Google Search Console is still a very underestimated free tool that not many marketers are using. The insights it can give are crucial elements of successful SEO campaigns on your website. In this article, we will break down each piece of Google Search Console and provide you with detailed instructions on how to use it in the right way.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a free tool made by Google that collects data from SERP and stores it under your account in order to have data from visitors across your pages. It shows you search queries visitors used to find your page. Most of these queries can not be found in keyword research tools and using them and addressing within your content can improve your overall rankings and UX significantly.
Why should you consider using Google Search Console?
This is a free tool developed by Google and data that comes from it is the most accurate data you can find. Every other tool that keeps monitoring your keyword rankings, keyword volume and other information either scrape this from SERP or take this data from Google’s keyword planner. Because other tools scrape data and take it from Google itself it means that there is a time gap on this. Sometimes tools that you are using can take months to update this and you will see inaccurate data all the time. This is why it is crucial for the SEO strategies that you add Google Search Console to your top tool for SEO and technical optimization.
Benefits of Google Search Console
If you are running online business ( e-Com ) and have thousands of pages or have poor crawl ability on your website which means your navigation and architecture are messy most of your pages will never be indexed. Benefits of Google Search Console are huge. Google bot have crawling limit which means if pages are too far and hard to reach they don’t get indexed. This reduces your chances to rank for new keywords, and bring more traffic to your website. A simple XML sitemap can sort this out. All you need to do is to create your own sitemap. I recommend using the Screaming Frog tool to create a version for your own and upload it to your root file on the website. After that just add the link of your sitemap here and your website will be fully indexed.
Google Search Console page removal
Another benefit is that we can remove pages directly from here. Most of the time whenever we delete the web page it tends to stay indexed for months on SERP due to cache. If we don’t set proper 301 redirects from such pages and leave them open, not only that we will lose rankings but it will hurt visitor experience on our website and affect our website in a negative way. Here we can remove 404 pages that are 301 redirected in just a few hours after submitting a request is done. It also helps with the removal of spammy pages Google bot indexed and we don’t want to display on SERP.
Domain migration with Google Search Console
If we plan to change domain TLD for example, migrating from hourix.com to hourix.us this will hurt our SEO rankings. With Google Search Console tool we can be sure that 301 redirect will pass smooth and all link juice will pass to a new domain. This transfers rankings and keeps them on a similar level as the previous domain had. Still, this can be done using the old Google Search Console account. Hopefully, this will be moved to a new tool in the following months and make it easier to access. To learn more about changing domain address click here.
Usually, within a month or two you should see your rankings getting back on a similar level as old domain had. To do this you will need to have an ownership access to Google Search Console account.
Google Search Console and SEO A/B testing
This is a fun part of all your SEO campaigns. For each page under the performance tab on this tool you can select and filter by the query, page, etc. This will list you all queries visitors used on SERP before they found your page. Why is this important? This gives you great insights on what your content is lacking for. For only 1 article you can see hundreds of searches visitors used. You can see what are you missing in your content and updated it based on that information. This improves user experience on your website which overall improves your rankings. In addition to this, you can add those queries in your meta title and meta description which improves your CTR on SERP significantly. To do this it is best to start as an A-B test and see how a specific set of pages react. Simply save the old data and add new meta title and descriptions next to them with CTR from before and after. Leave it like that for a month or two and see if the CTR improved or not. Tweaking these things can improve clicks to your website a lot in a short period of time. If you have a client who wants quick results this should be the way to do it.
Simply by extracting data in CSV format on a weekly basis or monthly we can see how keywords are progressing, what are the new queries, what are the specific group queries and overall which content is performing better than other. Knowing these facts backed up by data we can know what is working better and what are the things we are missing. For example one of our topics could be written great but alternatively it ranks for a lot more queries we didn’t consider explaining and covering in depth. This will affect UX on that page in a negative way as people are using those queries and landing on our page that does not have it covered.
This is why Google Search Console is one of the most important tools that enables you to figure out user intent behind specific queries. Adding those queries into your SEO tags, H tags and using them as an internal links will help visitors to find your content and resources much better compared to competition.
Another great part of Google Search Console is that we can see how our pages appear on Google, are they in featured snippets. This can give us insights on which pages are not ranking there. and how can we improve those. From our personal research by adding queries that are relevant to specific page as they are not included in the text will improve their position and improve UX on your page. Remember that for some topics you will need much longer content. There are no more things such as we need x amount of words per month. Topics are covered enough when they serve end user information he is searching for. This could be a short text of 100 words up to 10.000 words or even more depending from the topic and the niche.
Google Search Console is a free tool made by Google. It helps you to better understand user intent behind those queries where your content shows up. It gives you great insights on clicks, impressions, CTR and average positions. Other tools such as Ahrefs or SEMRush are delayed when it comes down to showing right data. Google Search Console data is outdated only for a day or two, everything else is visible. By using GSC you are able to cover better content topics, perform AB testings in real time and see how it affects your rankings and performance of SEO campaigns. You will have all data at one place and you can optimize your content in the right way based on that data.