Google Search Console: A Simple Guide
Google Search Console (GSC) is an incredibly useful free tool from Google that makes it easier for website owners to stay on top of their website’s performance in the Google search results page. With GSC, you have access to important metrics and insights that can help you better understand how to optimise your website for maximum visibility. In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of what GSC is, why it's so useful, and some helpful tips and tricks to get started with using it.
With the help of GSC, website owners can gain valuable insights into how the search engine is crawling their sites and learn about any potential issues or opportunities for improvement. It's also a great way to track organic traffic growth over time, check how individual pages are performing in search results, see who’s linking to your site, as well as discovering which keywords are driving traffic to your website.
Overall, having access to a comprehensive analytics platform like Google Search Console will make it much easier for you to make smart decisions about your website that will help improve its visibility in search engine results. This means more eyes on your content and more potential customers finding out about what you have to offer!
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a platform designed to help website owners understand how their website is being seen in Google's search results pages. The tool provides insights into what keywords your website is ranking for, the number of impressions and clicks you are getting, and more. The platform is free and easy to use, making it a must-have tool for website owners looking to improve their website's visibility in Google searches.
Setting up Google Search Console
To start using Google Search Console, you’ll need to create an account. To do this, go to google.com and search for Google Search Console. From there, click on the “Sign Up” button, and follow the steps to create an account. You’ll need to verify your website by adding a TXT record to your domain registrar. Google provides information on how to add the record, or you can search online for a step-by-step guide specific to your domain registrar.
Once you have verified your website, it may take up to a month for the data to start appearing in your Google Search Console account.
Using Google Search Console
Google Search Console provides a wealth of information to help you understand how your website is performing in Google search. Here’s an overview of some of the key features:
- Average position: This section shows you a list of queries that people are using to find your website in Google search. You can see the number of impressions and clicks for each query, and the average position of your website in the search results.
- Performance: This section provides a more in-depth look at the impressions and clicks your website is receiving from Google search. You can see data on the average position of your website, the number of clicks, impressions, and click-through rate (CTR).
- URL inspection: This feature allows you to inspect individual pages on your website and see how they are performing in Google search. You can see if there are any technical issues with your pages that may be affecting their ranking, and if there are any issues, you can submit a request to have the page re-indexed.
- Coverage report: The coverage report shows you any issues that Google has encountered while crawling your website. You can use this information to fix any issues and improve your website’s visibility in Google search.
Sorting Results by Query
Google Search Console provides the ability to sort search results by query, which means you can see what keywords your website is ranking for. To do this, you can go to the "Search Results" tab, select "Query" from the drop-down menu, and then enter a keyword that you want to check. This will show you the position and impressions for that keyword, as well as the number of clicks it received.
Searching by URL
Google Search Console also provides the ability to search for information about a specific URL. To do this, you can go to the "Search Results" tab, select "Page" from the drop-down menu, and then enter the URL you want to check. This will show you all the queries and keywords associated with that URL, as well as the position and impressions for each keyword.
Improving Rankings with Content Optimization
One of the ways to improve your website's visibility in search results is to optimise the content on your site. You can use the information from Google Search Console to identify the keywords that your site is ranking for and make changes to the content to rank higher for those keywords. For example, if you want to rank higher for the keyword "website builder," you can go to the page that is associated with that keyword and see if the keyword is mentioned on the page. If not, you can add the keyword to the page a few times, both in the headers and in the body of the page, to improve your ranking.
Google Search Console also provides the ability to submit sitemaps, which are files that help search engines understand the structure of your website. To add a sitemap to Google Search Console, you can go to the "Sitemaps" tab and enter the URL for your sitemap. If you are using a website builder like ShowIt, you can find instructions on how to find your sitemap URL by searching for "ShowIt sitemap" on Google.
Conclusion: What IS GSC?
Google Search Console is a powerful tool that provides website owners with valuable insights into how their website is performing in Google search. By setting up an account, you can see how your website is ranking for specific keywords, how many impressions and clicks you are getting, and more. If you’re looking to improve your website’s visibility in Google search, then Google Search Console is a must-have tool.
Here are three excellent resources to help you learn more about Google Search Console:
- Google's Official Documentation on GSC: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/4559176
- HubSpot's Ultimate Guide to Using GSC Effectively: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/google-search-console
- Backlinko's Comprehensive Guide to Mastering GSC: https://backlinko.com/google-search-console