in organic results, CTR, etc;
- Upload site maps – including a map of the graphics used on the site;
- Know the most important keywords – up to 999 free items that Internet users type in when searching for products using Google search engine. Additionally, you can also access a list of ranked keywords;
- Eliminate website errors – e.g. caused by a 404 error.
All of the above-mentioned functions positively influence the display and visibility of the website on the web. By implementing the above actions on your website, you will be sure that Internet users will be able to find your site more easily.
Google Search Console – how to get started?
Using Google Search Console, despite appearances, is not as complicated as it may seem. However, to log into the platform you will need:
- A Google account;
- Correctly implemented code for the website.
Next, you can proceed with the Google Search Console account registration process. For this, you will need to choose one of the service types – domain or prefix. Both versions of the sites differ in protocol, among other things.
Registering an account in Google Search Console
The next step is to verify the service, which can be done right away, or later. In case it takes too long – you can always stop and resume it another time. After a few days of completing the verification, the service data should already be available. Verification is possible using your Google Analytics account, and once it’s complete, all you need to do is pair the two tools. To do this, log into Google Analytics, go to the “service settings” tab, and then move the slider to link the two accounts. This will give you access to data from GSC in Google Analytics. It’s worth noting, however, that this doesn’t work both ways – there is no way to integrate with GA in GSC. According to many webmasters, however, for a richer perspective, it’s best to master GCR at least at a basic level. Why? The reason is that unfortunately, from GA you will not get full access to all the tools offered by GSC.
Is it worth to use Google Search Console?
GSC is a real mine of information, which will be useful for anyone who cares about positioning their website in search engine results. Available reports and tools allow you to:
- Understand the progress and effects of indexing your website;
- Determining the position of the website in search engine results;
- Associating a web address with specific keywords used by web users;
- Creating a database of incoming links which build traffic to the website.
Useful Google Search Console tools
Below we present individual tools offered by Search Console. You will also learn how to use them in practice.
1. Performance Report
It provides information that relates to the performance of a website in the search results that appear in a search engine. Therefore, it is an invaluable aid when optimizing your site for SEO. From the report, you can know:
Page views – determine the number of people who may have seen a link to your site in search results. This indicator is calculated, among others, on the basis of scrolling of search results;
Page clicks – determine the number of clicks on the page, which are the result of the search engine redirecting the Internet user to one of the URLs belonging to the website (except for paid impressions);
Average position – that is, the place in the ranking of URLs within the site that the site received as a result of a query typed into the browser. Its value is averaged.
CTR – or click-through rate, which is calculated by dividing the number of clicks on a page by the number of its impressions in search engine results.
All of them may be analyzed in any selected time unit. The analysis may cover not only traditional search results, but also graphics, video, etc. that appear in them. The results of the report can be applied not only to the entire website, but also in terms of evaluating the effectiveness of individual pages, phrases used, location and devices on which it is possible to receive search results.
Effectiveness report – how to use it in practice?
It should be remembered that the analysis must have a specific purpose. For example, we can use it to determine whether the traffic on the site is generated as a result of typing a particular word in the search engine. To this end, you should start by determining which keywords are likely to generate interest in your website among Internet users. After getting familiar with the list of the most frequently used keywords, the next step is to analyze the phrases that contain the name of the product or service. It should be checked if they definitely evoke reactions of visitors to a given web address – including clicks and displays. If the number of clicks is lower than the number of displays – it proves that the potential customer is not interested in the website. The Internet user has seen it, but has not decided to visit it.
The effectiveness report can also be applied to specific subpages. Thanks to this we can make sure that our website definitely appears in search results. If this is not the case, it means that the URL requires immediate action to increase visibility in the search engine. For this purpose, you can apply, among others, keywords that you can use when writing blog articles. Their presence will raise the attractiveness of the site and increase traffic to it. It is not surprising that many online businesses place specialized advice articles in their domains. Even if they do not directly encourage people to make a purchase – the presence of phrases included in them increases the chances of the website to appear at the top of the search engine results.
2. Google indexation status
This report provides useful information about the indexing status of your site. This tool allows access to a graph of the process, which is a great convenience for webmasters. This is a great help for webmasters as it allows them to locate possible errors and eliminate them. The report also provides insight into which pages need to be corrected. The status also helps to avoid the risk of a subpage being excluded from indexing by Google.
Status report – how to use it in practice?
Sometimes it happens that despite publishing a lot of attractive content, the traffic on a website doesn’t increase. This is because it depends on Google indexation, which the faster it is, the better the positioning of the website will be. Speeding up the indexing process, which can be done from the Google Search Console, will help. To do this, just go to the “Scanning” section, then click on “Get as Google”. After entering the address, click on “Download”. When the address with the new content appears in the list (marked as “completed”), we then click on “Ask to be indexed”. This will ensure that the content published on the site is indexed faster.
3. Links analysis
This is another report that tells us what links (internal and external), appear across the site. Google Search Console users get access to 4 reports from which you can read information about:
- Most linked pages – this will help you determine which link is most popular. This in turn will help in well published content. This can also be used for the marketing department such as linking to other sites, bloggers, etc.
- Sites with the most inbound links – that is, domains that link to your site. The most effective are those links that come from a variety of addresses;
- Existing internal links – it helps to analyze the website for links that lead to particular subpages of the domain. As a rule, the more of them there are, the worse it affects the positioning of the site;
- Quantity of incoming links – in the form of a list, which lists addresses of the most frequently linked subpages of your domain.
Link analysis – how to use in practice?
Links are a very important source of information, which may be used in many ways in SEO. This report allows you to monitor the profile of links that are located within the domain, or that lead to it. It can also be successfully used to watch the activities of competitors. Valid links, anchors etc. used by them are a valuable source of information. Based on the report you can also prevent deposition of the site and prevent unwanted spam.
Other capabilities of Google Search Console
GSC is a tool that undoubtedly enables you to optimize your websites for SEO – and in many ways. In addition to the previously mentioned tools, it is also worth taking into account the report discussing the handling of the address on mobile devices. Thanks to it, we can find out what errors occur when using the website on mobile devices. This helps to eliminate scripts that do not want to load on the phone. This is extremely helpful – especially now that a computer is no longer needed to view web content. The Google Serach Console report will help you improve the opening of the address on a phone or other mobile devices. thus, the website will become more attractive – from the point of view of algorithms used by Google.
However, this is not the end. Google Search Console also allows you to upload a sitemap generated by your website. This tool promotes quick indexation of the content posted on the website. Thus, it also allows you to detect existing errors on it, such as those concerning outdated files. Uploaded sitemaps help in website positioning, as they are helpful for search engine robots. Finally, it is worth mentioning that Google Search Console also requires constant monitoring. All because of Google’s algorithms, which are constantly updated. By using it regularly, you can easily spot irregularities that affect the lower interest of users in your website.