Google Search Console (GSC) earlier known as Google Webmaster Tools. It is known as a set of powerful tools and reports given by webmasters, marketers, and website owners. It is a free web service offered by Google that allows its users to monitor, analyze, and optimize their website presence. It provides communication between website operators and Google’s search engine that helps them understand how their website performs while searching for results.
The Google Search Console is essential for Website Owners and Marketers because of various reasons like visibility, usability, Indexation Control, and Issue Identification. Sometimes for advanced users, it also allows you to implement structured data while increasing your site’s visibility in search results.
Setting up Google Search Console:
To set up one’s own Google Search Console, there is a certain step you must follow that is discussed in the following paragraph. The setup guide will walk you through the essential steps and will help you in setting up the console easily.
- first, go to the Google search console and sign in with your Google account.
- Then click on the “Add a Property” option and enter your website’s URL.
- Choose a verification method from HTML file upload, HTML tag, DNS record, Google Analytics, or Google Tag Manager to prove ownership of the website. Then you can follow the provided instructions based on your selected method.
Navigating the Google Search Console Dashboard:
After successful website verification on GSC, the Google Search Console dashboard comes into play. The dashboard includes Performance, Coverage, Sitemaps, Mobile Usability and Enhancements. These sections provide insights related to their respective fields.
Here is an overview:
- Performance: This section provides insights into how your site performs in search results, including clicks, impressions, average click-through rate (CTR), and average position.
- Coverage: The Coverage report highlights indexation issues, such as errors and excluded pages.
- Sitemaps: You can submit and review sitemaps to help Google better understand your website’s structure.
- Mobile Usability: This report identifies mobile-related issues on your site.
- Enhancements: It covers rich results, mobile usability enhancements, and more.
Adding Your Website:
To add your website properly to Google Search Console you first need to click on “Add a Property” and enter your website’s URL from the dashboard. Then Choose your preferred domain it could be www or non-www and the protocol could be HTTP or HTTPS. With this, it shows consistency in how your website is displayed in the search results.
Understanding Search Performance:
To understand the search Performance, you need to understand about the “Performance” section of the console dashboard. This section especially provides some valuable as well as useful insights on how users actually find and use your website in Google search.
Some important elements to explore are queries, pages, countries, and devices. With queries, we can discover which search queries drive traffic to your site. While pages provide insight into which pages receive the most clicks and impressions. Countries help us to understand your audience’s geographic distribution. To analyze which device user is used for interaction we use key elements like devices.
Index Coverage Report
The “Index Coverage” report is used to address indexation issues, such as crawl errors and indexing errors. Crawl errors known as broken links or server problems can hinder Googlebot’s ability to access your content. Indexing errors are said to occur if Google encounters issues with your site’s structure or content. To maintain a healthy website presence, it is crucial to identify as well as fix these indexation issues. In order to do that, you need to review the “Index Coverage” report in the Search Console regularly. Then take action to resolve such issues while ensuring that your website’s content is properly crawled, indexed, and visible in search results.
Removal options play a significant role, which helping website owners remove specific unwanted website page URLs from Google search results. It’s the only tool if you want to remove indexed any specific outdated/plagiarised/thin content pages from the Google search results.
Sitemaps and Robots.txt
Sitemaps help crawlers (ex-GoogleBot) to determine and index your content on the search engines also it helps to improve the SERP visibility of your website. In the Google Search Console dashboard, there is an option Sitemaps where we can submit website sitemaps to discover all pages of the website.
Mobile usability is the most important factor when it comes to the Google Search Console. Mobile-friendliness can be paramount in increasing the number of users accessing websites via mobile devices.
To utilize the Mobile Usability report in Google Search Console first go to the report section and review any issues that, highlight. It provides insights into usability problems, such as text being too small to read or clickable elements placed too closely.
Page Experience Overview:
It is a very useful tool in Google Search Console, in terms of providing insights to website owners about their own website performance. It mainly analyses Core Web Vitals metrics, mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, and HTTPS security. This data helps improve page performance and ensures a better overall experience for site visitors.
Core Web Vitals:
Core web vitals are necessary metrics that are used in tracking the Google Search Console in order to gather some information about the website’s performance. There are four major elements of metrics as follows:
LCP: Known as the Largest Contentful Paint. It is used in measuring the loading speed of the website and its loading should be under 2.5 sec.
FID: Known as First Input Delay. It assesses interactivity in a website with the user and it should be less than 100ms.
CLS: Known as Cumulative Layout Shift. It measures visual stability and its score should be less than 0.1
INP (Interaction to Next Paint): Interaction to Next Paint (INP) is a CWV metric that will be replaced by FID in March 2024 and measures the website page’s responsiveness to user interactions. It archives by calculating of latency of every tap, clicks, and keyboard interaction, that takes place when a user visits the website page.
Enhancing Website Appearance in Search Results
To enhance website appearance in search results we use the “Enhancements” section in the Google Search Console. This provides perceptions into structured data and other types of enhancements that can make your website citation more interesting.
The “Rich Results” section offers details about how Google displays your site in rich snippets, like star ratings or product information, enhancing your click-through rates. The “Breadcrumbs” report also helps you ensure that your site’s breadcrumb trail is correctly implemented, aiding navigation and providing context in search results.
The “Breadcrumbs” report also helps you ensure that your site’s breadcrumb trail is correctly implemented, aiding navigation and providing context in search results.
Sitelink Search Box
The Sitelink Search box feature in Google Search Console is used by webmasters in order to suggest a search box for their site’s search functionality to appear in the Google search results. This feature itself enhances user experience by allowing direct site-specific searches. It also increases visibility. This also proves useful to the user as it makes this easier to find relevant content within a website directly from the search results.
Security Issues and Manual Actions
Security Issues alerts from Google Search Console are crucial for protecting your website. It notifies of potential security threats, such as malware or hacked content, along with helping promptly to address the issues in order to protect a site’s veracity and users’ privacy.
Manual Actions are penalties from Google imposed in case of violating Google’s webmaster guidelines. In the report of “Manual Actions”, you’ll find details regarding the issues that may trigger the penalty.
URL Inspection Tool
To troubleshoot and gain insights from specific URLs, Google’s URL Inspection tool in Search Console is used. In this case, simply by entering the URL you want to inspect, the tool itself provides some valuable information that will help you identify problems such as indexing errors, blocked resources, or mobile usability issues. With the help of this tool, you can pinpoint and resolve issues at the URL level.
Structured Data and Rich Snippets (Optional)
Structured data helps Google to understand the content on your pages better. With the help of the Implementation of structured data, it can result in rich snippets that help in enhancing your site’s search result appearance.
We can implement structured data for rich snippets which involves tasks like adding mark-up code to your web pages. Google then uses this markup to display heightened information in search results, improving visibility and user engagement.
Performance Optimization Tips
In order to achieve optimization in website performance, we need to follow some important key points. Such as Regular Monitoring, Mobile Usability, Structured Data, Security, and Manual Actions. With the help of implementing these practices, it improves the website’s visibility, user experience, and overall performance.
The “Links” section in the Google Search Console mainly provides treasured data on a website’s both inbound and outbound links. It only displays information about referring domains, top linking pages, anchor text, and more. This data helps website owners assess their site’s backlink profile, identify linking issues, and enhance their SEO strategy to improve search rankings and overall website authority.
Google Search Console settings permit webmasters to constitute various aspects of their website’s presence in Google search results. These settings consist of site preferences, URL parameters, and international targeting. It allows their webmasters to adjust how their site appears and performs in Google’s search index for better visibility and user experience.
Send Feedback to Google
In order to provide feedback to Google through the Google Search Console, first go to the console’s interface. After that, click on the button named “Submit Feedback” which is placed in the bottom right corner. This feature helps us in reporting bugs and suggest improvements. We sometimes use it to seek assistance with Console-related issues. It played an important role in enhancing the platform’s usability and effectiveness.
For website owners and marketers, Google Search Console is an essential tool to analyze website performance and growth. With the help of a Search console website owners and marketers can improve their online presence and provide a better experience for users. It provides insights and identifies issues that enhance a site’s visibility. Explore its features, experiment with its reports, and stay informed about the ever-evolving world of SEO to make the most of this powerful tool.