- Do you have a website?
- Do you market yourself online?
- Do you want people to find your website?
- All of the above?
Well then YOU should be using Google Search Console. Developers, administrators and SEO specialists area already using this. If you have a website, you should be using it too. Oh, and in case you were wondering how much this wonderful tool costs – it’s absolutely FREE.
Yes, Google Search Console is a FREE service, offered by Google that can help you check on and maintain your website’s performance for users and online search results.
What Am I Going To Learn?
There are many things that Google Search Console can tell you about your website. With it, you can:
- Ensure that Google can access the content of your website
- Be certain that images and content you put on your website are aiding in your search results
- Keep track of reasons that might be slowing down your website’s speed.
- Learn what content might actually be damaging your website’s performance and search results.
- Discover which other website’s are linking to your website.
- Find out how your website is performing on mobile (super important!)
- What are the terms folks are using to find your website when performing a Google searches
Do I Need to Be a Webmaster to Use Google Search Console?
Once upon a time, in a land pretty much the same as this one, Google Search Console was called Google Webmaster Tools. This handy and free tool was named that until a couple of years ago. Perhaps Google realized the possible intimidation factor of such a name. Although Google Search Console is extremely useful for experts in design, coding, SEO and website administration, it’s a good idea for anyone who has their own website to at least become familiar with the basics. The first step in using Google Search Console is to add you website. This is the tricky part. You need to be at least a nominally familiar with code and your website’s structure. This great explanation from Moz details the different ways to add your website to the Console and to get it verified.
Once your site is loaded into the Search Console, you will have access to tons of valuable information about your site. You will also be able to ensure that your site is optimized for Google. Sit back and relax! You don’t have to login to the Search Console every day. If Google finds problems or issues with your website, you will be notified via email. It’s not all set it and forget it, however. Logging in monthly is a good idea however and the Google Search Console dashboard makes it easy to get a quick overview of how your website is doing.
If you make major changes to your website, add pages or add content, you will need to test that Google can access your new pages by using the Fetch as Google tool.
The Search Appearance section to determine if there are any issues with your content, title tags and meta-descriptions. The Links to Your Site tool shows you other sites that are linking to yours. Another super handy tool is Search Analytics, where you will see your keywords and how many clicks they are getting.
Use the Google Index to see how many pages of your site are being indexed and those that have been blocked by robots or removed. You will also be able see crawl errors, which can guide you to fixing 404 errors, server errors and URLs for pages that don’t exist.
This is literally just the tip of the information iceberg that Google Search Console can provide you. After a bit of set-up, you will be able to glean useful information that will help you keep your website in tip-top Google shape. You will even receive notices via email when there are problems. And it’s ALL free. Thanks Google!