With the increasing competition in the digital market, business owners need to be sure they are doing everything they can to get a step above or a prominent edge over the competitors. In the high tech world we live in, no business can possibly compete without having some sort of online footprint. The internet provides a major platform for companies to spread the word about their business in many ways. It is a business card for the business, online, and is available even when the business owner or employees sleep. It provides businesses a way to educate and attract customers and thus generate leads.
So it is essential that the website is working well, that it is mobile and that it provides the consumer, the reader, with the best possible experience. Sometimes, some of these issues we may not realize, but since the search engines, such as Google, is crawling our website, they have all this data, it just relies on us to seek it out.
Use free tools to help your website visibility and functionality like Google Search Console.Click to tweet
Google Analytics – Reminder
Reminder that you have the ability to tap into your analytics on your website via many tools, some paid, many free. Google Analytics is such a tool that gives you a look at your website traffic, where they came from, what they like most and etc. I wrote about this recently, so take a look at that more in ‘Get Google Analytics on Your Website‘. I have written several other blogs on it as well, so feel free to seek those out or look for a few linked in this blog.
So why am I mentioning Google Analytics in a blog about Google Search Console? Well, once you have your Google Analytics set up, it is easy to link your Google Analytics to your Google Webmaster Tools. Now, Yoast also has a way to link your Search Console as well, and that is good to use, but if you want to make any changes or do anything, you need to upgrade, so it is important to link them directly in Google Analytics. I cover that process in a video in ‘This is Why We Blog‘ so feel free to check it out.
Google Search Console – A Brief Glance
It is a free service provided by Google (and why wouldn’t we want to keep Google happy?) that helps you to observe and analyze your website’s performance in the search results of Google. It can be used by site administrators, web developers, and online marketers to analyze the performance of the digital market campaigns they are conducting.
It can provide info about search appearance, search traffic, Google index, crawl info and thus can advise on critical crawl errors, submit your sitemap, see how many urls have been submitted and/or indexed, give you some analytics on your search traffic, rich cards and more. However, just like with Google Analytics, it can get overwhelming quickly so take a look at a few of the highlights and benefits.
Benefits of Google Search Console
Since an internet user has a plenty of options at their disposal for getting required information, they will immediately move to the next option if they encounter any problem on your website that could lead to frustration. One of the most commonly known frustrating experiences for a website visitor is the 404 error. The error is caused by a broken link. You can save the visitors of your website from this frustrating experience by using the Google Search Console to determine which pages are broken. The easiest fix is to redirect folks using tools like the 301 Redirect plugin.
For example… you changed the name of a blog or page and also changed the url. Well, this previously named page might have been cached and it already out in the internet (reminder, once it’s out there, it’s out there). So, when consumers find that old link they will land on your 404 page saying that the old page doesn’t exist. If you apply a 301 redirect, it will redirect anyone who lands on that old page and redirect them to the revised link that you select within that tool or plugin.
Don’t lose your visitors by not redirecting old links that are 404 Errors – redirect them.Click to tweet
Review or Submit a Sitemap
Your sitemap is basically a list of all of the pages on your website. The more organized your website is, the more pages that are in the navigation, the easier for the search engine spiders to find all of your pages. The Sitemap helps the spiders crawl all of your pages. Yoast has an XML Sitemap tool built in and it can be viewed by going to your Dashboard, then SEO and then XML Sitemaps. You can change what type of things are listed in your Sitemap and which you want to remove from the Sitemap and not have the search engines crawl. Your Sitemap is usually found and seen as… yourdomain/sitemap_index.xml. Should you have a website other than WordPress, there may be a functionality for your Sitemap or you may have to create one. I have done so in the past using this Sitemap Creator, and it is free as well.
Google Search Console is deemed to be a great source for getting information on the keywords being using by the customers that are directed to your website. It may not be able to tell you about the exact pages for the particular keywords but can still prove to be a viable source for getting relevant information about the keywords to boost your ranking. Under Search Traffic, you can see the keyword queries (the keyword phrases that the consumer uses that the search engines show your website for) that get clicks to your website or impressions for your website and even your Google ranking position.
Links In & Out of Your Website
If you recall that backlinks are links that drive traffic back to your website. Here you can see under Search Traffic and Links to Your Site which other sources/websites are the biggest traffic drivers to your website, how they are linked and the content that is linked (which pages they drive traffic to).
Internal links are just as important and under Search Traffic and Internal Links can show how many internal links you have for various pages.
With the rising trend of smartphone owners opting for their handheld devices to surf the internet in place of their laptops or PCs, Google announced that it would consider the mobile-friendliness of a website for its ranking procedure. Therefore, if you want to stay on top of your game, you need to make your website is easily accessible for smartphone and other handheld device users. I am always preaching – make it easy for the consumer and make your website pretty. Google Search Console can help you to achieve this. It has a mobile usability module which you can use to see if your website is perfect to be used on mobile devices or not.
You can view Mobile Usability under Search Traffic and then also check out the Web Tools for more tools that can aid in your website experience. For example, if you have ads on your website, you may want to check out the Ad Experience Report. A Page Speed tool can be found under Other Resources or go directly to the Page Speed Insights.
The list of the benefits of Google Search Console does not end here. It can help you to directly communicate with Google, improve your performance in search results, and verify the structured data on your website. Hence, if you want to position yourself better with the Google search engines, or any for that matter, check out your data, your analytics and your site presence by utilizing free tools such as Google Search Console. If you have any questions about your Search Console with regard to setting it up for your website, or any of the above, I would love to have a consultation with you to go over the benefits and specifics for your website and needs.
So, in the comments below… have you set up your Google Analytics, Google Search Console and/or have you ever looked at either? Do you find them to be beneficial?