Google Search Console
Search Console is a tool that helps you to monitor the website. The Google search console is the official way by which Google search engine communicates with your website, the most important part of search engine optimization.
You can get all the information related to your website from error pages to page view statistics and keyword lists as well. To get started with search console you need a Google account, once you create your account you need to verify the ownership of your website.
Let’s get started to “Beginners Guide to Google Search Console“.
Features of Google Search Console for Beginners
There are many features in the Google search console let us discuss in brief about most important features here.
1. Sitemap Submission
A sitemap gives the list of all available pages on your website. There are many supported formats of sitemaps each search engine have specific formats, XML is the most commonly used format.
A sitemap is usually generated by Plugins automatically in WordPress. If not, then you might need to create a sitemap manually by adding all URLs in a notepad file and upload it to your server.
The sitemap can be also generated by some third party sitemap generator website. Once you have a sitemap file in your server, you can load it to Google by using Search Console.
You can do this by navigating to the sitemaps section in the left side menu and fill in the sitemap URL where prompted. Once this is done Google ensures all the listed pages are crawled.
Navigate to Index -> Click Sitemaps -> Add a new sitemap
2. Top Visited Pages
The website has a number of pages, not all the pages get the same number of visitors. Google search console will give you the list of pages that are most visited with the count of visitors on each page.
For example, your website’s home page might get a large number of visitors while other pages might be lesser. Popular pages can be found by navigating to the performance page on the left side menu bar or from the top menu.
Overview -> Performance -> Pages
You can see the list of pages that have been most viewed based on the number of clicks and impressions for each page.
3. Analyze the Organic Keywords
As an SEO Expert increasing online search engine visibility is the most important thing. When a search is made the search results are based upon many factors and it differs between each search engine. The most common and important factor in ranking and fetching a website result is keywords.
Google search console lists out the keywords that were used to search your website. This list will be helpful in optimizing your website pages further. You can analyze the most common keywords and incorporate them to increase the search results.
You can view the list of keywords in the same section as Top Pages, Navigate to Performance and check the Keywords.
Overview -> Performance -> Queries
You will get the information about the number of clicks each keyword has earned and the number of impressions your website has made. Impressions are nothing but the number of times your website has appeared in search results.
4. Device wise data
It is mandatory that your website looks equally good on a mobile phone as on a desktop computer. To improve performance you might need to know which device your target audiences are using.
In the Performance section, you will see the information about the number of clicks from each type of device. This data will be helpful to improve the performance of your website in a specific device. Like adding a popup of introducing offers and things such that.
Overview -> Performance -> Devices
5. Mobile Compatibility
To check the mobile version of your website you can use your own tools or just reach the Google search console. In the Enhancement section of your left menu, you need to select Mobile usability, you will zero the number of error which means there are no mobile usability errors on your website. In case there are mobile usability issues it will be listed in that place. You can fix the errors and get it mobile compatible.
Enhancements -> Mobile Usability
6. Visitor Geo Location
If you need a Geo-target specific audience for your website or business then it is important to learn about the geographic data of your visitors. Google search console will provide data regarding the geographic location of your website visitors so that you can make sure that your target audiences are reached.
This Geo-targeted data can be viewed in the same performance section, select countries from the menu by doing so you can see the number of clicks from each country.
If you are an SEO Expert and your location is India then “SEO Expert in India” might be the keyword you must target to narrow down the target users.
Overview -> Performance -> Countries
7. Backlinks Audit
Backlinks are one of the most important factors for SEO of your website. Backlinks are 2 types one which is linked internally within your website and others are the links from different websites that lead to your website.
If you navigate Links in the left side menu of Google Search Console, you can see a list of URL’s that link that linked both internally and externally. If you click on the URL’s listed you can see specific websites with the total number of Links. You can view the websites and explore how they have linked yours.
Links -> External Links, Internal Links, Top Linking Sites
8. 404 URL’s
Broken links are expired pages or removed pages, the number of visitors reaching your website might be impacted by broken links and affect your SEO. When a user clicks on a link and cannot view the page then the user might not return back to your website.
Broken Links can increase the bounce rate of the website and create a great impact on the page rank of the website.
You need to navigate to the coverage section in the Google search console to find the list of errors found by Google while crawling your website.
Index -> Coverage
A number of 404 URL’s will be excluded by Google, if it is not added in the sitemap, don’t worry about those excluded 404 Pages. You can find those URL here,
Index -> Coverage -> Excluded
9. Security issues
Security threats are most common for a website, it is important to stay secure. You might not know security threats at times to ensure that your website is secure you can check the Google search console. If there are any security issues they will be listed under the security issues option on the left side menu.
Security & Manual Actions -> Security Actions
If you are using schema markup or any other type of structured data such as FAQ, Review, Product then you can check it under the Enhancements Sections. The Google search console provides you information on schema type only if your website is coded right for the schema.
Enhancements -> FAQ, Unparasable structured data, Sitelinks search box…
Google search console has many other features; you can get your website ranked up and make it perform well by using those options. Get the best out of your website by keeping it secure.
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