A Beginner's Guide to Google Search Console

Feb 27, 2017
Why Google Search Console is So Important and How To Use It

Former known as Google Webmaster, this service was rebranded to the Google Search Console in 2015.

Google is always expanding its range of activities, the potentiality of its services, and always trying to add something new. Now, this toolset is used not only by webmasters and publishers but also by SEO specialists, marketers, designers, web developers, business owners, and more. Thus, the previous name no longer matched, as it represented just a small part of its target audience, purposes, possibilities and ways of utilization.

If you want to learn how to set up Google Search Console and get the most out of it, this blog post is for you.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Seach Console is free of cost service that lets users monitor how a website appears in search results. What’s more, it provides such important data as Google search traffic, search queries, what type of device was used to access your site, backlinks, and more.

How to set up Google Search Console?

Okay, sound cool. But how to add GSC to your website?

1. Go to Google Search Console and click ‘Start now’.

How to set up Google Search Console

2. Choose a resource type.

Choose a resource type

3. Download the HTML file and add it to your website’s code. Verify it by clicking the button.

add Google Search Console to your website

Google Search Console reports

  • Search Appearance

The term “structured data” refers to the information in a universally understandable format. It allows search engines to filter content with better accuracy and makes it easier to find exactly what the users are looking for. Google Search Console shows all your structured data elements, markups, and errors.

Meta tags improve the user experience and the search engine’s understanding of what is your page about. In “HTML Improvements” you’ll find recommendations for your meta title and meta description tags. You should expand short ones and specify details.

The Accelerated Mobile Pages standard was included in mobile search algorithms, and sites running AMP are rated higher. Google Search Console shows the number of pages with AMP implementation and errors to be fixed in order to improve your mobile search.

  • Search Results

The Search Results report allows you to track the search patterns of your visitors. Clicks and impressions show how much traffic is generated thanks to search engines. The CTR (click-through rate) reveals your organic traffic. If certain pages have a high impressions rate but a low CTR, that means users often see them on the SERP, but don’t click on them, and you should think of changing its metatags.

Besides this, you can observe internal and external links that direct users to your pages. In the “International Targeting” tab you can specify the country on which your business is aimed in order to increase the position of your site in this region, as well as check whether a correct version is displayed in case you have a multilingual site. “Mobile usability” helps you to not be removed from the mobile search by detecting corresponding errors.

  • Index Coverage Status

The Index Coverage Status report shows the indexing state of all URLs that Google has visited, or at least tried to visit, on your website. The summary page shows the results for all URLs grouped by status (error, warning, or valid) and specific reason for that status (e. g. 404 error).

  • AMP for Google Search Console

AMP stands for accelerated mobile pages. By creating AMP versions, you can improve mobile user experience and mobile SEO. If you want Google to show your AMP in search results, you should submit to index them. This means that Google has to see your pages, validate them and add to its database of search results. If Google didn't submit to index a page, it would not appear in search results.

You can easily see and track website AMP with the help of Google Search Console. AMP index status can be found in the Enhancements section.

Summing up

If you care about improving the visibility of your website to the Google search engine and are interested in increasing the number of clicks and the number of visitors to your page, then you should use Google Search Console. It will crawl through your site, find errors of different types and alert you about them. Knowing what to fix means knowing how to improve search engine optimization of your web resource. If you have any questions or want to order ongoing SEO maintenance, then contact us.

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