Are you starting the search engine optimization (SEO) for your website? Do you anxious about its complicated and expensive offerings through which you have to analyze site pages, authority, backlinks, and SEO?
One thing is for sure if you want to rank on Google, you should have the knowledge of Google’s free tools and how to use them?
Do you know about the Webmaster Tools or the Search Console is what they’re popularly called nowadays? And the people who have already used Search Console, they should know that it has got a makeover. Now you can access it from a mobile device and can track 16 months of data, detailed page data, new tracking flows, and improved reports.
How does Google Search Console help?
According to Google, the Search Console will help you in monitoring, maintaining, and troubleshooting your site’s presence in Google search results.
Of course, there is no need for you to use the Search Console to show up on the SERP, but it is helpful if you want to control how and when you’re showing up.
It’s necessary to see which of the pages on your site are indexed, which of the search queries show your site, and how often users click through, noticing the backlinks, and troubleshooting mobile usability and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Search Console easily links up with Google Analytics that allows you to see everything in one place.
The search console isn’t just a site administrator. SEO specialists and content marketers should be familiar with the search console to monitor and optimize inbound traffic, at the same time web developers can use it to monitor and resolve issues with markup.
How can you set up Search Console?
If you’re already using Google Analytics, then you must have a Google account. If not, set one for getting into Search Console.
Then, sign up for Search Console and confirm ownership of your website. Get verified to a business account on Twitter or Instagram. You have to provide proof that you are authorized to view some proprietary insights for your website.
There are two ways to do for property type:
- If you want to include all the URLs across your domain, choose the “Domain” option.
- If you want to include the index part of your website, the URL prefix choice is for you.
The Domain option requires DNS verification. If you fail in that, then you can go for the URL Prefix option which allows you to verify through an HTML tag or file, Google Analytics, or Google Tag Manager.
Just by signing up for the Search Console, automatically you will receive the alerts if Google finds something weird markup or a page that hasn’t been indexed. At that time, if you go to see the dashboard, you won’t be able to see the data right away–it will take a few days to get everything up and running.
How to add your team with search console users?
Adding up the members of your team is needed so that they will have access to the Search Console and Google offers different management options: owner, full user, the restricted user.
The person who creates the Search Console account for the site will be deemed to be the owner, and fully in control of the tool. The owner can add up other full users and can view rights and some actionable power and the restricted users can only view data for the property.
Loading of Your Sitemap
A sitemap is a file on the website that tells to Google which are the pages to be indexed. If you have a site with less than 100 pages, you can simply input the homepage URL for indexing as long as all pages are accessed from the homepage. But if you have a large site, you may have to upload your sitemap.
Link Google Analytics
If you use Google Analytics, you need to link your analytics with the Search Console to see more granular traffic insights.
How can I make the most out of Search Console?
If you’re a beginner in using the search console and you’re on the process of getting the best version, it can be daunting and more difficult to understand. Each website is different from others and has different goals when it comes to SEO, so take note of the following things:
For Search Console beginners, this is the most useful section of the tool.
You can configure the Performance report based on the data you want to view (Google Analytics). Search Console helps you to group and filter the queries, pages, search type, search appearance, countries, devices, and date.
Normally, through this, you view where your organic site traffic is coming from, the queries that are most likely to show your page, click-through rates from the SERP to specific pages, how your search traffic varies, searches by device, and more.
Just input a URL from your website and you’ll be able to access analytics for that page. This is useful when you look to optimize specific pages for the SERP.
Search Console keeps track of all the indexed pages of your website and can be viewed from here. The high-level report will display all the URLs by its index status. These statuses include Error, Warning, Exclusion, and Valid along with reasons for that status.
Core Web Vitals
Being a great addition to the Search Console, it allows you to fix poor user experiences resulting from long load times.
You can browse the Poor, Needs Improvement, and Good in the overview to understand how your pages perform based on user data.
Mobile Usability Report
This section of Search Console allows you to see the pages on the site that are valid, or mobile-friendly, or rendering an error, that are not mobile-friendly.
This report will show the insight about your top-linked pages, the domains link to you, and supplement the data you get through Google Analytics. The best feature of this is that you get to know the insight about the domain that is linking to you along with the actual text that the writer has hyperlinked to your page.
How to connect Search Console to Google Analytics?
To leverage data from Search Console in Google Analytics, you will authorize data sharing in your GA settings.
First go to admin; click the property you want to add. Then, go to Search Console setting and select the data you want to view and save.
By following the above principles, you’ll be able to make the most out of this powerful, free tool.