How to Use Google Search Console to Improve Your SEO

Google Search Console is a powerful tool that can help improve your website’s SEO by providing valuable insights into how your site performs on Google. By monitoring your website’s search traffic, indexing status, and technical issues, you can make informed decisions about optimizing your content and improving your search visibility. In this guide, we at Partopia Digital in Fort Nelson will walk you through the basics of using Google Search Console and show you how to use its features to boost your SEO efforts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced marketer, this guide will give you the knowledge you need to take your SEO to the next level.

What Google Search Console Is and Its Purpose

Google Search Console is a free web service provided by Google that helps website owners monitor and improve their site’s visibility in Google Search results. It allows website owners to submit sitemaps, check the index status of their pages, and see how their website is performing in terms of clicks, impressions, and other metrics. The purpose of Google Search Console is to help website owners understand how Google crawls and indexes their website and to make it easier to identify and fix any issues affecting their site’s visibility in search results.

Verify Your Website

There are several ways to verify your website on Google Search Console. Here are a few standard methods:

  • HTML File Upload: Download the HTML verification file provided by Search Console and upload it to the root directory of your website. Once the file is uploaded, go back to Search Console and click the “Verify” button to confirm that the file is present.
  • HTML Tag: Copy the meta tag provided by Search Console and paste it into the head section of your website’s homepage. Once the title is added, go back to the Search Console and click the “Verify” button to confirm that the tag is present.
  • Domain Name Provider: If you have access to your domain name provider account, you can verify ownership through that account by adding a TXT or CNAME record.
  • Google Analytics: If you have a Google Analytics account, you can verify your website by linking it to your Search Console account.
  • Google Tag Manager: If you have a Google Tag Manager account, you can verify your website by linking it to your Search Console account.
  • Google Site Kit: If you have a WordPress website and have installed the Google Site Kit plugin, you can verify your website by linking it to your Search Console account through the plugin.

Once you have chosen a verification method, follow the instructions provided by Search Console to complete the verification process. After your website is verified, you’ll be able to access data and make changes to your website’s settings in the Search Console.

Monitor Website Performance

Google Search Console provides several reports to help you monitor and understand your website’s performance, including:

  • Search Analytics: Allows you to see website performance in terms of clicks, impressions, CTR, and other metrics. It helps identify which pages are performing well and which may need improvement.
  • Crawl Errors: This shows errors encountered by Google’s crawler when accessing the website. It helps identify and fix issues preventing Google from correctly indexing the website.
  • Sitemaps: Allows for submission of sitemaps and shows how many pages have been indexed by Google. It helps ensure that Google knows about all pages on the website.
  • Mobile Usability: Allows for identification of issues affecting usability on mobile devices. Helps identify and fix problems affecting the mobile usability of the website.
  • Links: Shows which websites are linking to the website and the number of links pointing to each page. It helps identify which pages receive the most links and investigate suspicious links.

By monitoring these reports regularly, you can understand your website’s performance and identify areas for improvement. You can also use this information to optimize your website’s content and improve its visibility in search results.

Fix Crawl Errors

Crawl errors are issues that prevent Google’s crawler from accessing or indexing your website correctly. These errors can include broken links, 404 errors (page not found), and other issues affecting your website’s visibility in search results. Crawl errors are critical because they can prevent Google from discovering new content on your website and users from finding the information they are looking for.

To find and fix crawl errors using the Crawl Errors report in Google Search Console:

  • Go to the Search Console website and sign in with your Google account.
  • Select your website from the list of properties.
  • Click on the “Crawl Errors” report.
  • You will see a list of crawl errors grouped by type (such as “Server errors” or “Not found”). Click on the error type you want to investigate.
  • Review the list of URLs that are generating errors. Click on an individual URL to see more details about the error and find out where the problem is.
  • You can take action to solve the issue once you’ve identified it. For instance, if the mistake is a broken link, you can amend the link to the proper URL. If the problem is a 404 error, you can either create the missing page or redirect it to another relevant page on your website. 
  • After you have fixed the issue, you can use the “Fetch as Google” feature in Search Console to request that Google recrawl the URL.

It’s important to note that you may have to wait for Google to recrawl the site to see the changes. Also, it’s a good practice to regularly check for crawl errors to keep your website healthy and accessible.

Submit Sitemaps

A sitemap is a file that lists all of the pages on your website and helps search engines discover new content. It’s an XML file that follows a specific format and includes information such as the URL, when the page was last updated, and how frequently the page is likely to change. Sitemaps are essential for SEO because they help search engines discover new pages on your website and provide information that can help search engines understand the structure of your website.

To submit a sitemap to the Search Console:

  • Go to the Search Console website and sign in with your Google account.
  • Select your website from the list of properties.
  • Click on the “Sitemaps” report.
  • Click on the “Add/Test Sitemap” button.
  • Enter the URL of your sitemap in the “Sitemap” field and click “Submit.”
  • After you submit your sitemap, you will see how Google has indexed many pages from your sitemap. You will also be able to see any errors that may be preventing Google from indexing your sitemap correctly.

 

Check for Mobile-Friendliness

A mobile-friendly website is essential for SEO because more and more people use mobile devices to access the internet. Google has stated that mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor, meaning mobile-friendly websites may receive a higher ranking in search results than non-mobile-friendly websites. In addition, mobile-friendliness is essential for user experience, as it ensures that users can easily access and navigate your website on their mobile device.

To use the Mobile Usability report in Google Search Console to check your website’s mobile-friendliness and fix any issues:

  • Go to the Search Console website and sign in with your Google account.
  • Select your website from the list of properties.
  • Click on the “Mobile Usability” report.
  • Review the list of issues affecting your website’s mobile usability. Common problems include text that needs to be more significant to read, buttons that are too close together, and other issues that can make your website difficult to use on a mobile device.
  • Click on an individual issue to see more details and find out where the problem is.
  • Once you have identified the problem, you can take steps to fix it. For example, if the issue is that the text is too small to read, you can increase the font size. If the problem is buttons that are too close together, you can increase the spacing between them.
  • After you have fixed the issue, you can use the “Fetch as Google” feature in Search Console to request that Google recrawl the UR

 

Track Your Backlinks

Backlinks, also known as inbound links, point to your website from other websites. They are essential for SEO because they help search engines understand the popularity and relevance of your website. When other websites link to your site, it signals to search engines that other people consider your content valuable and relevant. Backlinks can also help increase your website’s visibility by driving referral traffic to your site.

To use the Links report in Google Search Console to see which websites are linking to your site and identify potential link-building opportunities:

  • Go to the Search Console website and sign in with your Google account.
  • Select your website from the list of properties.
  • Click on the “Links” report.
  • Review the list of websites that are linking to your site. You can see the number of links pointing to each page of your website.
  • Click on a specific website to see which pages on your site are being linked to.
  • Use this information to identify potential link-building opportunities. For example, if you notice that a website in your industry links to a competitor’s website, you may want to reach out to that website and ask if they would be willing to link to it.
  • You can also use this report to identify any suspicious links pointing to your site, such as spammy or low-quality websites, and use the “Disavow links” tool to tell Google not to take those links into account.

In conclusion, Google Search Console is an essential tool for website owners who want to improve their website’s SEO. It provides detailed information and analytics on how your website performs in terms of clicks, impressions, and other metrics, as well as alerts for potential issues that could affect your website’s search performance. By regularly monitoring and utilizing the various reports available on the Search Console, website owners can identify areas for improvement and take steps to optimize their website’s content, fix technical issues, and increase visibility in search results.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’re here to help and will do our best to respond to your message as soon as possible. You can visit us on our website.

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