Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO for short) can be a complicated business. Without a little help we can be left in the dark as to how our website is performing, and whether issues we may not have spotted are having a detrimental impact on our capacity to reach potential customers online.
Luckily for us, fantastic SEO for our website is not only in our own interest, but also in the interest of search engines like Google, who want our online content to be as effective as possible in communicating what it contains, so that they in turn can offer users the highest quality and most relevant search results.
To this end, Google created Search Console, a totally free resource available to anyone with a Google account. This excellent tool will help you to optimise and keep an eye on the health of your website, developing a better understanding of how Google views your content. Using Google Search Console, you will be able to monitor the performance of your website, discover technical issues and make fixes that boost your search ranking. Google will subsequently need fewer resources to skilfully match your website with the customer base you are aspiring to.
Access Crucial Insight Into Your Traffic and Its Source
For those of you already familiar with Google Analytics, you may have spotted that Google have introduced new protections to guard the searches made by their users. While this was a great safety measure for individuals, it meant that online businesses lost access to vital information about what kinds of search queries were bringing visitors to their websites. Google Search Console, has its own safety protocol in the form of validation to ensure that your website does in fact belong to you, and allows us access once again to the search queries that lead people to us. This means that we can maximise the information available to us by linking our Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts, bringing greater understanding of our traffic and its sources.
Make Fixes, Add New Content and Update
Google Search Console helps you to find out how many of your site’s pages are indexed in Google’s search results and assists in identifying broken links within your website and any content that is unreachable. Google’s ever-improving capacity to intelligently crawl our online content makes it crucial that we understand what Google sees. The Search Console offers a great fetch and render tool that enables you to explore how Google views your website when crawling it and whether or not any resources have been unintentionally blocked, preventing Google from accessing them. When we make fixes, or add new content, we can use Google Search Console to submit our updates to Google’s index, rather than simply waiting an unknown period of time until our website is indexed again. We can also use the Console to add sitemaps (if our site has one) for Google to crawl and better understand our site structure.
Targeting Your Audience
You can use the Console to tell Google which countries you want your website to be targeted towards. Google is already fairly handy at using content like your business address and URL to guess where you may be targeting, but you can take measures here to avoid duplicates and ensure targeting is correct. For example, your untargeted URL might be example.com, but example.co.uk or example.com/uk can be targeted to the UK, while example.de or example.com/de are targeted to Germany, and so forth.
Boost Your Search Engine Position With ‘Rich Cards’
You might be familiar with the concept of “rich snippets”, or code that we can add to our websites to embellish the way our pages appear as search results. Google offers their own technology called “Rich Cards” to make our pages more appealing when a Google user searches online, and we can implement and monitor Rich Cards through Google Search Console. A resource such as Rich Cards is certainly not something to overlook, as search results with richer content, such as pictures, ratings, or product information can help viewers to identify your website as exactly what they were hunting for, improving your click through rate and boosting your Google ranking even further.
Identify Technical Issues
Other tools offered can help you identify technical issues. The HTML Improvements area gives a useful list of information about any parts of your site that are missing titles, descriptions, have duplicates and much more. You will be able to get a clear assessment of your website’s mobile usability too. As Google rightly knows, in this modern era of universal Smartphone use, mobile usability is absolutely essential.
A Brilliant Analytical Tool
While Google Search Console can provide a lot of information and highlight all sorts of issues for you, some specialist knowledge is often required to interpret the results and maximise the potential benefits. This brilliant resource is limited by its scope as an analytical tool rather than something that will provide advice on actions to take, but we are always on hand to assist you in making the most of what Google Search Console has to offer, in the quest to bring your website to the screens of your desired audience!