You might remember Google Webmaster Tools. It’s now called Google Search Console. When it comes to free tools, you won’t find more comprehensive information anywhere about how your site’s performing.
Like other website optimization tools, GSC analyzes your website and helps you improve it to rank better and boost conversions.
All you have to do is add your site (called a “property”) to GSC and verify it on your website by installing a code. It’s just a brief snippet of HTML.
Once it’s installed, Google Search Console begins collecting information. It will tell you how much traffic you’re getting, for instance, and where that traffic’s coming from. You can also use it to find your bounce rate, referral sites, and more.
Data…allows us to really customize how we talk to customers. That’s going to be a hallmark of where we go next in our marketing, communication strategy and our loyalty strategy.
Google’s goal is to give its search engine users the most relevant content for every query. They want to ensure the most helpful piece of content appears as the first result, when possible.
In order to support that goal, they need to make sure content creators optimize their content so that it can be discovered by searchers with a problem.
That’s where Search Console comes in. It will not give you specific ideas, like:
“Include this keyword in the title, and your page will jump from position 5 to position 3.”
But, it can show you the ways that Google’s users are finding your content, and how often they click on it. And it can reveal broken links that are harming the user experience. It can even tell you if your pages are optimized for mobile screens!
Each feature requires some SEO knowledge, of course. So, we surveyed SEO experts from the Databox Partner Program and beyond to learn how they actually use these features on a day-to-day basis.
Sure, all these marketers probably subscribe to other SEO tools as well, but Search Console is an important compliment because it provides data directly from Google.
1. Keyword Optimization
After you have plenty of content on your domain, you probably want to review your existing pages and see if you have a chance to improve rankings on specific keywords. Unless you are some sort of SEO wizard, you probably did not pick the perfect keywords the first time! Fortunately, if you make a few changes in the title, meta description or H1 elements, you can see a quick jump in your ranking.
The easiest and fastest way to get more search traffic in just 1 minute.
Go to Search Analytics and click the checkboxes for Impressions, CTR, Positions. Then sort your data by Impressions. Find the phrase that has the most impressions and is ranked at the 3-7 position. Just add this phrase (or part of it) either to the Title tag or H1 tag of your page. In order not to change the meaning of an existing header, you can insert your keyword into the brackets.
2. Page Metadata
You can manipulate the way that Google crawls your page in a number of ways. Sometimes, developers will add canonical or no-index tags in order to prevent a page from being crawled. But, they may forget to later remove that tag. Fortunately, Search Console will automatically inform you about this, so you don’t need to inspect the HTML of each page.
Not all SEOs are experienced with web development, and sometimes even code confident SEOs simply don’t have access to website code. With the Data Highlighter in Google Search Console, we can still customize a site’s appearance on search result pages. This makes pages stand out, improves ranking, and gives more context to Google about your website content.
Using the data highlighter makes it easy to tag different pieces of content on a website without adding structured data to your site code. Also, it’s super easy. All you do is select the item you’ll be highlighting for (software, reviews, restaurants, among others), enter the URL of the page and start highlighting. When you highlight a piece of content you can then specify more information about it, like if it’s a picture, an official URL, a download URL, and several others.
Google ranks items based on contextual cues and using the data highlighter is an efficient way to improve the context of your website content.
3. User Experience
Google wants to make sure that when searchers click into your site, they actually enjoy their experience and feel that their question has been answered. So, they use “user experience” as a ranking factor. Search Console tries to give you some hints about how to improve your site’s experience, with benchmarks on font size, page loading time and mobile responsiveness. And, it will find 404 errors that indicate broken links.
No one likes clicking through on a website only to be greeted with a 404 error. The Crawl Errors report in Google Search Console will let you know exactly how many broken links are on your site at a given time – including where they are and which pages are linking to them!
Generally, 404 errors are usually a result of old or broken links which have previously been indexed by Google. But with this feature, you can easily find URLs related to your domain that are populating a 404 page!
Unlike most sophisticated analytics tools, the best feature about Google Search Console is it’s absolutely free! Simply follow the instructions to verify your site, and you’ll be viewing valuable search statistics in no time.
4. Create a Full SEO Strategy
All of the tactics above will help you make smarter decisions with Google Search Console. But, you still need a full SEO strategy to make sure you are not being held back by one specific mistake.
Website optimization tools make attracting and converting traffic easier. Since your competitors are likely using them, you don’t want to miss out.
How you use them will determine the results. If you’re not checking in with these tools running reports, and actively making adjustments, you’ll lose out on potential sales.
If you want us to help you attract and convert more traffic than ever before, pick one of our packages.