Google Search Console is the new name for the previously known Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) that we have been using all these years. The name has been somewhat misleading until now, so Google renamed it to something better and more intuitive.
It's a free service and helps you manage your site's presence in Google search results and can give you information on keyword ranking data, traffic trends based on content, keyword insight and even point out problems with crawlers. Through Google Search Console you can request that Google indexes your site, meaning changes you've made will show up in search results sooner.
The next 5 tools will help you stay on top of the game and use Google Search Console like a pro.
1. Search Analytics
This is one of the most popular reports in Google Search Console. It gives you insights into the organic traffic from Google. You can see popular queries, pages, countries and devices.
The Search Analytics section shows current and average keyword rankings, as well as organic search impressions and click-through rate (CTR) for each keyword.
Analyse search analytics movement to see which keywords provide the best click-through rate and where they are coming from; desktop or mobile.
2. Fetch as Google and submit to index
If you've made significant changes to a website, the fastest way to get the updates indexed by Google is to submit it manually. This will allow any changes done to things such as on-page content or title tags to appear in search results as soon as possible.
3. Site speed metrics
Website speed is becoming an increasingly important factor in Google's ranking algorithm. Anything below 600 milliseconds is acceptable. Anything above that mark, and impatient users will start leaving your site. Head on to Crawl status to check the average time spent to download a page.
4. Site errors in Google Search Console
Nobody wants to have something wrong on their website, but sometimes you might not realise there's a problem unless someone tells you. Instead of waiting for someone to tell you about a problem, Google Search Console can immediately notify you of any errors it finds on on your site.
If you want to check a site for internal errors, select the site you'd like to check. On the left hand side of the screen, click on "Crawl," then select "Crawl Errors."
5. Find out if your website is mobile friendly with Mobile Usability
Now that Google has started to mark websites in search results as mobile friendly, it's important to ensure that yours actually is. You can visit the Mobile Usability report under Search Traffic to find any mobile issues that need to be resolved.
If you do have mobile usability errors, you can click through to the pages that are causing the areas in the report, then click on the triple dots to see details about the particular problem.
Through its search analytics, index updates, site speed metrics, site errors and mobile usability, Google Search Console can give you the detailed data you need to maximise the appearance of your site in Google search queries. Its ability to track changes over time provides insight into the effectiveness of your efforts, as well as ways to further improve them.
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