How do you measure the performance of your website? You may be doing all the right things in terms of contemporary SEO best practices, but how do you gauge if all the keyword-rich, quality content is driving traffic to your website?
Google Search Console is the answer.
Formerly called Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that measures the performance of your website. It assists in monitoring your efforts to optimize search.
Even without being a webmaster, it is vital for a business owner to get to know Google Search Console and how it can help highlight problems that help/hurt rankings and affect user experience. Then the business owner can consult with the marketing team and with online marketing experts to improve organic search results, hits, leads and sales.
Where your website comes up in organic searches is influenced by many factors. “Search Appearance” is a section of Google Search Console. Here’s what it reveals:
- Structured data enables search engines to understand the information on your site and use this to improve your search results ranking. GSC generates a report that helps you to fix any issues.
- HTML improvements. This searches for duplicate content, something Google doesn’t welcome. It gathers all errors relating to title tags and meta descriptions.
- Sitelinks help users to navigate your website via shortcuts to content on pages deeper within the site.
This section of GSC allows even a non-technical person to understand the source of traffic to the website and take steps to improve search results.
- Search Analytics. This report is probably the most popular in GSC because it provides details about the number of visitors to a site. It shows information about the origin of traffic from queries, pages, countries and even devices. This gives a valuable overview of the keywords that returned a page from a site in search results.
- Links to your site. Instead of using one of several applications that charge a monthly fee to analyze the link profile of your website, Google Search Console is free and very useful at showing show linking domains and most linked-to pages.
- Internal links. Apart from external links, internal links can help a page to rank higher in search.
- Mobile usability. Since April 2015, Google has been using mobile friendly design as an important ranking signal. GSC generates a report that highlights any errors so you can fix mobile usability issues affecting your site.
- International targeting. If you want to market to specific countries around the world, you can set which ones to target.
More Google Search Console Features
Other functionality for optimizing your website for search includes the Google Index tab. This gives you access to content keywords and their significance found by the Google crawler. And the Crawl tab allows you to generate a report that shows the errors on your site that Google has detected over the last 90 days.
If this all seems overwhelming and you don’t know where to start to bring it all together, contact experienced and successful online marketing advisors. Because quality content, good website keywords and analysis of search results can mean the difference between a website appearing on page one of Google or page forty.
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