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You may have heard of Google Search Console if you are a website owner or business owner seeking to optimise your site. You might not know how significant Search Console is if you’re not familiar with it.
Google Search Console is a free tool that allows webmasters to track the health of their website in the index. But what is the purpose of Google Search Console? What role does Google Search Console play in SEO?
Let’s find out.
Before you can appreciate how valuable Google Search Console is for your company’s long-term profitability and website performance, you must first understand what it does. Because of all of the tools, it provides to ensure that websites do well in Google search, as well as the tools it provides to track and analyse traffic, Search Console is a great resource for marketers. In addition to statistical data and information, Search Console provides webmasters with solutions for resolving issues that may be preventing them from performing successfully.
So, what exactly is it?
Google Search Console is a free service that allows users to track their site’s traffic, see keyword performance, troubleshoot problems, and receive Google messages about their site. It provides information on how a website performs in organic search as well as suggestions for how to improve the site’s position in the Google index.
Google introduced Search Console about 15 years ago when it was still known as “Webmaster Tools.” Since then, the name has changed, as has the functionality, but the objective has remained the same.
You can’t make direct changes to your site with Google Search Console, but you can use it to submit pages to the Google index, check for issues across your domain property, and verify that your site’s URLs are healthy.
Search Console, in particular, is a useful tool for changing the SEO approach. The information provided by Search Console can assist organisations in identifying new ranking opportunities, improving current performance, and learning how visitors arrive at their site. This makes it a crucial tool for any company that relies on its website to provide a positive user experience or create leads through organic traffic.
We’ve practically covered everything there is to know about Search Console. We’ve also touched on how Search Console might help businesses better monitor their website’s online performance, but not in great depth. The truth is that Search Console is a sophisticated platform with a variety of tools for various purposes – you may not be aware of all of them until you learn about each one separately. However, we can go through some of its better characteristics right now.
The truth is that Google Search Console and Google Analytics have some overlap in that they both allow you to measure traffic to your site and split it down by URL and mobile vs. desktop. But that’s where the parallels end.
The Performance report is the most valuable resource in Search Console for many online businesses. This component of the platform, as the name implies, provides marketers and businesses with valuable information on their organic performance and can assist them in tracking key KPIs for business success and growth.
The Performance report displays information regarding organic traffic to a company’s websites, as well as for analytics for each URL. It provides information on clicks, impressions, CTR, and average keyword ranks. Let’s define each one of these:
Clicks | This metric represents the number of Google search clicks that lead to users viewing your site’s property. Unlike Google Analytics, these clicks may not always indicate user sessions (the amount of time a user spends browsing the site) or page views (the number of times a page is viewed in total). Clicks are simply that… clicks. Because Google evaluates these metrics with slightly different definitions, the number of clicks you see in Search Console doesn’t always match the number of sessions you see in the landing-page report of Analytics.
Impressions | This is the number of links to your site that a user sees in the Google search results (even if the result was not scrolled into view). To put it another way, impressions are the number of times your site appears in search results, even if no one clicks on it. If your results appear on the following page of search results and the searcher does not click on them, they are not counted as impressions.
CTR | This metric stands for click-through rate and is calculated by dividing the number of clicks received by the number of impressions received.
Average Position | This is the average position of your site’s topmost result for a specific keyword. Because the position changes frequently, give or take a few positions, the average is used.
It is up to the individual to decide how these metrics will be used. The business value of these is that they allow internet businesses to directly monitor the success of their SEO initiatives while also giving data to help fine-tune SEO methods.
With the help of a professional SEO strategy, a company may identify keywords with a high CTR and determine which kind of searchers are most likely to click through from the SERP to their website. High-value keywords with a lot of impressions but a poor CTR could indicate a problem with the company’s SERP visibility. It can make sense to pay attention to the meta-title and meta-descriptions. Low impressions or clicks on keywords could indicate that your site isn’t showing up for those searches, or that online visitors aren’t making their way to it.
Similarly, search engine professionals can use this information to discover which keywords have the highest click-through rates, revealing searcher habits and site visitor intent. This allows organisations to better match their existing high-CTR, high-value traffic by optimising their on-page content or curating new material.
Search Console may be used to not only explore new keyword prospects or set up an SEO campaign, but it can also produce data that can be utilised to make modifications and fine-tune SEO initiatives. Businesses may utilise Search Console to sort each indicator from high to low or vice versa, as well as perform period-over-period (POP) comparisons to spot changing trends and export the data.
What is Search Console’s purpose in your company? Set aside time or assemble a team to integrate Search Console with your domain. Because understanding this data accurately and applying it to a site’s long-term growth can be a difficult process, many businesses opt to outsource their SEO to an agency.
An agency will be able to evaluate what role Search Console plays in SEO for your company and tailor a plan around your most essential KPIs. Search Console is used by professional SEOs to do keyword research and identify keywords with high traffic potential.
There is another key aspect of Search Console that digital enterprises should be aware of. Search Console is designed to ensure that your site’s visibility in Google is unaffected and that you don’t have any faults that could impact your rankings, in addition to providing statistical data that can assist inform your marketing plans.
Google provides a few reports to help websites ensure that they are not punished for breaking Google regulations, that they are error-free, that they are mobile-friendly, that they are not too slow, and so on.
So, what is Google Search Console used for in determining technical site health?
Let’s take a look at a few of the more useful reports available.
Website owners can use the coverage report to see how effectively their site is covered in the Google index. This allows them to keep track of how much of their site has been indexed, ensuring that they are as visible for SEO as possible.
As Googlebot crawls more and more pages, you should notice your site’s number of “valid” pages progressively increase over time, according to Google. There are four total status messages for your site displayed here:
Error | This refers to pages that have not yet been indexed by a search engine. When you open this report, you’ll see a description of the exact mistakes, which you may use to assist diagnose problems with your site. You should initially focus on resolving these difficulties.
Warning | The page is indexed by Google but has an issue that may need to be addressed.
Excluded | The page isn’t indexed, but it’s typically for a good reason or because Google thinks the website owner doesn’t want it indexed. This comprises non-canonical pages, pages with “no-index” tags, and pages that appear to be duplicates of other indexed sites with Google’s canonical selection.
Valid | These are pages that are healthy and indexed!
This means that Google Search Consoled is used to report mistakes and indexing issues on a website so that they can be resolved by the webmaster or developer. It also gives firms a “birds-eye perspective” of their visibility in Google search results.
To be honest, Search Console does not integrate with websites in a way that allows them to directly address these problems. However, it allows websites to monitor their health and offers methods for obtaining verification once an issue has been resolved or if website owners believe the platform’s faults are not correct.
It does, however, allow people to upload pages to the index one at a time or by providing a sitemap.
The Sitemap part of Search Console is used to submit a site’s entire page count so that Googlebot can crawl it more easily and rapidly. This is a step that Google genuinely encourages!
The Sitemaps report can be used to notify Google about new sitemaps for your domain, as well as to view how frequently they have crawled and any mistakes that Google encountered while processing your submitted sitemaps.
It also informs you of how many new URLs Google has discovered directly from your sitemap.
Individual URLs on your site can also be checked for status and functionality using Search Console’s URL inspection tool.
Users can use the tool to check if their page is in the Google index (or to see if it isn’t), and they can also request indexing. They can also see a rendered version of the pages, test them to check if Googlebot can read them, look at loaded resources, and see if the page is canonicalized by Google or if it redirects to another page.
This is helpful for individually analysing sites to detect faults or requesting indexing so that recent changes can be picked up more quickly when utilising Google Search Console for SEO.
The manual actions report will tell you if a human reviewer at Google has manually imposed a penalty on your site. Parts of the site, or the entire site, may not appear in search results in this instance.
If a site breaches Google’s webmaster quality guidelines, manual action will be taken against it; often, if it appears that the page is attempting to manipulate its position in the search results by employing dirty SEO tactics.
This tool allows website owners to remove their pages from Search Results for a limited time. The technique will not prohibit Google from crawling your pages, but it will prevent them from showing up in searches.
This technique isn’t good for permanently deleting a page from search; instead, you should delete the page, lock it off with a password, or add a meta no-index tag to prevent Googlebot from indexing it.
This was previously known as the “Performance Report,” and it provided webmasters with information on their site’s loading speed, including rankings for “Slow,” “Moderate,” and “Fast.” However, Google has subsequently upgraded this section of Search Console to provide more detailed information on a few key user experience metrics.
For pages across the domain property, the report measures LCP, FID, and CLS. These metrics are intended to provide webmasters and marketers with information on how their site performs in important user experience categories. In recent years, Google has emphasised the importance of user experience in site design and has included ranking variables into its algorithm to reflect this. LCP, FID, and CLS will now be included in the ranking system, according to the company.
Here’s what these metrics mean:
LCP is “Largest Content Paint.” Essentially it is designed to measure how long it takes for meaningful content to appear on a page.
FID is “First Input Delay,” basically how long it takes before a user can interact with the page.
CLS is “Cumulative Layout Shift” which measures how much the page layout moves around during loading.
This allows organisations to examine metrics related to the loading speed of their website’s pages. The performance data is based on Google’s collection of real-world usage data.
What does Google Search Console’s Core Web Vitals report have to do with SEO? Page speed has recently been improved as a ranking criterion for both desktop and mobile search results by Google. Pages that take an unusually long time to load may rank lower in Google. They are now emphasising the significance of user experience even more by adding more UX measures into their main ranking algorithm.
Longer page load times can also mean a bad user experience which can increase the bounce rate.
The Mobile Usability report in Google Search Console provides detailed information about your site’s mobile-friendliness and potential mobile concerns. It generates a list of any pages that exhibit issues when accessed on a mobile phone.
Any pages mentioned under the “Error” tab may have flaws that prevent them from being mobile-friendly; the rest can be categorised as “Valid.” This enables marketers and businesses to examine their site’s design and mobile setups to ensure that their consumers have the greatest mobile experience possible.
Sites that are mobile-friendly have a better chance of ranking higher in Google’s mobile search results.
After reading this article, you should have a solid understanding of what Search Console can do and how to use it, so let us ask you a question: Do you have Google Search Console installed on your website? If you don’t already have an account, we strongly advise you to do so so you can begin gathering data on your website. If you want experts to drive it ahead for you, speak to the experts at Shergroup. We know how to make Google fall in love with your content and keywords, so we can plan both organic and paid Google campaigns for you and help you move your business North.
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Last updated | 19 July 2023
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