When you want to get your website in front of your target audience, you must focus on improving your rankings for your target keywords. There are several fantastic free tools that can help improve your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) – and Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is one of the best.
While most business owners with websites are aware of Google Analytics, not many have heard of Google Search Console. In essence, it’s your control panel where you can monitor and direct how Google views your website.
For instance, let’s assume you removed a page and forgot to redirect the URL. The next time Google’s spiders crawl your site, GSC will notify you if there’s a 404 error. This alert tells you exactly where you need to add a redirect.
In essence, Google Search Console helps ensure your visitors don’t leave or bounce your website. GSC enables you to offer a better user experience to your visitors and to perform an array of SEO tasks.
If you are still not sure why you need Google Search Console, here are some ways it can help your business:
Keep a Tab on the Progress of Your Content Marketing Strategy
Head to Content Keywords reports in Google Search Console and you will know the most common keywords on your website as identified by Googlebot, the search engine giant’s web crawling bot.
This is a fantastic feature you can use to assess the progress of your content marketing efforts. By knowing whether a specific strategy is working, you can steer your content marketing efforts in the right direction.
Compare this list against your own list of keywords to identify discrepancies/contradictions if any. If a specific keyword has a higher (or lower) significance than you intended, it’s time to update the content.
Know Where Your Visitors are Coming From
If you serve a specific country, it’s important to gain traffic from that specific geographic region than any other location. Google Search Console provides precious data about your visitors’ location, so you can ensure you are targeting the right people.
Click on the Search Analytics bar and choose Countries from the menu.
Now you will see the clicks received from each country, in descending order. You can choose to view the results by click-through rate, impressions or even search ranking position.
Monitor Your Click-through Rate (CTR)
We highly recommend keeping tabs on your CTR. Any huge movement is critical. If the CTR has gone down, but impressions have increased, it means you are ranking for more keywords. So the average CTR has come down.
However, if the CTR has increased and so have the impressions, it means you have lost keywords. If both your impressions and CTR are up, you are on the right track!
Learn Which Websites Link to You
This is critical information when you are focused on improving your search engine rankings. Backlinks are a huge ranking factor, so every link pointing to your website is a signal to the search engines that your content is useful and trustworthy.
Generally speaking, the more backlinks you have, the better it is for your website. Of course, quality is important too. One link from an authority website is much better than two links from sites with low authority.
Head over to the left-side menu and click Links to Your Site under Search Traffic.
You will see a list of all sites that are pointing a link to your website. You will also see a list of all the pages on your site that have the most backlinks.
Under the section titled “How your data is linked”, you can even see the most common anchor text used by people linking to your website.
Find Website Security Issues
Whether your business is big or small, if your website gets hacked, it can affect your business in many ways. Sensitive customer data may be compromised, you may lose sales for as long as your site is down (especially if it’s an eCommerce website), lose your reputation or lose search engine rankings among other things.
Google Search Console offers an easy and quick update if your website has security issues that you must know about. From the left-side menu, click on the Security Issues option.
If there’s nothing to worry about, the Console will tell you so. And if there’s an issue that needs your attention, you will have all the details you’ll need to find out how to fix it.
Sync with Google Analytics
Google Analytics helps track and report your website traffic. If you are not already using it for your business website, we highly recommend you do so at the earliest.
Google Search Console works in tandem with Google Analytics and it’s easy to sync them together so you can view your GSC data right from the Google Analytics reports.
They may sound very similar, but there are some key differences. Whereas Google Analytics provides insight into the total interest or number for a given keyword, Google Search Console shows you the most commonly used keywords on your website.
Another critical difference is that while Google Analytics tells you if leads are converting, Google Search Console shows you why they are (or aren’t) converting.
The Google Search Console is completely free and it offers a lot of useful information that you can use to give the much-needed boost to your digital marketing strategy to improve leads and conversions.
It offers a transparent view of your website’s SEO health from the search users’ perspective. When you fix any issues, your site is sure to enjoy improved rankings, eventually gaining more traffic, leads and sales. Be sure to log in to your Google Search Console account regularly to assess your Search Analytics and customise your SEO strategy accordingly.
Need help with SEO? Get in touch with Numero today.