Google Search Console is a web service that allows webmasters to check indexing status, search queries, crawling errors, and optimise website visibility.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a free platform that allows anyone with a website to monitor and optimise their site’s organic presence. This includes viewing your referring domains, mobile site performance, rich search results, and the most popular queries and pages.
According to Google, Search Console will be useful whether you are a business owner, SEO specialist, marketer, site administrator, web developer, or app creator.
However, there were numerous labels that you didn’t understand (index coverage?), hidden filters, and perplexing graphs. Of course, the more you used it, the clearer it became.
But if you want to shortcut the learning curve (and who wouldn’t? ), there’s good news: we’re going to smear all we learned about using Google Search Console like an expert.
What is Google Search Console Used for?
It’s possible that you’ve heard about Google Search Console if you’re a website owner or business owner seeking to optimise your site. If you are unfamiliar with Search Console, you may be unaware of its significance.
Before you can appreciate how vital Google Search Console is for the long-term success of your company and the functionality of your website, it is crucial to fully comprehend what Google Search Console performs. Because of all the tools it provides to ensure that websites do well in Google search as well as the tools it provides for them to measure their progress and analyse their traffic, Search Console is a priceless resource for marketers.
Although you cannot directly alter your website using Google Search Console, you may use it to submit pages to Google’s index, confirm that your site’s URLs are valid, and search for issues throughout your entire domain property.
Search Console is a useful tool for modifying strategy, especially for SEO. Businesses may learn how exactly people are accessing their website and how to improve existing performance by using the data that can be obtained through Search Console.
This indicates that it’s a crucial tool for any company that depends on its website to provide a positive user experience or to generate leads from organic traffic.
Important Sections in Google Search Console
We’ve essentially covered the basics of what Search Console is. We’ve also briefly discussed Search Console’s potential to assist companies in more thorough website performance monitoring. In actuality, Search Console is a really robust platform that provides a variety of tools for various tasks; you might not be fully aware of them all until you learn about each one separately. But here, we may go through some of its better qualities.
Given that Google already offers an analytics tool, what purpose does Google Search Console serve? What does Google Search Console do that is distinct from what Analytics already shows you?
List of Important Search Console Elements
- Using Google Search Console for Traffic (Performance Report)
- Using Search Console for Technical Health of Website
- The Index Coverage Report
- Sitemaps Submit
- URL Inspection Tool
- Manual Actions Report
- Removals Tool
- Core Web Vitals Report
- Mobile Usability Report
1. Using Google Search Console for Traffic (Performance Report)
The Performance report in Search Console is the most useful feature for many internet organisations. As the name suggests, this area of the platform provides marketers and companies with crucial data on their organic performance and can assist them in monitoring crucial KPIs for business success and ongoing growth.
The Performance report includes figures for both the total volume of organic traffic to a company’s websites and for each individual URL. Information on clicks, impressions, click-through rates, and typical keyword rankings are provided. Let’s explain what each of these is:
- Clicks: This indicator shows the quantity of Google search clicks that lead to users visiting your website. In contrast to Google Analytics, these clicks may not accurately reflect users’ sessions (the total time a person spends browsing the site) or even page views (the number of times a page is viewed in total). Just clicks are what they are—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: The number of links to your website that a user viewed in the Google search results is what is meant by this term (even if the result was not scrolled into view). The number of times your website appears in search results, even if no one clicks on them, is referred to as impressions. If your results are on the next page of search results that the user did not click on, your results are not counted as impressions.
- CTR(click-through-rate): This metric, which stands for click-through-rate, calculates the ratio of the number of clicks on the site to the number of impressions.
The individual decides how to use these metrics. These provide internet businesses with options to gauge the success of their SEO initiatives directly and provide information for further optimising SEO strategies.
With the help of a skilled SEO campaign, a company may choose keywords with a high CTR and determine the types of searchers who are most likely to click through to their website from the SERP. High-value keywords with plenty of impressions but a poor click-through rate (CTR) can indicate issues with the company’s SERP presence.
2. Using Search Console for Technical Health of Website
There is another crucial aspect of Search Console that digital organisations should be aware of. Search Console is intended to check that your site’s visibility in Google is uninjured and that there are no problems that could be harming your rankings in addition to providing statistical data that can guide your marketing activities.
Here, Google provides a few reports that can be used to check that websites are error-free, suitably mobile-friendly, are not too slow, are not punished for breaking Google’s guidelines, and more.
3. Page indexing Report
The Page indexing report shows webmasters how well their site is covered in the Google index. In order to ensure that they are as prominent for SEO as they should be, they can obviously track how much of their site has been indexed.
As Googlebot continues to index more and more pages, you should ideally notice a progressive rise in the number of “valid” pages on your site. In reality, you can view the following four site status signals here:
- Error: This indicates that no pages have been indexed. You can use this report to troubleshoot problems with your website by clicking into it to view a description of the specific mistakes. Prioritize addressing these problems first.
- Warning: Google has indexed this page, but there is a problem that may need to be resolved.
- Excluded: The page is not included in the index, but typically for a good reason or because Google thinks the website owner doesn’t want their site to be indexed. This comprises non-canonical pages, pages marked with “no-index” tags, and pages that Google has determined to be canonical because they appear to be duplicates of other indexed pages.
- Valid: These are indexed and healthy pages!
As a result, Google Search Consoled is used to report mistakes and indexing problems on a site so that the webmaster or developer can address them. Additionally, it enables companies to have a “birds eye perspective” of their positioning in Google search results.
4. Sitemaps Report
The Search Console Sitemap area is used to provide a site’s entire page count so that Googlebot may crawl it more easily and rapidly. Google actually recommends taking this action!
The Sitemaps report allows you to notify Google of any updated sitemaps for your domain, track how frequently they are crawled, and view any parsing issues that may have occurred.
Additionally, it informs you of the number of fresh URLs that Google has found from your sitemap.
5. URL Inspection Tool
Individual URLs on your site can also be tested using the URL inspection tool in Search Console to see if they are operational and in good status.
Users can use the tool to check whether their page is indexed by Google (or to see if it isn’t), and they can also ask for indexing. Additionally, they can view a rendered version of the pages, check that Googlebot can read them, view loaded resources, and determine whether the page is canonicalized by Google or points to another page instead.
This is excellent for utilising Google Search Console in SEO to analyse individual pages to identify problems or to ask for indexing so that recent changes can be indexed more rapidly.
6. Manual Actions Report
If your site has received a manual penalty from a Google reviewer, the manual actions report can let you know. In this scenario, some or all of the site may not appear in the search results.
If a website violates Google’s webmaster quality criteria, such as if it appears to be utilising dubious SEO techniques to manipulate its ranking in the search results, it will be subject to a manual action.
7. Removals Tool
The temporary removal of a page from search results is made possible by this tool for website owners. The removal tool will only stop your pages from showing up in searches; it won’t stop Google from crawling your site (for approximately 6 months).
This technique isn’t helpful for permanently deleting a page from search; it would be preferable to delete the page, restrict access to it with a password, or add a meta no-index tag to stop Googlebot from indexing it.
8. Core Web Vitals Report
Previously known as the “Speed Report,” it offered webmasters information on how quickly their site loaded, with ratings of “Slow,” “Moderate,” and “Fast.” However, Google has subsequently upgraded this section of Search Console to provide more detailed information on a few significant metrics based on the user experience.
LCP, FID, and CLS for pages across the domain property are measured in the report. These metrics are intended to provide webmasters and marketers with data on how their website is doing in relation to important user experience parameters.
In order to reflect this, Google has added ranking variables to its algorithm in recent years and has continued to promote user experience as a crucial component of web design.
They are now claiming that the ranking system will also include LCP, FID, and CLS.
These metrics mean the following:
- Largest Content Paint, or LCP. In essence, it is intended to gauge how long it takes for a website to load with relevant content.
- First Input Delay, or FID, refers to the time it takes for a user to interact with the page.
- The “Cumulative Layout Shift” or CLS metric measures how much the page layout shifts as the page is loading.
This allows businesses to evaluate metrics concerning the loading speed of their website’s pages. Google’s collection of real-world usage data is used to produce the performance figures.
What use does the Core Web Vitals report from Google Search Console serve in SEO?
Google has improved page speed as a ranking criteria in recent years, applying it to both desktop and mobile search results. Pages with exceptionally slow load times may end up with a minor drop in Google ranking. By adding additional UX measures to their fundamental ranking system, they are now arguing for the value of user experience even more.
Additionally, slower page loads can result in a poor user experience and a higher bounce rate. Data from Think with Google show that:
- Bounce rate increases 32% if page load time goes from one second to three seconds.
- Bounce rate increases by 106% if page load time goes from one second to six seconds.
9. Mobile Usability Report
The Mobile Usability report from Search Console offers detailed information about how mobile-friendly and possible mobile problems are on your site. A list of any pages with issues when visited on a mobile device is provided.
All other pages can be labelled as “Valid,” whereas any pages listed under the “Error” tab may have problems that prevent them from being mobile friendly. This enables marketers and business owners to check the design and mobile setups of their websites to ensure that users have the greatest possible mobile experience.
Additionally, sites that are properly mobile-friendly have a better chance of ranking higher in mobile Google search results.
Conclusion of Google Search Console
These reports are just a handful of the many useful tools that Search Console offers. Other reports might be accessible to you, depending on the type of business you run and how your website is set up.
For instance, business owners can get information about their structured data, products, breadcrumbs, review snippets, and more from Search Console!
If you have particular features that are programmed into your website, these reports will only appear.