Using Google Search Console – Do you want to know the results of your SEO work?
Google offers a free tool called Google Search Console (GSC) that gives a ton of specific information on the functionality, security, faults, and other aspects of your site.
It can perform as well as some expensive products and is a strong tool to assist you to enhance search traffic to your site.
How does it operate and how can you increase your traffic with GSC? That’s what we’ll talk about today.
What is Google Search Console?
The Google Search Console is a collection of tools that enables you to monitor the operation of your website, identify problems, and improve its Google ranking. It is a strong yet difficult instrument.
What is the purpose of Google Search Console?
I believe Google Search Console to be a vital resource for all website owners, yet it’s often disregarded. It’s unfortunate since, when utilized properly, GSC may provide some incredible effects.
These are just a few advantages of using GSC:
Make sure Google can access the material on your website by adding new URLs for crawling.
Monitor search results and deal with spam concerns
Learn how Google perceives your website.
One of the most complete free SEO tools available is this one. In fact, it competes with a lot of expensive tools available. While it doesn’t completely replace them, it makes a fantastic addition to be utilized in conjunction with other tools.
We published a full introduction to Google Webmaster Tools back in 2010. Since then, Google Webmaster Tools has undergone a number of important modifications, including a name change to Google Search Console.
This article has been updated to include information on how to utilize Google Search Console, what data you’ll discover about your website, crucial information you could have overlooked, how to continuously check for problems that might harm your search engine rankings, and how to use GSC to increase traffic.
How to Set Up Google Search Console
The first thing you must do, if you haven’t already, is registering your website with Google Search Console.
In order to do this, go to the Search Console website and log in using your Google Account, ideally the one you use for Google Analytics 4.
When you choose “Start Now” in the lower-left corner of the screen, the following dialogue box appears:
Since it offers additional possibilities for verification, use the URL prefix.
You must then confirm that this site is indeed yours.
Traditionally, this required sending an HTML file to your web server or inserting code into your website header.
Now that Google Analytics has verified your website for you automatically, you will see the following:
Use one of these alternative methods for verification if this doesn’t work for you.
The DNS CNAME verification option, one of the newest verification methods, was formerly available via Google Webmaster Tools but has now been reintroduced through Google Search Console.
If you have a sitemap, you should send it once your website has been confirmed.
This simple XML file will inform Google Search Console about the pages that are present on your website.
If you already have one, you can typically access it in your browser by entering http://yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.
If you don’t already have one, you may utilize internet tools like XML Sitemaps to generate one.
Using the Google XML Sitemaps plugin will allow you to use WordPress to manage a website under your own domain.
While the plugin is active, go to your Settings in the WordPress dashboard and choose XML-Sitemap.
There is nothing further you need to do since the plugin ought to have already created your sitemap.
Your URL may be seen at the top of the page:
The link URL should be copied, then you should return to Google Search Console and paste it under “Create a new site map” there.
For Search Console to begin collecting data about your website, it can take a few days.
Wait for a little while, then continue reading to see what more you may discover about Google Search Console!
What Data Can You Pull From Google Search Console?
You’ll have access to a wealth of data about your site’s performance in GSC after you’ve added and confirmed it.
I’ll outline all the information and reports available from Google Search Console below.
Your Overview will be the first thing you see when you access your website in GSC.
This is a summary of the key information in the Google Search Console. By clicking on the relevant buttons from this page, you may access certain sections like your Crawl Problems, Performance Reports, and Sitemaps.
Using the navigation in the left sidebar, you may also access these places.
Results of Performance Search
You can find the Performance Search Results on the left sidebar.
This area provides you with a summary of how your website appears in SERPs, including total clicks, impressions, position, click-through rate, and the searches it appears for.
You may sort the data using the filters at the top in a variety of ways, including location, date, search type, and more. Understanding the effects of your SEO efforts depends on this data.
What each of them performs is as follows:
You can see how many clicks you’ve received from the SERPs using the Clicks filter.
You can check how many SERP results viewers have viewed using the Impressions filter. That’s all you need to know, however, Google does count these impressions differently depending on a few key things.
Your familiarity with the CTR (click-through rate) measure suggests that it. The click count divided by the impression count is the normal calculation used by Google in this situation.
The Position filter provides you with the average position of your site’s top result.
These four filters add together to provide you with a variety of facts.
You may further filter your results using the choices in the next box. These choices for organizing the data have already been classified for you.
I’ll discuss each of them briefly.
A list of the search phrases that led visitors to your site is returned by the Queries feature.
The Page option reveals which pages on your website have been indexed by search engines.
You may see where all of these queries originated by selecting a country.
The Device option reveals the search tools that were used.
You may see if people used the web, video, picture, or another sort of search by selecting the Search Type option.
You may apply certain criteria by using the Search Appearance option. As it requires that you have impressions for at least one of the other features, you may not always see this choice.
Lastly, you may choose the time period using the Date option.
Report on Index Coverage
This report provides information on the URLs Google has attempted to index on your chosen site, as well as any issues it may have encountered.
Googlebot examines each website it encounters while browsing the internet in order to create an index of every word it finds.
Also, it examines the content tags and properties, such as your titles and alt texts.
The URLs on your website that Google has indexed and are thus able to display in search results are shown in this graph.
This graph will adjust as you add and delete pages.
If you have fewer indexed pages than you believe you should, don’t worry too much. Googlebot excludes URLs with no index meta tags, duplicates, or non-canonical status.
Also, you’ll see a lot of Domains that your robots.txt file forbids indexing.
Also, you may use the Elimination Tool to see how many URLs you’ve eliminated. This number will probably always be low.
I have touched on sitemaps, so let me quickly recap.
You may see details about your sitemap in GSC under Sitemaps, including if one exists and the date it was last updated.
You may wish to upload your sitemap if you observe that the date it was last downloaded is no longer current in order to update the number of Links supplied.
In any case, this enables you to monitor how Google interprets your sitemap and if all of your pages are being accessed as you want.
Go to Removals if you need to temporarily remove a page from Google’s search results for any reason.
Before this expires, you have around 90 days to conceal a page.
You must do it on your real website if you wish to permanently remove a page from Google’s indexing.
Basic Web Vitals
A collection of measures called Core Web Vitals has an effect on how you rank in searches. Speed, usefulness, and visual stability are some of them. You should take note of them as they are now ranking indications.
Core Web Vitals’ main metrics include the following.
The largest contentful paint (LCP) is the length of time it takes for a page to load. 2.5 seconds or less is a respectable time. Be aware that this includes substantial elements like graphics or headers.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a measure of how visually stable a website is, specifically how much the layout changes after a page has loaded.
First Input Delay (FID): This is the interval between a user activity on your website and the time it takes the browser to reply.
Optimized Mobile Pages (AMP)
An open-source project called Accelerated Mobile Pages aims to provide quick-loading mobile webpages that function on sluggish connections.
If you don’t already have one, you may head here to begin building your first page.
You will get a boilerplate code that you may modify for your website.
Go to Enhancements > AMP to see pages in GSC.
References to Your Site
I’m interested in your backlinks.
In addition to displaying the pages on your website with the most connections, GSC also displays the domains that link to you the most. Up until you see Links on the left sidebar, scroll down. To get a detailed report of links pointing to your website, click:
This is most likely the most thorough list of your backlinks (and internal links!) that you will discover, at least for free.
Knowing where your material is being used online and what works well in Google’s eyes is a great tool.
You may determine which of your pages do not adhere to Google’s webmaster quality standards by visiting the Manual Actions tab.
It’s one of the measures Google has used to combat online spam.
Usability on Mobile
You may check to see whether every page of your website adheres to Google’s recommended best practices on the Mobile Usability tab.
As you can see, there may be problems with font size, viewport preferences, or even the distance between your clickable components.
Any of these issues, along with other mistakes, might hurt your mobile site’s rankings and make you appear lower on the results page. Your user experience and results will improve if you find and correct these mistakes.
I advise you to verify your site’s mobile speed while you peruse this information. I do this by using Ubersuggest.
Entering your URL and pressing Search should be your first two actions.
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