Adding a Tool to Your Arsenal: Google Search Console

Image of the Google Search Console interface

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free online tool that Google provides to help website owners manage the visibility of their website in search results. It also provides valuable insights into how Google crawls and indexes a website, and it can also help identify potential issues that affect how high the site ranks on the search engine results page. 

How To: 

To implement Google Search Console, follow these steps:

First, go to the Google Search Console website and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you can create one for free.

Once you’ve signed in, click the “Start Now” button on the page.

Screenshot of Google Search Console starting page.

Next, enter the URL of the website you want to add to Search Console and click “Continue.”

Screenshot of the next step in Google Search Console process.

After that, you’ll need to verify that you are the website owner. To do this, you can either add a small piece of code to your website or use Google Analytics. Choose the best method for you and follow the prompts to complete the verification process.

Once your website has been verified, you can access the helpful tools and features in Google Search Console. 

Tools of the Trade

Once verified as the site owner, you can access the suite of Search Console tools and features.

These tools include the Search Analytics report, the Coverage report, and the Sitemaps feature. Additionally, to make the most of Search Console, regularly check for any potential issues or errors. You can do this by checking the Coverage, Security Issues, Core Web Vitals, and Mobile Usability reports. 

Below is a description of each report:

  • Search Analytics: This feature allows website owners to see how their website performs in Google search results, including the number of clicks, impressions, and average position for specific keywords.
  • Coverage Report: The Coverage Report shows the number of pages on a website that have been indexed by Google and any potential issues with those pages, such as crawl errors or excluded pages.
  • Sitemaps: Sitemaps help Google understand the website’s structure and pages. Submit your sitemap to Google through Search Console to ensure all pages are being indexed.
  • Security Issues: If a security issue is detected on the site, it’ll be noted in the Security Issues section of Search Console. This can include issues such as malware or phishing attacks.
  • Core Web Vitals: Search Console offers a Core Web Vitals section showing how your site’s pages perform based on real-world data. The three performance metrics measured are:
    • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Loading performance
    • First Input Delay (FID): Interactivity performance
    • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Visual stability performance
  • Mobile Usability: With more and more people accessing the internet on their smartphones, websites need to be mobile-friendly. This feature indicates if a website is easy to use on mobile devices and if there are any potential issues.

Another useful feature of Search Console is the URL Inspection tool. This tool provides information about Google’s indexed version of a page, and allows testing to see if a URL is indexable. It provides detailed information about the site’s structured data, video, linked AMP, and indexing/indexability.

Screenshot of the URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console.
URL Inspection Tool

To Sum it Up

Overall, Google Search Console is a valuable tool for website owners looking to improve their website’s visibility and performance in Google search results. By monitoring and addressing potential issues, website owners can ensure their website is properly indexed and is accessible to users.

If you have questions regarding Google Search Console, its implementation, or other website-related issues, please comment below or contact us directly—we’d be happy to help!

Sources: 

About Search Console 

Add a website property to Search Console

Important concepts of Google Search Console   

How to Optimize Your Site for Google’s Core Web Vitals 

URL Inspection Tool – Search Console Help 

 

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