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how to use google search console to improve seo

How to Use Google Search Console to Improve SEO

Google Search Console is one of the most useful tools for businesses as it gives a comprehensive overview of a website’s search performance. However, the search console can be a bit cumbersome and unintuitive to use. 

Mastering Google Search Console will help you gather important insights and actionable data you can use to boost your performance. With that in mind, the team at Peppermonkey Media is here with this quick guide on how to use Google Search Console to improve SEO rankings. 

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Google Search Console: The Basics

Google Search Console is a real-time SEO analysis tool that helps you visualize your website’s search ranking average position. With GSC, website admins can track a wide range of metrics and fine-tune website structure and copy to boost their online presence.

The best part of all? GSC is 100% free to use. The all-in-one tool doesn’t cost a dime and has a powerful suite of features useful for most businesses. If you are a new business or are thinking about upping your SEO game, GSC is an invaluable tool to have in your kit. 

Why Google Search Console Matters for SEO

GSC should form an important backbone of your social media strategy and is a crucial tool for SEO managers communicating company goals. GSC suite includes various tools for:

  • Tracking website indexing
  • Monitoring keyword ranking, website traffic, and click-through-rates
  • Creating sitemaps
  • Identifying broken links and pages
  • Assessing mobile website design
  • Analyzing backlink data

These metrics are incredibly useful no matter what type of online SEO campaign you are trying to run. With GSC, you can keep track of all these metrics and tweak your SEO to get real-time updates on performance. 

How to Get Started with Google Search Console

At first, GSC might seem a bit intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it flows very smoothly. Follow these steps to get GSC up and running on your website. 

  • The first step is opening a GSC account and adding your website domain. GSC integrates into Google Analytics, so once you set up your website and get started immediately.
  • Next, you need to verify that you own your website. You can verify ownership with your Google Analytics tracking ID or by signing in with your domain provider. 
  • Now that you have an account, you need to submit a sitemap so the tool can analyze your website. The site map helps the crawler identify specific pages so it can analyze their individual search performance. 
  • Once you have your site map up, assign users. User accounts include the Owners and Full or Restricted Users. Verifying the website automatically assigns you an Owner user account. 

After assigning users, you can get started with the SEO analysis tools. 

Important Google Search Console Features

The key to using GSC effectively is getting familiar with its core systems and components. 

Search Console Overview

This is the first page that opens when you sign into your account and contains a quick overview of basic website performance. From there you can click on the links to get more specific reports. Any alerts will show up on this screen so you can quickly address them. 

Performance Report

The performance report tab has your website’s general search performance, including impressions, click-through rates, and average ranking position. You can attune these metrics for specific keywords to see how your results compare to competitors. 

Index Report

The index report tab notifies you of crawler activity and any problems indexing your website. The tool keeps track of the total number of indexed and non-indexed pages and provides alerts for pages that have errors in their indexing. 

Link Reports

The link tab reports all active links on your website, including external links and internal links. From here, you can assess your link strategy and see which target pages are linked the most. 

Security Reports

Lastly, the security report tab indicates potential website threats. The security tab will pop an alert if it detects your website has been hacked or is acting in unexpected ways or harming visitors’ computers. 

Tips for Using Google Search Console Effectively

If you really want to up your game with GSC, here are some tips from our SEO experts. 

  • You can use the “Queries” tab on the search console page to see all the keywords your website ranks for. This feature can help you do keyword research on competitors and similar websites. 
  • When you add or change web pages, make sure you double-check the index report to make sure the crawler is appropriately identifying changes. For example, it is fairly common for website admins to delete a page but forget to redirect the address, which can cause indexing errors. 
  • GSC now features mobile indexing, so it’s more important than ever to optimize your website for mobile format and display. GSC tells you how well your mobile pages load and whether there are any formatting errors affecting their layout. 
  • Be on the lookout for keyword cannibalism—i.e., when multiple pages on your site rank for the same keywords. This can lead to unintended web pages getting prioritized over your main targets. 
  • Be sure to check manual actions frequently. Manual actions are penalties against your site for violating Google guidelines and can penalize your search results. Examples include keyword stuffing, backlink buying, and harmful websites. 
  • Don’t forget to adjust your meta descriptions. Search engines also look at meta-descriptions, which have a major effect on your click-through rates. 
  • Consider removing or consolidating pages that are not ranking well to avoid running out of crawl depth. If you have too many pages on your website, the search engine crawler might not identify new or updated pages. 

Small Business Marketing in New Jersey

Read our blog to learn more about some solutions to dropping website traffic. If you would like to know more about how to use Google Search Console to improve SEO, contact Peppermonkey Media online or call (888) 231-9764 to schedule an appointment!

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