Google Search Console is a powerful free tool that enables marketers and business owners to monitor how their website performs and optimize their online presence.
It’s a fact that most searchers don’t even look past the first SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), so if your website is not ranking high for the relevant keywords in your industry, you are losing leads/customers and hence money.
Although Google Search Console is a powerful and comprehensive tool, most people use it to measure vanity metrics like clicks and impressions. While those metrics are important, they provide little value as a standalone measure.
The real key is to know how to use the Google Search Console so that you can turn the valuable data it provides into practical insights that will supplement your SEO strategy and bring more traffic to your website.
This blog post will help you do that; we will dive deeper into what Google Search Console is and show you four effective strategies that you can immediately apply to harness the platform’s potential and boost your SEO.
First things first – what’s Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (originally known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a comprehensive free tool that allows you to monitor (and troubleshoot) your website performance in Google search results. In essence, it helps you make your webpage more attractive to your visitors.
Although many features and languages have been added over the years, the platform’s goal remained the same – to give business owners and markets guidance on how to improve their website from a content and tech standpoint.
Google Search Console vs. other keyword performance tools…
Many marketers prefer using other keyword search platforms like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, etc., to gather information about their keyword rankings.
Those tools are great and powerful, but they only allow you to check your website’s performance against your competitors. Plus, all keyword performance platforms crawl SERPs to provide you with the data, which means that the information you receive might be outdated or incomplete.
And that’s why there is no better platform than Google when it comes to gathering SEO insights and fine-tuning your SEO strategy.
In other words, if you are not using the Google Search Console, then you are missing a lot of opportunities for your businesses (i.e., real customers ready to buy your products/services).
How to use Google Search Console to bring more traffic to your website?
Here are four valuable strategies that will help you harness the maximum value of the platform.
1. Make sure Google can find your pages
To receive organic traffic, your web pages should be indexed by a search engine spider. A search engine spider is a bot that crawls websites and collects information for the search engines to index.
To check if your web pages are indexed and when was the last time a page was crawled, you can use Google Search Console. And if you want to have more control over which pages Google promotes to searchers, you can submit a sitemap. A sitemap tells Google where to find important content and how to crawl that content.
Google loves fresh, high-quality content. So if you publish regularly high-quality content that highlights your brand’s expertise, you will increase the total number of keywords that your website ranks for. Google Search Console can be of great help to help you determine if your content is ranked for your targeted keywords. Here is how to do it:
- Choose a relevant keyword that you want your website page to rank for.
- Optimize your content for the keyword that you are targeting. Optimizing your content is a whole different broad topic. Still, in general, to boost the SEO for your content, you should perform keyword research and ensure that the keywords you are targeting are placed naturally in your content (keyword stuffing is a big NO).
You should also make sure that your content is well organized and it’s easy for the user (and Google) to skim through it and understands your point. Last but not least, you should always look for opportunities to promote your fresh content. For example, if you just published a blog post, you can share it on social media or include internal and external links.
- Once optimized, your content is ready to be published on your website.
- A few days later, check if your content is ranking for the keyword that you are targeting.
Google Search Console updates its keywords rankings on a daily basis, so a few days after the publication of your content, you can determine its relevancy and whether it’s showing in SERPs for your targeted keyword.
If you see that your content is not ranking high for the targeted keyword then, you can take the following steps to troubleshoot the issue:
- Revise your content. Check the headings and subheadings, whether the text is structured logically. You can also revise it and enhance it with more topical depth.
- Check your metadata. Make sure that your meta description and page titles include your targeted keyword.
- Increase your domain authority. Your website might not have enough authority to show in SERPs. If this is the case, you might need some time to build your website authority with backlinking.
You have spent time and effort creating high-quality content that highlights your industry expertise. In return, your web pages should earn organic traffic and rank for the relevant search queries. And Google Search Console is the best way to confirm that your content is showing in SERPs for the keywords that you are targeting.
2. Find out which content topics get the most backlinks
Backlinking is an important SEO factor. A study conducted by Ahref that explored over 2M newly published web pages showed that “the more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic will receive from Google.”
So if you want more traffic, you should focus on building backlinks. Ok, but what type of topics should you focus on to get more backlinks? The Google Search Console is here to help you determine just that by looking at the content you have already published.
All you have to do is to access your Google Search Console and navigate to the Links report. On Top Linked Pages, just click on More. Then you can sort the report by Linking Sites and see which of your content is getting the most backlinks and which are the topics that don’t receive much attention.
When looking at the report, take a look at the pages that receive the most backlinks and try to find some pattern; this is how you can determine what to write about and attract links in your industry.
3. Troubleshoot any technical and performance issues
The technical performance of your website highly influences Google’s trust in your business. Google wants to see a responsive, fast-loading web page with a top-notch user experience when crawling your website.
Although fixing technical problems might seem a little intimidating (especially if you don’t have technical know-how), Google Search Console simplifies that process and make it accessible to anyone.
To understand the quality of user’s overall experience, Google wight the following factors:
- HTTP/HTTPs. If you have many HTTP pages, your SEO performance will decrease as this tells Google that your web pages are less secure.
- Security. Web pages should be secure for the user, and this is of high importance to Google, too.
- Mobile Friendliness. In 2016 Google announced mobile-first indexing. This means that Google loves web pages that are responsive and fast-loading on mobile devices.
- Page Speed. Page speed is crucial to Google. If your website has slow loading times, you will have a hard time ranking in top results.
The Experience feature in your Google Console will tell you if your web pages are suffering in any of the above factors. And the best part is that you can see which webpage has an issue and what exactly the problem is.
If you see that you have any technical issue, you should resolve it as soon as possible. Otherwise, your website will lose organic traffic.
Although there are many tools that can guide you for any performance or technical issues, Google Search Console provides you with a direct overview of where to focus your efforts.
In a nutshell
Every relevant new keyword query gives you a unique opportunity to gain new leads and paying customers. To make sure that your SEO strategy is working effectively, you should use the Google Search Console.
Although there are many other similar tools, the accuracy that Google Search Console gives you is unmatched. And by using the four strategies above, you will ensure that you are using the maximum potential of the platform.
If you have more questions about Google Search Console, or we can assist you in any way, we are here to help. You can contact us here.