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June 6, 2022

Awesome Tips For Using Google Search Console

If you’re serious about SEO, you need to get take Google Search Console seriously.

This free service helps you monitor, maintain, analyse and troubleshoot your website’s SEO presence and it really is a must-have for anyone wanting to get ahead in the search engine rankings.

In this post, I’ll give you some great ideas on how to use the data from Google Search Console to optimise your site so that it’s search-engine friendly and attracts the most profitable traffic.

How do I sign up for Google Search Console?

While it’s not necessary to be signed up in order to be included in Google search results, the tool is a really valuable resource to help you understand and improve how the search engine sees your website.

To get started, you need a sitemap for your website.  A lot of website builders build this into the website structure, but if you’re unsure if you have one, go to https://yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml.  Remember to insert the name of your website in the address! 

  • If you have a WordPress site, you will need an SEO plugin to see your sitemap.  This is really simple and easy to install but you will need to make sure your sitemap.xml is switched on.
  • For Yoast websites, visit https://yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml
  • If you use the SEOPress or Rank Math plugin, you should go to https://yourwebsite.com.au/sitemaps.xml.

 

Here’s an example of what a sitemap looks like:

 https://theseoschool.com/sitemaps.xml

Your sitemap makes it easier for the Google bots to crawl your website and gather information on your keywords which helps them to direct searchers to your web pages.  It removes any obstacles and gives the bots free reign to crawl all over your site.  And that’s a good thing!

Once you’ve established your sitemap, the next step is to submit it to Google Search Console.  This is simple to do through Google Webmaster Tools. 

Tip #1 – Visit the Overview page

The overview page gives you a really good overview of how many impressions your website is getting from organic search (impressions is how often your website shows up on Google), alongside clicks (how many times your website has been clicked on). This data allows you easily to how well your SEO is working but evaluating if you are seeing an increase in impressions and clicks. 

Tip # 2 – make sure all your pages are indexed by Google

Click on ‘URL inspection’ to establish that each of your web pages has been indexed by Google.  You can do this for new websites or when you’re troubleshooting an existing one. Normally if you have a sitemap your pages will be indexed by Google. 

Tip # 3 – Analyse keyword performance

In the report, click on ‘Performance’ and then scroll down to ‘Queries’.  

This is where you’ll see all the keywords that your website is ranking for, plus you may find some keywords on the list that you haven’t even tried to rank for.  It’s really interesting to discover what keywords Google recognises your website for and you’ll find this data to be a good source of new ideas and opportunities as well as an indicator of where improvements can be made.  

Tip # 4 – Use Google Search Console to remove old URLs

If you have a URL that’s no longer active, you can use the search console to remove it from Google’s index.  Remember, you need to first remove the old content from your website before doing this, but once you have requested to remove a URL from Google’s index this normally happens pretty quickly. 

Tip # 5– Use the ‘Experience’ section to boost your rankings

My two favourite reports in this section are the Core Web Vitals and the Page Experience tabs.  

The Page Experience report

The experience metrics for each individual URL on your site are summarised in this report.  As you know, user experience is now one of Google’s primary ranking factors and this report gives a really good perspective on how Google perceives your website visitors’ experience, enabling you to make changes and improvements.  

The Core Web Vitals report

You’ll also know that Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics developed to help website owners better understand how visitors experience their pages.  These test the speed, responsiveness and stability of the page loading experience and form part of the overall page experience search signals.  

While the analysis of ‘Good’, ‘Needs Improvement’ or ‘Poor’ may sound a bit like a school report, the ratings of the metrics do provide important information about how visitors experience each of your web pages – and they highlight where corrective action should be taken.

Analysing this data can help you make material improvements which will ultimately boost your rankings.

Where to now?

I recommend diving into Search Console at least once a month to view the performance of your website.  It contains really valuable information on how Google indexes, crawls and chooses websites to appear in searches which you can use to troubleshoot any problems which may be hindering your online visibility. If you’re just getting started with SEO, my free SEO Starter Kit could prove very useful

Google Search Console is one of the many subjects we cover in The SEO School – a new online course that teaches participants all the essentials of successful SEO.  I created the course in response to the demand from business owners for a practical solution that would enable them to take control of their own SEO.  

The course is modular and self-managed, with participants implementing various tools and techniques as they progress through the course.  You’ll get my technical guidance and insider secrets plus ongoing support and feedback – and if this sounds like something you could benefit from, I’d love to hear from you.  More information is available on The SEO School website and you can book your course through there too.  DIY your SEO and get found online!

If you enjoyed this article then check out “Introducing MUM – the Revolutionary AI Technology Transforming Google Search“ and “What Google Accounts Do I Need For My Business?

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