Google Search Console (GSC) is the most underutilized SEO tool available for free to every webmaster. The data provided by GSC is so powerful because it gives you all the answers to what needs to be done to improve SEO rankings on Google.
What is Google Search Console?
GSC is simply the most powerful SEO analyzer for your website.
Here is how Google describes GSC…
Our interpretation is, GSC is a tool that tells you everything you need to know about how consumers are searching for your services or products on Google search.
Why Use Google Search Console?
If you are serious, about ranking on the first page of Google then you must use GSC.
Here are just a few reasons why you should be using GSC…
Now that we understand how powerful GSC is, let’s get it installed on your website.
Installing Google Search Console
To get started, head over to GSC and click the red “Add A Property” button located in the top right corner. Once clicked, a pop up will appear that ask you to enter the url of your website.
From there, you will need to verify ownership of the website. GSC provide you with 4 or 5 different ways to verify ownership of a website.
One of the easiest ways to verify ownership is by connecting it to your Google Analytics account. By connecting it to your Google Analytics account, data generated in GSC will automatically populate into your analytics data.
Verified? Great, now it’s time to dig into GSC and learn ways it can be used to improve your SEO efforts.
Features On Google Search Console
There are a number of features to explore on GSC but we are going to focus on the 2 features we use to analyze our SEO efforts. Those two features are search traffic and crawl.
(Below is a short video in case you don’t like to read)
We spend a lot of time under the search traffic tab because this is where you can find search data. For starters, we’ll go through the search analytics options and show you how they can be used to improve your SEO efforts.
When you first log into the search analytics interface, you will see a top bar that looks like this…
The top row gives you options to display individual data or rows of data. You can click on one or all of them; we usually apply all of them.
Here is a brief explanation of what each one does:
Clicks show you how many clicks you have received on search results.
Impressions show how many times a link to your website has shown up on search results.
CTR (click through rate) shows how many times a link in search results to your website has been clicked on.
Position shows the average position a link to your website on search results.
The next row down gives you more options to refine your results even further. This bar allows you to really dig into your data and develop laser targeted SEO campaigns.
Selecting Queries will show you the keywords people have searched that triggered your website to show in search results.
Selecting Page will show which of your pages showed up in search results.
Selecting Country will show the countries where your website is showing up in search results.
Selecting Device will show which devices people are using that triggered your website to show up in search results.
Selecting Search Type will show what type of search (ie… web, video, image) triggered your website to show up in search results
Selecting Search Appearance will show rich snippet results if you have rich snippets installed on your website.
Selecting Date will allow you choose a timeframe in which you want to see search results from.
As you can see, there are a lot of different configurations you can use to break down Google search data.
The other feature we use religiously is the “Fetch as Google”. This feature allows you to submit your website to Google for indexing.
We use this feature every time we write a new post because it helps the post climb to the top of search engines in the matter of minutes.
When using this feature, be sure to fetch the desktop version and the mobile version.
How To Use Google Search Console to Improve SEO
Now that we have an idea of what people are searching for that triggers your website to appear on search results, we can develop strategies that will increase your online presence and click through rates.
The first thing to look for is keywords that have a high impression count but a low click through rate. To do this, click on all 4 features on the top row of search analytics and on the queries feature on the bottom row.
When the results pop up, click on the impressions text to organize keywords by impressions.
From the results above, the keyword that sticks out to me is “leaf baggers”. The results show a click through rate of just 1.38% while the keyword is positioned highly at the 3.3 spot on search results.
Therefore, we should reconsider the title tag and description tag for this page. To do this, simply head over to Google and search for your keyword, in this instance “leaf baggers”.
We researching title tags and description tags we pay close attention to ads that are being ran for the keyword. Since advertisers spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on advertising you can be they have put time into developing title and description tags that get high click through rates.
You can use this same technique to discover web pages that need to be improved. Instead of using the queries feature on the second row, use the pages feature.
Organize your results by the number of impression and locate the pages that are showing up in results but have a low click through rate. Then make changes to the title and description tags and monitor results on a week over week basis.
The above techniques are just two simple ways you can use GSC to analyze and interpret your SEO efforts. We could go on and on about other features but we would like to hear from you.
What are some ways you use GSC to analyze your SEO results? Leave a comment or suggestion below in the comment box and let us know and be sure to check out our 5 SEO hacks to help improve your online rankings.