Google’s Search Engine Console has become one of the most important tools for webmasters, designers, business owners, marketing professionals, app developers, and SEOs. Before 2015, Google Search Engine Console was named as Google Webmaster Tool but the name was later changed to be more inclusive of its varied group of users.
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What is Google Search Engine Console?
Google Search Console is a free tool that enables you to understand more about your website and people visiting your website. You can analyze different types of data like how many users visited the website, how did the users find out about your website, how many people visited your website through mobile phone and desktop, which pages are the most popular, etc. It can also be helpful to find and alter issues, create/check a robot.txt file, and even submit a sitemap.
Let’s discuss Google Search Engine Console in Detail:
How to Add and Verify a Site on Google Search Engine Console?
If you have just signed up on Google Search Engine Console, then your first step would be to verify your website. You need to add and verify your site to Google as a site owner, webmaster, or authorized user. Search Engine Console can give amazing detailed insights about your website. But how do you add a site to the Search Console? As soon as you have signed in, you will be able to notice a red box which states “ Add Property “. All you need to do is enter the URL of your site and click on the red box and your site will be added to Search Engine Console.
Now, how do you verify your site? There are different ways to verify a site on Google. It depends on your experience in HTML, the size of your site, access to upload files, etc.
Features on Google Search Engine Console
Now that you have created an account and added and verified your site, it is time to explore a few features.
Performance Tab: Performance tab helps you identify which pages and keywords have ranked on Google. Check your performance tab daily to optimize and manage your site performance. Within the performance tab, there are several other features. Let’s discuss the main features below
- Clicks: This tab helps you understand how many times people have clicked on your site. This will tell you about how your meta descriptions and page titles have performed.
- Impressions: This tab will help you understand how often your site is displayed on Google and which specific page of your website is displayed on Google results.
- Average CTR: CTR or Click-through rate, this tab will tell you the percentage of the people that have viewed your website in Google search results and who have clicked on your website link. The CTR will determine your ranking on Google. However, if your CTR is low then you might want to consider changing or rewriting your page title and meta description. You also need to remember that CTR is not the only metric to rank higher on Google, you need to improve other metrics too.
- Average Position: This tab will help you identify the ranking of your page or a keyword at a particular time you have selected.
Index coverage is a valuable tab, although it can be a little technical or complex especially if you are a beginner. This tab will help you identify the number of pages in the Google Index and the number of pages that are not. This tab will also show the warnings and errors that caused difficulty in Google Indexing. Therefore, it is important to check index coverage daily.
You will be able to check your site indexing performance in-depth such as broken codes, URLs affected, etc. Make sure you are monitoring these types of issues closely as too many issues can indicate your website as low quality to Google.
URL inspection is a tool that will help you analyze particular URLs. You can compare your page with a page from Google’s index to see the differences. Here, you will be able to explore more technical information such as how and when Google crawled your website and how it looked.
This tab is just below the “Index Coverage” tab. Here you will be able to see everything that needs to be improved for your website performance. You can also get insights on site speed, AMO usage, structured data, mobile usability, etc that lead to a higher ranking on SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
An XML sitemap can be considered like a map to all the pages on your websites. This is a very important tab of Google’s Search Engine Console as it tells Google the exact location of the XML sitemap on your site. It is recommended to check XML sitemaps regularly to fix issues on your website.
This will help you identify how many links from other websites are redirecting to your website. Internal linking is one of the important metrics to drive traffic and increase website awareness.
Make sure your manual action tab is empty. If your website or a page on your website is penalized, the information on the same will be reflected here. Few of the reason leading to Google’s penalties are:
- Unnatural/bought links
- Your site has been hacked.
- Cloaking content from Google
- Including spamming content
Google Search Engine Console is an amazing tool to help you understand more about your website performance. It is very vast and requires much more practice and trial-errors to become an expert user of Search Engine Console.
Contact us if you would like to learn more about Search Engine Console or SEO.