By: Amber Jones
Google’s Search Console is an information discovery tool which is free to leverage to investigate ‘best practices’ for your Website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Here’s how to use the Google Search Console.
To use it to your advantage you must have (obviously) a Google account. Next, you need to add your Site/Websites to the Search Console’s system by clicking the ‘Add Property’ link on the dashboard. Google supplies an HTML identifier file for you to place on your Website which authenticates your ownership of the site – there are several other methods, offered by Google, to verify ownership, but this is the easiest method.
Once you’ve established ownership you can harness the tools on offer to improve the visibility of your Site in search results, gain insight into the general usability of your Website & use Google’s error reporting to find & fix problems. So here’s how to use the Google Search Console.
The dashboard gives you a set of rich informative reports:
An overview of your Site’s performance is highlighted on a graphic interface with several plotted performance related graphs which show the number of clicks & impressions your URLs have gained over a period of time. Search terms used by consumers, which have resulted in these views are listed, under the graph, in order of popularity – giving you a sound understanding of the types of search terms you should be targeting to acquire increased traffic. Google uses ‘consolidated’ or ‘canonical’ URL’s to measure your Site’s performance (multiple, identical URL’s are reduced to a single entity, for example identical mobile & desktop pages). Information is available on the types of devices visitors to your Site are using, which pages the like best, as well as their location (country of origin), & the amount of time they spend on your pages.
Simply paste the URL of your Site into the input box provided, & Google will run an analysis of your Site. You’ll see all pages that are indexed by the search engine, & receive a report on corrective measures you need to employ to improve your site visibility. Googlebot crawls your site giving feedback on back links to your Site, mobile standards compliance & a number of other useful criteria, which you can use to find out how to attract users to your Website.
Google encourages sitemap submission directly from the Console. Sitemaps give Google a clear ‘map’ of your site, which makes it easier for their robots to crawl your site & index all of your pages. Various tools are on offer to assist you in building a sitemap, if you don’t already have one.
Google’s Search Console is all about optimizing your Site’s visibility in search results, & as a benefit, allowing users to find your pages on the Web. The improvements you can achieve are nothing other than advantageous, so now that you know how to use Google Search Console, head on over to the Console & find out what it can do for you.