There is no dearth of tools when it comes to enhancing the SEO of websites. Several of these are paid resources, while the others are unpaid tools that come with a unique set of metrics to take care of all aspects of SEO. One such tool that is free to use and can handle a large chunk of your SEO and keyword tracking requirements is Google Search Console.
Google Search Console can be described as moderately easy to understand and use, and when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation you might need more insights. You could either take help from a professional SEO marketing agency for the purpose or follow our guide to understand 5 ways you can use Google Console to improve SEO.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a free tool built and offered by Google that allows businesses to optimise their websites for higher search engine rankings. Besides providing a ton of crucial information needed for augmenting your SEO performance, Google Search Console also answers several queries related to the subject.
For instance, you can easily track which keywords your website performs best for, what is your search engine ranking for these keywords, what is the click-through rate for your website after visitors type in a query. Google Search Console also offers a ton of other valuable insights such as backlinks to your website, crawling errors on Google, mobile-friendliness of your website, and so on.
You can even get answers to both simple and advanced queries such as Google’s guidelines and violations. In all, this free tool is a powerhouse of information and is a must-have resource for any business looking to make a mark on Google’s search result pages.
How to Set Up Google Search Console?
Setting up Google Search Console is pretty simple. Simply visit Google Search Console’s website, create an account (or sign in if you have Google Analytics already set up for your business).
Once logged in, you need to select the property type that you want to work with the SEO of – domain or URL prefix. Google will ask you to verify whether or not you own the website you have entered information on. Google Analytics tracking ID is the most common medium for the purpose (you can log in to your Google Analytics account, go to Admin>>Property Settings>>Basic Settings>> Tracking ID).
That’s all you need to get started with Google Search Console. The tool is accessible directly from the Google Analytics home page as well, on the sidebar.
The Basics of Using Google Search Console
Before we get started on the nitty-gritty of understanding Google Search Console’s significance for SEO, we must learn about the basics of this resource. As mentioned above, you can use the platform to find out what keywords your site or content ranks for. Secondly, it is possible to see how users are interacting with your website in the Google SERPs.
Also, you can find out where your pages are ranking for chosen keywords and how many of your website pages are in Google’s index. You can easily submit a page from your website for Indexing, and identify crawl errors and unindexable pages using this method. You can even submit a sitemap, ensure mobile responsiveness of your webpages and look at various backlinks to your site.
5 Tips on Using Google Search Console to Improve SEO
Let’s face it, getting high rankings on SERPs matters a lot, and Google Search Console can help you optimise your pages for the best SEO performance. A single dashboard on the platform allows you to manage all your basic SEO metrics including search queries driving the most traffic to your website, pages generating the most impressions and clicks, average click-through rate (CTR), average search engine result ranking of your page, and so on.
There are a few tips and tricks you could keep in mind when using Google Search Console for this purpose:
Diving into a Combination of Important SEO Metrics
While some experts believe that it is beneficial to look at only one metric out of all the ones described in Google Search Console, our bet would be to look at their combinations. Clicks have emerged as the most widely pursued numeric goals for websites. However, combining clicks with click-through rate (CTR), impressions and average position could give you a much more well-rounded insight.
Looking at just one metric might sometimes mislead you into thinking that you are performing better or poorer than reality. When looking at a combination of data instead, it is easy to surmise where you actually stand.
Every Section of the Website is Important
The Performance Report on Google Search Console is like a plethora of information waiting to be exploited. Each section of your website is usually analysed in helpful detail, and it is in your benefit to keep a tab on all of these insights.
Make sure that you use the filter button to view or remove each section, such as “blog”, “services”, and so on. You can view key metrics such as CTR, clicks, and so on, filter them based on the targeted location and devices and view their demand over time. The idea is to get a better picture overall in terms of understanding the intent and performance of keywords and the user’s response to them.
Keep a Tab on Local Keyword Performance
The “Exact URL” page filter in Google Search Console helps you distinguish between the standard organic clicks to a page and local organic clicks to a page. Such granular term information can play a key role in advancing local SEO performance, which forms a backbone of your website’s overall performance window.
These days, Google is focussing on hyper-localisation when it comes to search engine results, and those who are playing the game with a focus on accurate city-level or town-level keywords are winning the game better.
Keywords that you assume could work for bigger areas could end up ranking quite poorly at the local level, for there is a lack of local keyword optimisation. What you need to do is pay special attention to geographic filters in Google Search Console, and optimise your content keeping Google’s preference for hyper-localisation in mind.
Google Search Console allows you to check your results relative to your biggest competitors, so why not use this feature to its fullest? Keep a tab on what kind of tactics they are deploying which you might have given a miss. Give a tour to your competitor’s insights now and then for some inspiration, and you will find that these ideas are much better than what you could come across in books and blogs.
The Mobile vs Desktop Traffic
Most people tend to ignore the fact that Google Search Console presents device comparisons within its report for a reason. The majority of web traffic for most businesses usually comes from mobile devices. Therefore, mobile responsiveness forms a major part of improved SEO for any website these days. If your SEO game is working, it should ideally reflect in the “devices” section, in the form of greater traffic from mobile phones.
Thinking of Getting more from Google Search Console? Contact an Expert!
Google Search Console could seem pretty easy to set up, but a tad bit detailed when it comes to navigating it for the best insights. In our opinion, it is best to get in touch with a professional SEO marketing agency to take care of enhancing your SEO performance through relevant tactics and using Google Search Console to monitor outcomes.