Are you looking to maximize your website’s visibility on Google Search? With Google Search Console, you can easily optimize your site and increase your search presence.
Search Console Tips
Search Console was renamed from Google Webmaster Tools in 2015.
You can reach Search Console at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home, the Search Console tips included in this page are updated regularly to reflect the most current thinking about the subject. If you have suggestions or tips to include, please free to comment below.
What is the Search Console?
Search Console is a free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) service provided by Google as part of its ongoing drive to improve the quality of website listings. The service is targeted at webmasters (people who manage websites) and requires a moderate understanding of internet technology to use effectively.
It allows webmasters to submit XML sitemaps to Google for indexing, check the status of those indexes, and optimize the visibility of websites under their control.
Why use Search Console?
Search Console allows webmasters to review a significant number of results and is effectively a website owners guide to what Google understands about a website.
With Search Console, you can:
- verify that Google’s robot spiders can access your content;
- submit new content for crawling;
- remove old content you no longer want to show in Google’s results pages;
- monitor content that delivers visual results;
- maintain your website with minimal disruption;
- monitor malware or spam issues;
- see which queries caused your site to appear;
- review rich search results;
- find out who is linking to your website;
- verify your mobile website is working;
Who is Search Console for?
Everybody who owns a website and wants Google to find it should use Search Console.
A business owner can be aware of the basics and know that their staff is working towards a common goal. Even if you hire a professional to manage your website or a marketing specialist to perform your SEO, you can log into Seach Console to see their results.
You can also use the information in the Search Console to influence your business decisions and perform sophisticated marketing analyses other Google tools like Analytics, Google Trends, and Google Ads.
An SEO specialist can focus the online marketing for a website and monitor search traffic. Search Console allows the person in charge of Search Engine Optimization to make informed decisions and improve how your website appears in search results.
A web developer can use the tool to help monitor and resolve common issues with website markups, such as errors in structured data and HTML code. Even app developers will benefit from finding out how mobile users find your app using Google Search
Search Console Tips for Business
You Can Keep an Eye on Your Team
If you set up Search Console as soon as a project has launched, you can log in whenever you like and review not only the number of errors Google is reporting but also how quickly your web development team is addressing them.
Export Your Data and Learn About Your Business
You can export up to 1,000 of the search queries that you’ve appeared in and take a deep dive into impressions, clicks, click-through rates, and your page position within Google’s results. With this data, you can devote more time to getting the clicks you need and less money buying Google Ads.
Connect to Google Analytics for More Data
If you connect Search Console to Google Analytics, you’ll have access to far more information under your Queries tag and you’ll see which content on your site needs improvement. Monthly Search Volumes, with low click-through rate, is a sure sign that you need to focus some effort on those pages.
Tell Google More About your Website Content
With the Data Highlighter tool in the Search Console, you can customize a website’s appearance on search result pages. So now, you can really make a page stand out, and improve the page ranking directly.
Learn What to Sell
If you’re selling online, pay close attention to the Search Appearance in Search Console. You’ll see what keywords you’re already ranking for and you’ll see how far away you are from being on the front page of Google. You’ll also see which products (or services) aren’t generating traffic at all.
Is your SEO provider helping You Grow?
If you pay attention to your click-through rate for pages that you already rank well on, you can determine if you’re getting seen by searchers but they’re not clicking onto your site. That’s a sure sign that somebody in your company needs to optimize your page titles, provide better deep linking, and improve descriptions or website URLs to get more people to click through.
Search Console Tips for Marketers
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Google checks your website as part of the tool to ensure that your site includes a responsive design, that it’s quick to load, that the font is legible, and of course that everything fits onto the device. Best of all, it provides you with the specific pages that have issues, and what needs correcting!
Use the Search Console to Plan Your Writing
Search Console can be an absolute gold mine for planning your blog posts. Go read the Search Analytics (under Search Traffic) and review the Queries. You can see all the searches Google’s already trying to send to your traffic, along with the keywords you’ll need to write a great article.
Which Keywords are Working?
It wasn’t long ago that Google Analytics gave you details about which keywords were working on your website, but these days that information is stored in the Search Console. You can use the reports to determine which keywords that need more attention, and which are working the way you want them to.
Which Keywords are Almost Working?
Click the positions box on the top of your search queries results to see which of your keywords are appearing in the lower section of the first page, or at the top of the second search result page. This will tell you where to focus your energy by identifying which keywords are almost your best.
How to Improve your Keywords
If you find any page that ranks, take a close look at what phrases it’s ranking for and then explore Google Ads to find better phrases. Your pages will shoot up the results pages.
Which Pages Didn’t Get Indexed?
You can quickly view sitewide reports that’ll show you which pages weren’t indexed as well as the reasons why. It allows you to quickly notice mistakes and make changes immediately, so now you’re able to see if a page has been excluded due to canonicals, no-index tag, robots.txt or simply haven’t been crawled.
Finding Duplicate Content on Your Website
When you submit your sitemap XML to Search Console, pay close attention to how many pages Google has understood your website to have, as well as how many it’s including in its search engine results. If Google believes too much of your content is too similar, it will treat it as duplicate content and not include it.
You Can Pass Link Juice Between Pages
Once you understand which keywords are performing well, and which pages on your website are getting the most traffic, you can use deep linking on your website to pass the link juice from popular pages to your desired pages.
Understand your Click Through Rate
Google published a paper citing how important click-through rates are for ranking, remember that if Google thinks your listing isn’t appealing to its customers, it’ll drop you to make room for a better result.
Search Console Tips for Developers
Solve 404 Errors Easy
A 404 error occurs whenever a visitor can’t find content on your website. It’s usually because you’ve moved something around, or deleted old content but sometimes it’s because there is a broken link from another website pointing to your website and you just can’t get it updated.
The best thing about the Search Console’s 404 tools is that it’s free! Google will continuously update it’s listing of missing pages on your website as it finds them, and you can use website redirects to point the incoming links to fresh content.
Have you Been Hacked?
Search Console provides a great interface for reporting malware and dangers to your website visitors. In addition to the obvious need to properly secure our websites, it’s a great tool for seeing if anything’s slipped past our defenses.
Find Pages that Simply Aren’t Appealing
Google results pages can be fickle, and you never know exactly why a person isn’t clicking on a listing but if you’re finding pages with low clicks and high impressions for a set of keywords, you should search Google on a VPN client to see how your listing is appearing in the search result pages. Maybe there’s a problem with the META tags or description that’s appearing.
Google Webmaster Tips and Treats
Google hosted a great Tricks and Treats event yesterday and it was well worth attending. There was an interesting presentation on SEO Myths and then it went into a panel with Matt Cutts and Adam Lasnik plus about 400 webmasters.
What we got out of the discussion was really cool. For one, Google does not penalize websites for being on a shared IP. They understand hosting constraints, what they do care about is who links to you and who you link to.
When it comes to content, Google also reinforced that there is no magic keyword density number. Quality content, with valuable information, is what they’re indexing not SEO tricks. They also reinforced quality HTML will help your content be ranked higher but it’s not as important as quality content.
How does your server impact ranking? It doesn’t seem to at all, except that better servers are up more often and Google cares about this.
So what I got out of the event was that Google cares about content, not tricks and not SEO scams.