Whether you are an SEO beginner and need simple SEO tactics or are a seasoned pro, Google Search Console has to be regarded as one of the most effective and powerful SEO tools you have available, and better than that, it is free.
Of course, there are many marketing tools and many variants of the ‘correct’ SEO strategy that can be paid for, and some of them are regarded as ‘must-have’ by a large proportion of SEO experts, but anyone who doesn’t use Google Search Console, is missing a trick.
To clarify any confusion, Google Search Console was previously called ‘Google Webmaster Tools‘ so you may have heard of, or even used it when it had its old name.
Its main role is to help monitor how your website appears in the search engine results on Google, and if there are any problems, to help you identify and sort them.
Those errors can come under many categories and require different actions which can include fixing broken backlinks, submitting sitemaps, or correcting technical errors that have arisen on your website.
As for SEO, Google Search Console offer huge opportunities for you to fix or optimise your website, and here are some of the ways that it enables you to do so.
Correct Sitemap Problems
If the sitemaps which you have submitted to Google have issues, it can cause further problems when their spiders come to crawl your website. That, in turn, can mean that certain URLs are indexed wrongly, which doesn’t help those specific pages in terms of their rankings.
Within the sitemap report section of Google Search Console, sitemap errors will be highlighted including which URLs might have been excluded from their search results, because of those errors. There will be details of the error and how you fix it, which in most cases will resolve the issue.
Discover Which Types Of Content Have The Most Backlinks
As you presumably know, backlinks are essential for SEO, and the more insights you have into the backlinks which are going to your website, the better chance you have of continuing to optimise your backlink building campaigns.
One of the ways that can be done is by looking at the data Google Search Console has in relation to which pages within your website are receiving the most backlinks from other sites.
This gives you an indication of which types of content are proving to be the most popular as more people are linking to them. It could be the pages with the most links are the ones that include infographics, or which have information on specify topics or product categories.
Based on that you should now be able to plan your content creation so that you give priority to content which is likely to bring further backlinks.
Boost Rankings For Underperforming Keywords
Even if you have a page ranking on page one of Google’s search results, the difference in the proportion and the amount of traffic varies enormously between positions.
For example, if you rank in position #8, you can expect to see just under 2% of the people who searched for the term clicking through to your website. By comparison, if you were to rank in position #2, you’d get 14%, and at the lofty heights of position #1, you get around 23%.
Simple arithmetic should tell you that you would get around 12 times the amount of traffic being in position #1, versus what you would get in position #8, so there is obviously a huge incentive to move up the page.
Using Google Search Console, you can see the data for all your keywords, and for those in the lower half of page one, you can then establish the specific page that the ranking applies to.
An assessment of how well the page is optimised then needs to take place, and often just one or two simple improvements or tweaks to the on-page SEO, can see it rapidly climbing page one, and receiving even greater levels of traffic.
Optimise Your Internal Linking Structure
Although much is said about getting backlinks from other websites, any SEO plan also needs to ensure that the correct number and configuration of internal links also occurs. This simply means linking from one page within your website to another.
Often a page can merit more than one link such as a long article about home security being linked to from individual pages that discuss infrared sensors, security floodlights, and alarm systems. That is three links which pass SEO power from the pages linked from, to the page being linked to.
Where Google Search Console can help to optimise your internal linking is by identifying which pages should have more internal links, which have too many, and also pages which have none, where you might wish to assess whether the page should remain, or be removed because its content is out of date.
If it is out of date, then check the levels of traffic the page is getting because if it is worth keeping, you can give it a new lease of life with new, fresh content, and then start internal inking to it.