A Beginner’s Guide to Google Search Console
Do you want to know your organic position in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)? Or the number of organic clicks on your website? You have one simple platform to revisit – the Google Search Console. If you haven’t used Google Search Console before, you will be happy to know that it is free of cost. The Google Search Console records your websites’ overall performance in the Google Search Results Page or the SERP. The Google Search Console highlights issues regarding your website’s indexing. Google Search Console allows you to analyze External as well as Internal links. Both External and Internal links play an important role in your organic search ranking on the SERP. This blog sheds light on the use of GSC (Google Search Console). Read on!
Getting Started: Adding and verifying your website in Google Search Console
Before you start using Google Search Console, you’re required to create a Gmail account. The next thing that you’re required to do is to add and verify your website on the platform. Follow the given steps to add your website on the Google Search Console.
- Once you’ve logged into Google Search Console, click on “add property” on the left-hand menu
- Now, you would be prompted to insert your website’s URL in the dialog box. Once you’ve entered your website URL, click on the “add property” button at the bottom
- Next, you’ll need to verify that you’re the website owner. There are several methods that Google provides to verify your ownership. The recommended method is to add an ‘HTML file’ or ‘Meta tag’ to your server, you may edit DNS settings or even link to Google Analytics/ Google Tag Manager
- If you have your blog on Blogger, it would be auto-verified on the GSC
Understanding the Google Search Console’s dashboard
Once your site is verified, GSC will start collecting data on your site’s performance. On your main Dashboard, you have different options to explore. Let’s explore a few – Overview, performance, and URL Inspection.
In the Overview page, you can see a summary of your website’s overall performance on the Google search. When you click on this tab you can check not just the performance but other metrics like the indexing status, coverage, and enhancement reports of your property (site).
In the Performance tab, you can see a more detailed report of the pages of your website that rank for certain keywords in the Google search. I’ll recommend checking the performance tab regularly to optimize keywords and web pages accordingly. The Performance tab has 5 sub-sections- ‘Queries.’ ‘Pages,’ ‘Countries,’ ‘Devices,’ ‘Search Appearance.’ Now, let’s try understanding the ‘Click’, ‘Impression’, ‘Average CTR’, and ‘Average position’.
In the click section, you can look at how many clicks that you’ve received on your website in the search results of Google in the past 3 months.
The impression tells you how many times your website appeared in the search results for all the given queries.
Under this section, you can check as to how many people clicked on your website after seeing your site in the search results page.
The last option in this section is the Average position. It tells you the average ranking of your website’s URL on the SERP for all the search queries.
With URL Inspection you can explore any URL of your site. Just type the URL in the search bar and see the report on Google indexation status and related information about your website’s page.
In Google Search Console the ‘Index coverage’ is a very valuable tab. It is used to check how many pages are currently indexed by Google and how many pages aren’t indexed in the last update. You may also figure out the errors and warnings related to the crawling of your website.
A site map helps Google to find every page on your site and index them. If you don’t submit a sitemap, Google will not index your web pages and you won’t get significant traffic on your website. Google supports several sitemap formats. Usually a single sitemap has up to 50,000 URLs.Submit your sitemap on GSC once you have it on your website. Once your sitemap has been updated in the GSC, you would be able to see how many URLs of your website are being indexed.
In the manual action tab, you can only see “No issues detected” notification. You shall see more information here about your site only when your website has been penalized by Google.
The back links section will showcase the total number of back-links that your website has & which sites are linking to your website. Links are very important for SEO. Under this section you can analyze both links External and Internal links.
Under this option, you can check the mobile usability errors of your website. Also, please note, If your website is not mobile user-friendly, visitors will leave your website quickly.GSC is one of my favorite tools. Marketers can leverage this tool to improve their search rankings. You may want to check out the other awesome SEO tools by Google over here. Once you get a hold of these tools and platforms, you will realize the innate power of these tools. Do you think something is missing? Feel free to leave a comment!