Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to analyze the performance of your website in the Google search index. In this article, experts from our Montreal SEO agency explain why this tool is essential for a good ranking on search engines.
Analyze your SEO performance
Search Console tools and reports can be used to measure your site’s performance and traffic while optimizing its ranking in search results.
You can find out which keywords are used by Internet users to find your website. You will also get detailed data about your pages and searches with this graph, which is based on four different and complementary metrics:
- The number of clicks is the number of times your website has appeared in search results and users have chosen to visit it because they feel it meets their needs.
- The number of impressions is the number of times your site has appeared in search engine results, both in the top and bottom results.
- The CTR is the click-through rate, i.e. the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions.
- The position is the average position your site occupies on Google for a specific query. It should be noted that Google’s results may differ from one user to another, since they are personalized. The position is therefore the average of all these results.
In addition, you can study this data more accurately by filtering your searches. For example, you can choose to analyze the respective click rate on your pages.
You can also study the number of requests made based on devices (mobile, tablet, desktop).
With the Search Console, you can evaluate and optimize the search performance of your website. In effect, being informed of the requests and pages that get the most clicks allows you to determine where to focus your efforts based on what works and minimize your efforts on what doesn’t. Finally, this tool allows copywriters to evaluate their content marketing progress since they can analyze which keyword is most or least relevant for SEO.
Track the indexing of your website
When Google’s robots explore your website, they follow the page links as a visitor would. The robots will analyze and click on all the links on these web pages and then copy them to Google’s servers, which will use them for indexing. That is, position them on its search engine.
Search Console tools allow you to see how many pages Google has indexed over a given period of time. This allows you to track the increases and decreases of the indexed pages and determine whether or not they are normal. This is extremely useful for your SEO since you will be able to see which pages have been blocked by search engines.
Google uses its Googlebot indexing robot to position your web page, which allows it to view your website and observe the various updates you have made. This error report is very helpful in ensuring that you are always searchable by Google. In addition, all your URLs are examined to determine if any of them are problematic. With these exploration reports, you will discover problems with your URLs that have occurred in the last three months and that have prevented Google from accessing your platform.
When analyzing indexation, you will encounter different situations divided into four reports:
- Server error (5xx): the server did not respond to a valid request.
- Redirection error: 301/302 redirection does not work.
- Sent URL that is blocked by the robots.txt file: this page is blocked by the robots.txt file. You can try testing your page with the robots.txt file test tool.
- Sent URL that is designated as “noindex”: you have voluntarily specified a “noindex” tag, for example to deal with your duplicate content.
- Sent URL that appears to be a 404 error: your page could not be indexed because it is not found.
- Sent URL that returns an unauthorized request (401): Google received a 401 response, which means unauthorized access to the web page.
- The URL sent contains an exploration error: you sent this page for indexing and Google detected an unspecified exploration error that does not match any of the other reasons. Use the URL inspection tool to try to debug the page.
Finally, this tool provides you with other information such as indexing coverage that tells you when Google last explored your web page, with which crawlers and the page by which it discovered that URL.
Improve the mobile compatibility of your website
With the increase in mobile searches, your website has to adapt to different screen resolutions. With Google Search Console, you can evaluate the user experience and then optimize the usability.
This report will highlight problems that negatively affect the user-friendliness of your website and the number of pages affected by these problems.
Using Google Analytics in Search Console
You might already be using Google Analytics, another tool in the Google suite that is very useful for analyzing and increasing traffic. Good news, you can link it to the Search Console! They both appear similar, but they are complementary and will therefore offer you a comprehensive analysis of your website’s performance.
While Google Analytics provides you with information on the total number of queries for a keyword online, Search Console gives you the most significant keywords that Google finds on your site. And while Google Analytics will tell you whether or not your site visitors are converting, Search Console can help you refine your search.
Note that your statistics obtained through Google Analytics may differ from those obtained through Google Search Console because this tool performs additional data analysis to monitor things such as duplicate content and robot visits, for example.
Google Search Console gives you all the tools to improve your SEO
Now you know why Google Search Console is essential for your SEO strategy. You can use this valuable information to get your website to perform well on search engines and outperform the competition! However, if you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us and our SEO experts will be happy to guide you through all the digital steps to conquer Google.