There are many types of people who own websites and for various reasons. What ties them all together is their goal of growth- more traffic, more clicks, more conversions. But to amplify a site’s performance, you must measure its current state. Google Search Console helps with that– it is a free platform by Google that enables site owners to track their website’s performance on the Google search engine.
The Google Search console is for anyone who relies on Google’s search engine to drive organic traffic. The platform houses indispensable tools and resources that helps you get a comprehensive look at how Google views your website. Moreover, it tracks changes in visitors over a period of time, shows which keywords your webpages are ranking for, monitors technical issues such as crawl errors, and more.
Analyze keyword performance with Search Console
GSC’s performance report gives the website owners deep insight into the performance of their webpages in Google search results. The report shows results across 4 metrics:
- Clicks- Every time a user clicks on your URLs and is taken to your website from the Google search engine.
- Impressions- Every time your site’s URL appears on the first page of search engine results for the user. It will not count as an impression if the URL appears on the second page or beyond unless the user actually looks through the list on those pages.
- Click through rates– A metric that shows how many of the users that see your URL actually clicks it. The CTR percentage is found by dividing clicks by impressions.
- Average position for keywords– This metric shows the position number in which your URL is displayed in the search engine results.
You can apply various filters to customize the report for better insights. Also note that these performance reports can be viewed at individual URL or multiple URL level.
While Google Search Console gives you a pretty good idea about how your pages are performing for certain keywords, it can also help you identify the negative keywords- these are the keywords that your URL is ranking for, but it shouldn’t because the content of your URL doesn’t meet the user intent of that keyword.
Ranking for negative keywords can increase your bounce rate, i.e, it encourage visitors to exit your site for a more relevant website. By knowing what your negative keywords are you can create a new post, or update your existing one, with relevant content that matches the intent of the keyword.
Identify and rectify crawl errors with Google Search Console
Crawl errors can hurt your website’s ranking and also affect the user experience. Google Search console monitors each page on your website for any possible crawl errors. This could be common errors such as 401, 404, or 500 or accidentally blocking crawling access to certain pages. Google Console also stays on the look-out for any sudden technical aberrations that may impact the flow of traffic to your website, such as server overload or site configuration flaws. Note that, the search console only shows site errors that are important to Google, and can affect your site’s ranking in Google’s search index.
Check for mobile usability with Google Search Console
Almost 2 billion people access the Internet through mobile. It’s critical that all your web-pages pristinely work on the smaller screens of smart-phones and all mobile devices. Google Search Console tracks the performance of up to 1000 website pages on mobile and lists any found issues on their mobile usability section. It will check to ensure that all your pages are loading quickly, are responsive, and that all the text and images properly fit on the small screen of the mobile. For all the affected sites, you can click on the individual pages to see the errors in detail.
Monitor the health of your link profile with Google Search Console
Link building is the art of accumulating high quality links, known as backlinks or external links, with the goal of ranking better and attracting targeted traffic. The link report within the Google Search Console, gives you an overview of both external links and internal links. Adding to that, it shows which websites are linking to your sites using which keywords. You can use this information to analyse the quality of those links, and even make your internal linking structure stronger. For example, you can link your high authority pages to your underperforming pages, to spread some ‘link juice’ onto them.
Identify penalties with Google search console
Google issues something called Manual action towards websites that are deemed to not comply with their webmaster quality guidelines. This is Google’s way of punishing by demoting websites or web pages for spammy behavior. Manual action is usually given to websites that intentionally or unintentionally engage in activities such as buying backlinks, publishing copied or low-quality content, keyword stuffing or questionable redirects. You can also be issued a penalty for things that someone else might have done to your site such as hacking or spamming your content with a lot of low-quality comments and links going towards shady sites. Google Search Console will alert you towards any manual action penalty your site or pages might have received.
Google Search Console is a helpful SEO tool to boost the ranking of your webpages. It keeps the health of your site in check and tracks its progress through the Google’s search results for different keywords. It’s a tool that should be used often so you can gain broader insights about how far your website has grown and what steps can be implemented to take your site to new heights.