Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush … there are excellent SEO tools; and with them you can do a variety of things. You can check the backlink profiles. Search by keywords. Find unrelated mentions and publishing opportunities for guests. You can even run full SEO audits with one click. But whether you're an agency or a business, a small business or a business, there are some areas of functionality where these tools are insufficient. And where they fail, the Google Search Console takes precedence.
Although powerful, the Gardening SEO Tool is, or should be, complementary to your SEO strategy. If you plan to optimize your organic searches, you should be living in Search Console and use other tools to help you perform auxiliary tasks. Not totally comfortable with Search Console as a living space? Do not worry. Today, I will teach you how to get started with the most essential features of Search Console.
Even better: after launching the new and improved Search Console in January, Google officially released it from beta last week. So, while I'm going to teach you 7 steps to get the most out of the new Google Search Console, I'll also explain how the new interface and old interaction differ.
All right, then! Let's jump in.
Step # 1. Add and Check Your Site
Before entering the features, you will want to add and verify your site in Search Console. Go to the drop-down menu at the top left of your dashboard and click on "Add Property".
Make sure you enter the URL of your site exactly as it appears in your browser. If you support multiple protocols (http: // and https: //) or multiple domains (example.com, m.example.com, and www.example.com), be sure to add each of them as that distinct property. Once your site is added, Search Console starts collecting data.
The mere addition of a property will not give you access – you must also verify that you own it. Navigate to the Manage Properties tab for the property you added on the Search Console Home page.
Select "Check Property" from the drop-down list and choose one of the recommended audit methods. These vary depending on the composition of the site you are checking. If you're struggling to implement one of the verification methods, if you want to change your verification method, or simply get a more detailed explanation of each process, this page is a great resource for all site verification.
Step 2: Specify a Preferred Domain
Tell Google if you want your site to be listed as https://www.example.com or https://example.com. Choosing one on the other will not give you any benefit in organic research. However, you want to make sure that you choose one or the other.
Select your property from the home page of the Search Console (note: we do this in the old search console). Once in, click on the gear icon at the top right of your dashboard and select Site Settings:
In the Preferred Domain section you will be able to choose between www.example.com and example.com versions of your site. You will also see the option "Do not set preferred domain". Select this option and expose yourself to the possibility that Google will treat the "www" and "non-www" URLs as different URLs. This could break the fairness of the links on these pages and hinder the visibility of the searches. By choosing a version of your site as "preferred" instead, you tell Google to treat all non-preferred domains that it considers your preferred domain.
Step 3: Integrate Search Console with Google Analytics
Analytics provides you with traffic and conversion data. The Search Console gives you an overview of the causal research factors underlying this data. Linking the two gives you a huge throttle ratio.
To link the Search Console and Analytics, go to the Administration Panel at the bottom left of your Analytics dashboard. From there, click Properties of the property.
NOTE: If you do not have access to the property settings, you will not have Edit permissions at the property level. If you want to link the search console yourself, you must acquire it from another owner.
Next, go to Search Console Settings. You will see the URL of your website, which confirms that the website is verified in the search console and that you are authorized to make changes. Under Search Console, select the report view where you want to view the data, click Save, and then start.
You now see a report from the Search Console in the Audience tab of your Analytics dashboard. ] New Google Search Console Analysis ” />
With this report, you now have the ability to correlate pre-click data such as queries and impressions with post-click data such as bounce rate and the number of clicks. goal achieved. The Landing Pages report contains search data for each URL in your site that is displayed in the search results. So, if there is a page that you have recently updated and you hope for a better ranking for more traffic for that page, or if there is a page that gets into the traffic and that you want to know-how, you can use the Landing Pages report to fully understand these correlations.
How has the change in clickthrough rate over time been achieved? How did the average position in SERP affect sessions or time spent on the page? The link between the Search Console and Analytics allows you to analyze all these unique relationships. You can also use the Country report, the Devices report, and the Queries report to analyze these same relationships when they are broken down by country, device, and search query.
Note: Search The console report only displays data from the Search Console collection for your site. Fortunately, while the old search console only provides you with three months of search data, the new search console gives you 16 months . This is null and void if you now link Google Analytics to Search Console, but over time it is definitely worth analyzing this additional data (think about the frequency of the last three months to review the history of the one-page traffic) Numbers).
Step # 4: Submit a sitemap
Not sure if you have a sitemap? Go to example.com/sitemap.xml. If there is nothing there, you do not have one.
Of course, you must have a sitemap if you want to send one to the search console. Here are some good sitemap generation practices:
- File Size : Less than 50 MB
- Number of URLs : 50,000
- If you have more than 50,000 URLs : Generate several sitemaps  Include only canonical URLs . Exclude URLs You Denied Using robots.txt
- From Google: "XML sitemaps must contain the URLs of all pages on your site." If you have a large site, you can paraphrase it as follows : pages on your site. This includes any page with high quality original content. It excludes "utility pages", which may be useful to a user, but are not useful as a search landing page.
- Content Management Systems such as WordPress and Drupal have plugins that help you generate sitemaps. Some, like Squarespace, generate and update them automatically.
- If all else fails this article gives an overview of how to create a dynamic site map. If you have a small site, this tool will build one for you.
Ok, so you have your sitemap! Now, to help Google understand the content of your site, you will want to submit it. To do this, go to the Site Map tab in the new Search Console:
Enter your new sitemap URL, click Submit and select! You are in business.
Step 5: Exploitation of the status report of the index cover to correct the site errors
The old search console contained the report of the state of index in the Google Index tab; the new search console displays it directly in the dashboard, where you can not miss it.
They also updated the name of the index Cover state. It looks as follows:
By Google, the new report provides the same information as the old report, as well as detailed information on the Google search console. state of the index. What kind of glorious insight can you derive from this new report (apparently the same)? Let's go through each of the tabs.
- Error: Executes all potential errors of the site so that you can browse and make corrections. These can include server errors, redirection errors, robot.txt errors, 404 errors, and other miscellaneous errors.
- Warnings: A warning means that a page is indexed but blocked by the robots.txt file. If you want to block an index page, Google prefers the "noindex" tag on the robots.txt file. A blocked page via the robots.txt file may still appear in the index if other pages are linked to it. These warnings allow you to browse and unindex these pages correctly.
- Valid pages: All these pages are in the index. If you see the index, not submitted in the sitemap state, you must make sure that you add these URLs to your sitemap. "Indexed, consider marking as canonical" means that this page has duplicate URLs, and you should mark it as canonical.
- Pages excluded: These are pages that have been blocked in the index by a directive "noindex", robots.txt, an anomaly analysis because of duplicate content, etc.
Google gives a good overview of the meaning of each of these statutes and the how to fix them.We do not have enough room to enter them all here, but in general you can get the 411 on each URL by clicking on the tab you want to review and then clicking on the description that completes the Report Details section:
Click the URL on the Samples tab:
This will open this nice panel that offers different methods
- Inspect URL: See the reference page whether the analysis is allowed or not. indexing is not allowed, whether or not you have declared this page as canonical, and that Google visualizes this page as being canonical.
- Robots.txt blocking test: Go to the robots.txt file of your site (example.com/robots.txt) and you can see all the elements of your site blocked in the index . Of course, you will not always remember what items appear on which pages. The robots.txt tester highlights the parts of your page that may or may not trigger the robots.txt block.
- Fetch as Google: Lets you see your page exactly as Google sees it. Googlebot immediately goes to your page and displays the downloaded HTTP response that it reads. Use "Fetch and Render" and you can also see the physical layout of your page as Google sees it.
- See the results of the search: Lets you see what your page looks like in the index.
These functions are available for all your URLs. The search console is in the index. You can use them to sort the statuses associated with your errors, warnings, valid pages and excluded pages. Make sure to validate your patches so that Google hurry to reanalyze the page:
That's it in a nutshell! The index coverage report can be used to detect and correct each error associated with your site.
Step 6: Exploit the Performance Report to Update the Content
Basically, all statistics displayed in Google Analytics when you link to your account in the Search Console come from the Performance Report. The performance report replaces the "Search Analytics" report in the old search console. like the index coverage report, there is not much difference between the old report and the new one. But you can still do some very nice stuff with that. We will take a look.
First, open the performance report. This is the first table you see in your presentation.
You are not limited to tracking these statistics in Google Analytics. you can use them to look for opportunities to improve performance. The best way to do this is to use the filter function:
Use the tabs to find your pre-click statistics on a query, page, country, or device . You may want to see, for example, which pages appear on the first page of search results but have a CTR below average in the last six months:
Or maybe you want to search for queries for which you are outside the top 10 while still maintaining an impressive amount of impressions. You can then go back and optimize the corresponding pages to try to gain a rank:
Most of the third party SEO tools have similar functions through which you can access keyword opportunities, but it is interesting to receive data directly from Google!
Step # 7: Use the link report to boost specific pages
The link report is at the bottom of your dashboard:
with that . Here are my two favorites:
1. Increase the specific pages using your most linked pages. The most related content to your site is that of links equity. Linking internally to the pages you want to reinforce from these fair pages is a great way to increase rankings. To find out where is the largest number of links on your site, click on one of the most important sections of the link report:
The External Links section allows you to to sort by number of domain references – this is an important factor for Google, these pages will therefore have a lot of inherent fairness. Find pages that are about to generate serious business value, link them (of course) from these high quality pages and track the results!
2. Disavow links from spam sites.
Go to "Major Link Sites" in the overview of your link report. Expand the list and you can see all the domains related to your site. Add poor or spammy domains to the file you upload to Google's Disavow Link Tool. Note: According to Google, you must disavow links only if you are confident they are harming your site. Disavowing links that improve performance will hurt your site. Nevertheless, it is interesting to know if domains pointing to your site are of concern to you.
Beyond 7 Steps
If you've understood each of these 7 steps, you've put yourself in a good place to get close to mastering Google Search Console. These concepts and reports constitute the essence of the Search Consoles utility as an SEO tool. That said, you can of course go further. Backlinko has a very useful guide that gives an overview of some more advanced tactics if you are interested.