How to Use Google Search Console to Improve SEO

How to Use Google Search Console to Improve SEO

Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console is an SEO tool which is not only beneficial for the SEO experts but is also of use for the business owners, marketers, designers, developers and more.

It helps the professionals monitor the performance of their website in the Google search index.

How does Google Search Console help with SEO?

GSC helps the website owners to manage website’s search functionality. It provides detailed reports on the total number of visitors, the browser type and the device they used to visit your website, their demographics and more. And this information assists webmasters in rectifying crawl errors if there is any.

There are mainly four menus of Google Search Console that are used for SEO.

Here are, all the functions of Google Search Console, described in detail.

#1 – Search Appearance

Search Appearance shows that how a website is set up and how it will appear in the search results. It not only depends on the GSC setup and verification, but also depends on the code snippets (like rich snippets, rich cards), the frameworks like accelerated mobile pages, and the normal HTML corrections.

All these elements play a role in helping the websites secure better search rankings.

The main components of these menus are:

1.1 Structured data

Structured data enables Google to categorize the URLs for better indexing on the basis of votes, ratings, and reviews. It also provides users with the tool that can be used to test live data.

Google Search Console: Structured Data
Google Search Console: Structured Data

Developers can use the structured data to detect the mistakes they have made while creating rich snippets.

1.2 Rich cards

Though rich cards work the same way as that of the structured data, they create more attractive visuals to offer better engagement to the users. This results in increasing the sales and site’s traffic.

Rich cards can be used for showing different types of information in the search results, including breadcrumbs, logos, preferred site name, social profile links, events, books, and local business.

1.3 Data highlighter

Data highlighter enhances content the same way as that of the structured data. But as the users need to write tags for every URL, it is not a good choice of the websites containing a large number of URLs.

The good thing about data highlighter is that it does not involve writing codes. You just need to follow some simple steps for highlighting the particular data.

1.4 HTML improvements

It is a kind of report that shows the issues detected by Google while indexing/crawling your website. It helps you find short/long/duplicate meta descriptions, missing/short/long/duplicate title tags and the content that is non-index able by Google.

Google Search Console - HTML Improvements
Google Search Console – HTML Improvements

You just need to understand the report and fix all the issues.

1.5 Accelerated mobile pages (AMP)

It is a technique that can be used for building JS and HTML pages that load quickly on mobile devices. It can be used to remove the slowly loading pages and adding the fast-loading ones.

#2 – Search Traffic

The Search Traffic menu provides deep insights into site keywords appearing in the searches, ranking, Google penalties, backlink matrix and the mobile usability of the website. It is the most useful menu for SEO and has the following components:

2.1 Search analytics report

Google Search Console - Search Analytics
Google Search Console – Search Analytics

This report provides you details on the frequency of your site URL appearing in the search results. It lets you know that how often a particular is clicked, how it ranks and the click-through ratio of the keywords.

2.2 Internal links

Google Search Console - Internal Links
Google Search Console – Internal Links

The internal links are used to rank important pages of a website. However, these need to be created naturally and sensibly to boost the ranking of the particular page. You need to check on a regular basis if the pages the links point to exist or not.

2.3 Manual Actions

Google Search Console - Manual penalties
Google Search Console – Manual penalties

It is a report that lets you know about the Google penalties incurred due to the use of black-hat techniques. You need to fix the issues as soon as possible and update the pages with quality content. Then you should submit a reconsideration request for getting your site ranked in SERPs again.

2.4 Link to your site

This report provides details about the total number of backlinks of your website and the keywords you have used for those backlinks. It also lets you gauge the quality of the backlinks.

Google Search Console - Links to your site
Google Search Console – Links to your site

So, you can use this report to create relevant and quality links, and disowning the spammy links.

2.5 International targeting

Google Search Console - International targeting
Google Search Console – International targeting

International targeting enables you to attract the viewers from all over the world in the case your website contains modified or translated content for a particular region that is outside your main location.

Your developer can use the hreflang tag to inform Google for displaying appropriate pages depending on the geography and audience.

2.6 Mobile usability

Google Search Console - Mobile usability
Google Search Console – Mobile usability

This report enlists the problems your website users may be experiencing while accessing your website using mobile devices. The issues include overly closed elements, images wider than the screen, too small or too large text.

You must fix the mobile usability issues in order to enhance the user experience, no matter what device they are using.

#3 – Google Index

This menu lets you know about the total number of indexed pages your website is having.

The report includes site’s blocked URLs, indexed URLs and the URLs that have been removed. All these things help you in resolving indexing issues and preventing blocked URLs from appearing in the searches.

The Google Index has three elements that you can use for SEO:

3.1 Index Status

Google Search Console - Index status
Google Search Console – Index status

The Google Index provides a report on keywords which you can explore to sort out your website’s top pages and the keywords for particular pages.

The report also provides information on the pages that rank low, thereby letting you analyze that which content requires optimization for on-page SEO.

3.2 Blocked resources

Google Search Console - Blocked resources
Google Search Console – Blocked resources

Blocked resources can improve the search engine rankings of your website.

So, don’t block Google from accessing CSS, JQuery, image files, and JavaScript if you want Google to index your pages correctly and improve search engine rankings.

3.3 Remove URLs

Google Search Console - Remove URLs
Google Search Console – Remove URLs

If there are some pages on your website that you want to keep private, you can use Google Search Console.

This tool will inform Google’s bots about the links you don’t want to get indexed, the links you want to hide from search results or cache, the URLs you want to hide at present but indexed in the future and the URLs containing thin content. All this will eventually improve the SEO rankings of your business.

#4 – Crawl

This tool not only provides you information on how often your website is being crawled by Google bots but also lets you know about the last time when your website was crawled by Google for broken pages, errors and URL parameters.

You can use the following components of Crawl menu in order improve SEO.

4.1 Crawl errors

Google Search Console - Crawl errors
Google Search Console – Crawl errors

It is a report that identifies crawl errors, including server errors, soft 404 errors, URLs that direct to irrelevant pages, blocked URLs and more. You can fix these errors to improve SEO.

4.2 Crawl stats

Google Search Console - Crawl stats
Google Search Console – Crawl stats

It is Crawl report by Google that shows you page load time, crawled pages and kilobytes downloaded. This information can be used to improve site performance and increasing site speed.

4.3 Fetch as Google

This tool provides information on how Google fetches your URLs and renders them. You just need to enter the URL and press the Fetch button to see if it connects redirects or encounters errors.

4.4 Robots.txt tester

Google Search Console - Robots.txt Tester
Google Search Console – Robots.txt Tester

This file informs the search engines of the pages that whether they should be crawled or not. Google’s crawl bot views pages through this file. This file also reports warnings and errors.

4.5 Sitemaps

Google Search Console - Sitemaps
Google Search Console – Sitemaps

You can submit your sitemap directly to Google. This makes it easier for Google to find all of the pages of your site and can improve the speed of Google crawling and indexing.

Conclusion

Google Search Console is a powerful tool that can let you improve the rankings of your websites, provided that you use it correctly.

The above-given tips will definitely help you use all the features of this tool effectively.