A Beginners Introduction to Google Search Console

2018/11/09 08:00

search console

If you want to drive more traffic to your new website, you’re going to need to get acquainted with Google Search Console.

You can build the most attractive and engaging website in the world but if nobody knows about it, what’s the point? There are millions of websites on the internet, which means that businesses and brands need to do everything possible to ensure that new and existing customers know where and how to find them online.

Search engines are an integral part of our online browsing habits, which makes search engine optimisation (SEO) more important than ever. In fact, Google processes around 40,000 search queries every single second.

Fortunately, Google has made it easy to make sure your website is ticking all the right boxes to be crawled, indexed and found by your target audience.

Once known as Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console helps you to monitor and maintain your presence in search engine results.

This is not to say that you need to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google’s results though – it just means optimising your website becomes a little easier.

Why Use Google Search Console

There are a number of reasons why it’s beneficial to sign up for Google Search Console, including:

  • Ensure that Google is able to access the content on your website
  • Make sure that your website is running at optimal levels without any errors
  • Monitor and deal with spam and malware that could affect your site’s performance
  • Discover which search queries are leading users to your website
  • Make sure that your website is optimised for mobile and performing well too
  • Keep track of the content that is performing the best

And best of all, you can access all of this information for free!

Getting Started with Search Console

Setting your website up on Google Search Console is very simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Sign up for a Google account. If you don’t have one already, you will need to create a Google account and login to Search Console here: https://search.google.com/search-console/about
  2. Add a new property. Your website will be referred to as a Property in Search Console and you will need to add a new property in order to start monitoring your website’s performance. You will see an “Add a Property” button that you can click on to do this.
  3. Verify your website. Since anybody can add a property to their Search Console, Google requires website owners to verify that they actually own the website they’re adding. There are several different methods that you can use to verify your website but the easiest is probably to upload an HTML file to the root folder of your website.

Once you hit the Verify button, you will be able to start optimising your website and accessing important data.

What You Can Do With Google Search Console

goals in analytics

Now that your website has been added to Search Console, this is what you will be able to do.

  • Submit a sitemap. The easier it is for Google to understand and crawl your website, the better the chances of it being indexed correctly. Your sitemap is a basic roadmap of your website and by submitting it, you will provide Google with an excellent overview of what your website is all about.
  • Discover the keywords that are leading people to your website. Knowing which keywords are currently linked to your website will be a good starting point for your SEO and keyword strategies. If your website is being associated with irrelevant keywords, it can end up harming your website’s reputation and push it further down in Google’s search results.
  • Identify the pages that are driving the most traffic to your website. Knowing which pages are performing really well will allow you to apply those learnings to the rest of your pages and in turn, boost traffic volumes for your entire website.
  • Understand where your visitors are located. Google Search Console can also provide you with more insights on the people visiting your website, including the countries that are driving the most traffic to your website, data that is especially useful if you’re targeting more than one country.
  • Learn more about the devices being used to access your website. Even though it’s imperative for your website to be optimised for mobile, it’s still helpful to know exactly how many people are accessing your website from a desktop versus a mobile device.
  • Speaking of mobile. Another useful feature of Google Search Console is that you can keep an eye on how well your website functions on mobile – something that’s of particular importance after the rollout of mobile-first indexing.
  • Discover which sites are linking to yours. Backlinks refer to websites that are linking back to yours and are an important SEO signal. Knowing which websites are linking to yours will allow you to make sure that only high-quality websites are being associated with your own site.
  • Identify broken links. Since broken links will result in a bad user experience, it’s important to fix them as soon as possible to stop it from affecting your ranking in Google’s Search Results. Search Console will allow you to keep track of and repair any broken links that your website might have.
  • Keep an eye on security issues. If there’s one thing that has made the headlines this year, it’s online security. Ensuring that your customer data is protected, regardless of the size of your website, is incredibly important and Search Console makes it easier to keep a closer eye on potential security issues.

As you can see, Google Search Console is a free tool that can provide you with a wealth of useful information. This is a must-have tool for all website owners!