What if there were a tool that could tell you exactly how people are finding your site—one you could use to optimize your content and help even more people find your site? And what if that tool were absolutely free? News flash: it’s already here.
It’s called Google Search Console (GSC), and if you aren’t using it you’re missing out on a big opportunity to boost your visibility.
What is Google Search Console?
Chances are you’re familiar with Google Webmaster Tools. If not, suffice to say that Google Search Console is Google Webmaster Tools; the new name simply does a better job of encompassing the broad scope of services available not just to webmasters but to anyone looking to view and optimize site performance. Plus, many of the fixes are easy to implement—even if website maintenance isn’t typically your bag.
Okay, so what does it do?
The more accurate question might be, “What doesn’t it do?” GSC is an indispensable resource that lets you monitor how your site is performing in Google search results. In other words, how are people finding you? What queries are they typing in? What keywords are performing better than others? And how well is your site rendering for mobile? Yep, now you see where we’re going.
The information garnered using GSC can revolutionize your content marketing strategy.
It gives you an inside look at popular pages, high-performing keywords and other important metrics so you can tweak your content accordingly to enhance organic traffic and boost your search rankings. In some ways it’s a little like a routine checkup for your website that provides a complete diagnosis so you can take steps to remedy any “health” issues.
Now, let’s get down to nuts and bolts.
There’s so much you can do from the GSC dashboard that we couldn’t possibly cram it all into one blog, but we’re going to hit on some of the big ones—like Search Analytics. You’ll find Search Analytics under Search Traffic from the main dashboard, and from here you can see exactly what keywords are driving search traffic, what landing pages are making an impact, where people are searching from, the type of search (web, video, images) and whether people are searching from a desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone.
Previously you could get a lot of this information using Google Analytics, but the metrics employed by GSC go above and beyond in terms of conclusive data. (Side note: you can link GSC to your Google Analytics account for an even broader view of how your site is performing.)
Let’s talk backlinks.
Also under Search Traffic, check out Links to Your Site for help in developing your internal linking strategy. It pinpoints the specific sites, page content and anchor text linking most frequently to your site. Why is this important? It lets you know what content is getting a positive response from visitors, which helps you further optimize your pages for better search results.
Is your site optimized for mobile? GSC has you covered.
No doubt you’ve heard the latest stats on mobile surpassing desktop for internet use—which means optimizing for mobile should factor highly into your digital marketing strategy for 2018 and beyond. GSC helps you do just that by pointing out usability issues such as slow load speed that may be affecting whether or not your site is mobile-friendly. (Remember, Google recently announced that mobile page load speed will be a ranking factor.)
About those “health” issues:
If you don’t know what’s broken, you can’t fix it. Google solves that problem in a number of ways. GSC lets you know immediately about any URL errors that may be preventing your page(s) from showing up in search results. It will also point out security issues like malware and spam and highlight HTML improvements such as missing title tags that you can easily remedy to enhance site performance and ensure a better user experience.
Love the idea but lack the time?
Google Search Console is an incredibly helpful way to improve your Google search ranking, but it does require persistent monitoring to stay on top of things and resolve any issues that may come up. Solutions 8 can help! We know all the ins and outs of GSC and can help you make sure your site is performing at its peak so you reach even more potential customers. Talk to us today.