Google Search Console 101
If you operate a website in order to promote your business or services you’ll know how tempting it can be to throw money at it if it’s not performing. Over time this can make operating costs skyrocket, so it’s important to be aware of the free tools that are available to you to help make sure your website is performing at its optimum level. If your biggest priority is generating as much organic traffic for your website as possible, then the tool you NEED to know about is Google Search Console.
Formerly named Google Webmaster Tools, on the surface Google Search Console appears to offer a lot of the same functionality as Google Analytics. But whereas the analytics tools help you to analyse who is coming to your website, where they’re coming from and how long they’re staying, among other things, Google Search Console is more focused on internal technical information that is crucial to ensuring your website is achieving what it needs to be.
How Do I Get Google Search Console
Anyone can make an account and use Google Search Console. You can sign up online, and you’ll then need to enter your website’s URL. You then need to verify ownership of the domain. This is most commonly done by entering some code, provided by Google, to your website, which digitally indicates to Google that you are the owner of the page. There are a number of in-depth tutorials online on how to set up your account, but as it’s Google, the sign-up process is easy and straightforward, so if you’re not a computer whiz, there’s no need to worry!
What Can I Do With Google Search Console
Some of the most important and useful features of Google Search Console include:
- Tracking the performance of specific URLs
- Checking for site errors or penalisations
- Submitting your website for indexation manually
- Exclude pages on your site from the search engine
- Add a sitemap
All of these actions are designed to make your website easier for Google to understand, and hopefully improve your website’s ranking for relevant search terms. The ability to track specific URLs on your website and ascertain which search terms are sending visitors to your URLs will enable you to finetune your search engine optimisation and focus on optimising for terms that are more successful and eliminate the ones that aren’t working so well.
Your website will be penalised and therefore be less likely to rank highly in searches if it has a number of broken links, or you’re found to be stuffing your website copy with keywords in order to cheat your way up the rankings. Google Search Console flags up these kinds of issues, enabling you to keep abreast of any issues and rectify them quickly as they arise. After making large changes to your site, Google Search Console enables you to submit the site manually for indexation, meaning Google’s crawlers will get at it quicker, and the changes you’ve put into place will be actioned in terms of your search engine optimisation much faster.
Through Google Search Console, you are able to instruct Google’s crawlers to ignore certain pages on your website via uploading a robots.txt file that tells the crawlers which page on your site to avoid. This can help your SEO efforts by making sure irrelevant content is not considered when judging your website’s usefulness against competitors. Similarly, uploading a site map gives valuable information to Google’s website crawlers and is crucial for giving your website the best chance of ranking highly.
The Benefits of Google Search Console
Using a free tool such as Google Search Console can be hugely beneficial to your digital marketing efforts – it can help you avoid and quickly rectify mistakes or errors that might otherwise go unnoticed and potentially multiply into a larger problem that’s harder to fix. Not only that, it costs nothing, so it can really help you keep a lid on website costs. While this has been a crash course on how you can get involved with Google Search Console, here at Koncept we’re always on hand to provide you with detailed help and advice on how you can use the online tools to achieve your business goals. For help with any of your website needs, contact Koncept today!