How to Get Started Using Google Search Console - Plus Bonus Tips & Tricks

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How to Get Started Using Google Search Console - Plus Bonus Tips & Tricks

If you’re in the business of digital marketing or optimising for organic search, you’ll want to make sure you’re living and breathing in Google Search Console. 

Never heard of it or anxious about getting started? Fear not - we’ll take you through the process in this blog post! 

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free (yes, FREE!) tool that lets you see more information about your website’s search traffic performance than Google Analytics alone provides. It enables you to see which search queries specifically are generating traffic to your site, and helps you identify technical issues that need to be fixed to improve your site’s ability to rank well in search engine results. Sounds awesome right? An awesome, albeit complex tool but once set up and mastered is invaluable! So - let’s dive straight in. 

How to Add Your Website to Google Search Console

Before we get into functionality and you can start benefiting from these tools and reports, you need to set up a Google Search account and add your website to Google Search Console. Getting set up is easy if you have all the required access and permissions for it. We cover it here in 5 easy steps. 

1. First, visit the Google Search Console sign-up page and click Start Now.

2. Choose the Google Account you would like to use and sign in.

3. Enter your domain name under the URL prefix and click Continue.
This provides more options to verify your control of the domain, including using Google Analytics, which is why we are using this property type, rather than Domain.

4. Verify Your Property
You will see multiple options and you can choose to decide how you will verify it as per your need and the options available to you.

After verifying, you are ready to go and the property will start to collect data such as visits, impressions, clicks, queries and more. You can also add sitemaps to index your urls.

5. Link Search Console with Google Analytics
Go to admin and click on the setting icon and you will see property settings> there you will see a list of product links where you will find GSC

Click on it and you can easily add your GSC property there, just make sure you have proper access to both GA4 & GSC properties that link them.

How to get the most out of Google Search Console

Now that you’re all set up and ready to go - what exactly can you do? Google’s Search Console tools and reports help you measure your site's search traffic and performance, fix issues and make your site shine in Google Search results.

You can also use it to manage your organic traffic, which pages/products you want to show your potential users more and how to show your website pages on search results.

Another great feature you’ll want to use is the tool to optimise your content with search analytics. It allows you to see which queries bring users to your site, analyse your site's impressions, clicks, and position on Google Search.

Let’s take a closer look at these features and tools!

Get Your Content on Google

You can do this by submitting sitemaps and individual URLs for crawling. Review your index coverage to ensure that Google has the freshest view of your site and will show the latest content on the search results.

You can either directly submit your sitemap or can use any SEO tool/app such as YOAST SEO to manage it.

Get alerts on issues and fix your site

Receive email alerts when Google identifies issues on your site. See which URLs these issues affect and tell Google when you’ve fixed them.

Understand how Google Search sees your pages. The URL Inspection tool provides detailed crawl, index, and serving information about your pages, directly from the Google index.

Optimise and enhance your site

Optimise your website with these features to enhance your website UI/UX and deliver a seamless experience to your visitors.

AMP: Manage monitor and track your accelerated mobile pages with a search console and reports and optimise your website for mobile

Mobile Usability:  Test and improve the website’s mobile usability and improve the traffic from mobile users and provide more accessibility.

Rich Results: Show structured data with search results on Google search. Ex: price, availability, shipping, and other usable rich results.

Tips & Tricks of Google Search Console
Having all the tools and knowing what to do with them to extract the most out of them are two different things. Let’s go through a couple of tips and tricks that will help you do just that!

URL Inspection Tool & Indexing
This is the most useful tool in the Search Console! Using this tool will help you to identify any issues with any URL or page on your site. It’s also handy if you have launched a specific page and want to index it on Google. 

You can also use this tool for a re-crawl if you have made any changes to your website/page that you want to push as early as possible in your search results.

Sitemaps & Removals to Add or Remove Pages
Use Sitemaps if you want to index all the pages or all of your website on Google. Removals play an important role in removing a particular URL from your indexing without changing your sitemaps again and again.

Example of this: You might want to use it to remove a particular ‘sale’ page that ran for a particular period of time.

Delivering Better Experience: Page/Mobile Usability
Use these tools to provide better usability and resolve any UI/UX issues. This provides a superior experience for the users, which in turn helps improve traffic. You’ll in turn get more visitors to the site, improve on-page and interaction time, and decrease bounce rate.

The Wrap Up
Google Search Console is an absolute must for those of you who are wanting to increase organic traffic to their websites and provide an overall better experience to their users.

It’s also a highly valuable tool for managing how your website looks in search results.

Along with this, Google Search Console provides an insight into the traffic you are receiving and how you can optimise your website by analysing this data to provide a better user experience and show structured data via rich results as extra information for your search results. 

The best part - it’s FREE!

If you’re up to scratch with these basics and want to dive deeper down the GSC rabbit hole, there are loads of great tutorial videos provided by Google for best practices.

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