Learn More About Your Search Performance: A Guide to Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that allows users to monitor and troubleshoot their website’s presence on the search engine results page. Using this search console is not a ranking factor and won’t impact your ability to show up on the results pages, but it is crucial to monitor, receive alerts, troubleshoot index issues, and more.
Search Console can be extremely helpful for everyone from business owners to SEO specialists and even web developers. What you need to get started is:
- A valid Google Account
- An updated version of your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari)
- Proof of ownership for your site or admin access
Adding a Website Property
When adding a property to your Search Console, you can add an entire domain or a section from your site, depending on the queries you want to track.
To add a new property, simply click on +Add Property and select your desired property type.
URL-prefix property: This includes URLs that match the prefix, including the protocols “HTTP,” “HTTPS,” and the final mark “/.” Any URLs that start with this prefix will be included in the report.
This method allows multiple verification options:
Domain property: This refers to subdomains (m.example.com, www.example.com, etc.) and multiple protocols (http, https, ftp). When adding the property, the console will ignore the “www” portion of the domain.
This method works with DNS record verification or if the site is on Blogger or Google Sites.
How Does It Work?
GSC can provide information on how Google crawls, indexes, and serves websites. You can break down data from clicks and impressions by queries, pages, and countries.
Below are some ways you can use the search console to improve your performance:
You can review queries used to reach your website, how many times it was seen, the number of clicks, and which average position-specific queries usually rank. You’ll have a better idea of where you should be revising and testing copy.
You can add new pages or a brand new site by submitting your sitemap or adding individual URLs for crawling. This information will allow Google to have the most updated view of your site.
When your site has crawling issues, an email will notify you that a page is no longer indexed which means you can find and fix any threats affecting the site’s performance.
You can index pages on Google Search Engine Results Page. The removals tool hides your pages for up to 6 months. After this, you can either index them again or remove the pages permanently.
You can submit sitemaps directly on the search console. Search engines like Google will get the information on this file. Sitemaps are extremely useful for sites with a lot of rich media content, especially if your site is new or your pages are not well linked to each other.
Metrics and Key Performance Indicators
One of the main uses for the Search Console is to understand how people find you on Google through the query report. This will help you identify your average position on Google and how users are looking for you organically.
Additionally, you will be able to determine how many times your URL shows on Google’s search results pages at a glance. There is no need to scroll down and actually see the listing in order to count as an impression.
On the other hand, the clicks are counted only when the user clicks on the link that takes them to your site. If a user hits the back button and clicks on the same link once more it still counts as one interaction.
Your average position is determined by the position of your search query and the location of the user. This will give you an idea of which queries require more work or more content to improve performance.
Finally, your CTR, similar to Google Paid Ads, is determined by clicks on your site divided by the impressions and multiplied by 100. The higher your CTR is, the more relevant users find it.
As you can see, the Google Search Console is an extremely powerful tool, and it’s free. Learn more about the technology at your fingertips by subscribing to our blog. If it’s helpful and available, our team will walk you through it!
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