The Google Search Console (GSC, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a free analysis and service tool from Google, designed to ensure that your website is in the best possible condition and meets Google's requirements. Using the Google Search Console, numerous settings can be chosen for websites or apps, statistics can be viewed and optimizations can be carried out. Also, webmasters receive warnings about unnatural backlinks or malware that has been installed on the website.
What exactly is the Google Search Console?
The Google Search Console is a set of tools and reports that webmasters or really anyone who runs a website can use to monitor, manage and improve their web presence. With the help of Google Search Console optimizing your website is much easier.
In contrast to Google Analytics, which is an outstanding analysis tool for websites, the Google Search Console is similar in structure, but more suitable for constantly improving the website in question. Apart from helping you diagnose any technical SEO issues, it can also help you understand your most popular pages and help you increase your organic traffic. The Search Console should therefore be dedicated to the main task of working on and improving your website. The continuous optimization of one's own website is very important for the success of your business, so that the use of the search console, which helps with continuous improvement, has become an absolute necessity.
How do I get started with the Search Console?
As per usual with Google tools, registration and configuration are very simple. You can log into your Google account and then open the Search Console here. After registration has been completed the website in question must first be registered and the owner must verify the website. Verify your account using a valid Google Analytics account via the domain name, an HTML tag, or the Google Tag Manager.
1.Google Analytics: Use your Google Analytics account.
- Add your domain - The easiest way is to select the property type "Domain" and then enter the URL of your website. Make sure you use the exact URL (check how it appears in the bar of your browser). Once you have done this, click Continue.
- Verify your account - To verify your website, copy the DNS TXT record certified by Google Search Console and add it to your domain provider to verify ownership of your domain.
- There are various ways you can verify ownership:
2.Google Tag Manager: Use your Google Tag Manager account.
3.HTML tag: Add a meta tag to the homepage of your website.
4.HTML file: Upload an HTML file to your website.
If you have followed these steps, the Search Console is now set up for you to use.
Overview of the most important Search Console features
The new Google Search Console, introduced in 2018 has many functions that can be used to analyze and optimize a website. Here are some of these functions:
When you launch a new website, you can see if your website is already indexed and if so, how many pages are effectively listed.
The Coverage tab - shows all your indexed pages and all pages that are not included in your sitemap.
Check site errors
- Redirection error - This happens when a redirect to a page does not work properly
- Site Errors - When a page is not accessible, a 404 error is displayed. 404 pages are not a total disaster. However, they should be avoided or fixed, because if you have many internal links to 404 pages, this can lead to the Googlebot reaching a "dead end".
- The submitted URL has a crawling problem - At times, a page can be blocked by crawlers in your Robots.txt.
Monitor and analyze Google search results
In the Performance tab in GSC, you have four metrics to look at:
1. Clicks - When a user selects a link that leads them from Google search to your website, it counts as one click.
2. Impressions - Each time your link UYRL appears in a search result, it generates an impression.
3. CTR - The number of users who click on your result and access the website.
4. Average Positions - This is the average ranking position of your page for one or more search queries.
Check your backlinks
In the links tab in the GSC - you can take a look at your backlinks (sites that links back to you). Backlinks are an indication for Google that the content of your website is trustworthy. The more backlinks, the better. However, quality and relevance are very important for backlinks.
Page Speed report
This report helps SEO marketers dive into page speed issues by URL. After an update of a URL, you can use this Page Speed Report to check and track whether users are seeing improved performance.
Optimization of mobile usability
In the Mobile Usability tab - You can check if your website has issues with mobile usability. It is important to ensure that your website works well for users on mobile devices.
This section enables you to monitor all your AMP pages. AMP pages have a very positive effect on your SEO. So it's a case of keeping an eye on these and looking for errors in your AMP markup, here's where the AMP report of the Search Console can help you out.
A sitemap is an XML file that, simply speaking, stores a table of contents for your website. This is a very important feature, which will be discussed further just below so that its significance can be made clear.
Search Console: XML Sitemap
Although Google can crawl and index your pages without a sitemap. It is highly advisable to create a sitemap to help Google understand your site in the best possible way. The XML sitemap is literally a map of your website that lists all your subpages.
An XML sitemap is a machine-readable file providing a listing of URLs that can be read by Google and other search engines. Although this is not a guarantee for later indexing, it increases the possibility that even page elements that are difficult to access will be crawled.
Further information, such as when the page was last updated or how often the page was changed, as well as how important the page is for the website, becomes apparent to search engines thanks to an XML sitemap.
With an XML sitemap, data and keywords can be evaluated faster, which translates to changes to your website being found and ranked by search engines more quickly. When you are optimizing your website for search engines, you want them to notice all the changes you have made, so that you can achieve those Top Google rankings! Therefore, it is important to create and submit an XML sitemap that can be found and accessed by search engines quickly and efficiently.
After creating it, you need to submit it to Google via the Google Search Console. To submit the sitemap, go to the sitemaps tool in the left menu bar and simply paste the XML page. Then click on "submit".
A powerful tool, indispensable for anyone who runs a website
To constantly improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and to be able to adapt to Google's ever-changing criteria, it is important to get to know this application in detail to make the most of it.
As a free tool and one of the best SEO tools, with direct access to Google search results as well as extensive data and settings options, the Google Search Console is an excellent tool for every webmaster, and search engine optimizer. The performance reports alone provide a comprehensive overview of the condition and relevance of one's own website in the search results. The individual small tools and setting options also offer opportunities to intervene in the event of problems or suggestions for improvement. This tool is not only recommended for professionals but also beginners due to its user-friendliness and should be used by every webmaster and search engine optimizer.