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How To Use Google Search Console For SEO Improvement (The Definitive Guide)


Search Console is a free tool from Google that helps website managers or owners in monitoring the organic performance of a website. If properly harnessed, it can also serve as a great SEO tool to increase traffic to your website.

After reading this article, you will find out what Google Search Console is, its benefits for your website, and how to use Search Console properly on your website.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console (previously known as Google Webmasters Tool) is a tool that functions to monitor organic traffic, backlinks, and website technical problems related to Google.

By having data about website performance, you can take the right steps to increase traffic to your website.

In addition, you can also monitor website performance supporting features such as Core Web Vitals, Mobile Usability, AMP, and many others.

How to Register for Google Search Console

Here are the steps for registering your website in Search Console.

  1. Open the Google Search Console page
  2. Login with Google account
  3. Select add property
  4. Choose a  Domain
  5. Enter the website name
  6. Copy the verification code
  7. Go to the domain provider page
  8. Paste the verification code into DNS Configuration
  9. Click Verify

If successful, then your website will be verified as your property in Google Search Console.

Each domain provider has its settings for the location of the DNS Configuration so make sure you know where the files need to be changed. Here is an example of how the DNS Config will appear in the namecheap control panel

Usefulness of Google Search Console

Google Search Console has various benefits for website owners and managers. Starting from monitoring traffic to optimizing websites for mobile searches.

Here are the biggest benefits that can be obtained from Google Search Console:

1. Determine the Best Keywords for the Website

One of the most important functions of Search Console is monitoring the traffic and ranking of your website on the Google search engine. By selecting the Search Results menu, you can see 4 factors from the menu, namely: click, impression, click-through rate (CTR), and the position of your website on the search page.

From this data, you can conclude what keywords are most successful for SEO from your website.

2. Seeing the Best Pages on the Website

From the search results data, you can determine which pages are performing the best on your website. You can use this information to make such pages your cornerstone content or main content.

Cornerstone content is the term for the main pages with the highest traffic on your website. Once you've identified these pages, you can post internal links to cornerstone content to further optimize traffic.

3. Identifying Website Visitors

You can see where your website visitors come from. Several factors can be used as a filter for visitor data in Google Search Console, namely: search keywords, the intended page, visitor's device, country, and date.

By knowing where your visitors are from, you can adjust the next steps. If most of your visitors come from mobile devices, then you have to make sure your website is optimized for smartphone and tablet displays.

4. Detecting Malware on the Website

If you have registered your website in Google Search Console, you will get a warning about the presence of malicious malware or viruses on your website anytime there's a security breach.

This Google Search Console function is very useful for ensuring the safety of websites and website visitors.

In addition to providing information about website security problems, Google Search Console also provides guidelines for resolving these problems.

5. Check Website Compatibility on Mobile Devices

In 2020, Google announced mobile-first indexing which will apply to all websites in their database. This means that Google will begin to prioritize the performance of your website on a mobile device compared to the performance on a desktop.

Another Google Search Console function is to check which pages are not optimal for mobile viewing and their causes. That way, you will find it easier to optimize your website for mobile devices.

6. Identify and Check Backlinks to the Website

Backlinks are links from other websites that lead to your website. Backlinks are an indicator in determining the reputation of your website in the eyes of the Google search engine. The more strong a backlink is, the better it is to increase the reputation or domain authority (DA) of your website.

Google Search Console can provide you with data about which sites have backlinks to your website, destination pages, and the number of links that lead to your website.

7. Broken Link Identification

Another Google Search Console function is to identify broken links. This function is very useful because broken links are one of the factors that damage the user experience (UX) on your website. You will get a notification when a broken link is found, so it can be fixed as soon as possible.

8. Update and Submit Site Sitemap

You can also submit a sitemap or update the sitemap from Google Search Console. The purpose of a sitemap is to help Google's bot crawler to identify the pages on your website more quickly.

So, every time there is a page structure change on your website, don't forget to update the sitemap by submitting the latest sitemap through Google Search Console.

How to Use Google Search Console

To take full advantage of Google Search Console, here are some steps that need to be done:

1. Understand the terms in Google Search Console

If you are new to the world of SEO and digital marketing, then some of the terms in Google Search Console will sound unfamiliar to you.

Here are some important terms in Google Search Console:

  • Click: The number of clicks received by pages on the website from search results on Google
  • Impression: A number that describes the frequency with which pages from your website appear in Google searches.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): A comparison between the number of times a page appears on Google searches and the number of clicks a page receives.
  • Position: The ranking of the pages on the website in search results. The higher, the better.
  • Queries: Sentences, questions, or keywords for which the website appears as a search result.

2. Submit a Sitemap (optional)

Actually, a sitemap is not a necessity to use Google Search Console, as long as your website is neatly organized.

As long as the pages on your website are connected logically and make sense, Google will easily find all the pages on your website.

It is recommended that you create a sitemap if:

  • Your website consists of many pages
  • Your website has lots of disorganized pages
  • There is a lot of media content on the website you
  • Your website is very new so it doesn't have many external links

3. How to Connect Google Search Console to Analytics

To use data from Search Console in Google Analytics, you must connect these two website analysis tools.

Here are the steps for connecting Google Search Console and Google Analytics:

  • Log in to your Analytics account
  • Click the Admin menu and select properties
  • Click Property Settings
  • Look for the Search Console menu
  • Click Adjust Search Console
  • Under Search Console Settings, select which Search Console report view you want to use in Analytics
  • Click on Save

4. How to See Website Performance in Google Search Console

You can see the performance of your website on the main Google Search Console interface. The following is a graph showing the performance of your website in brief. This graph shows the distribution of traffic from the search and discover results.

You can access a more complete report by clicking on open report below the chart.


5. How to Compare Page Performance in Search Console

Apart from seeing the overall website performance, you can also compare several pages directly.

Of course, this will make it very easy for you to see which pages are superior, do A/B testing, and much more.

Here's how to do it.

  • On the Google Search Console page, select the Search Results menu 
  • Select the new button  which is above the chart
  • Select  page, then click  compare
  • Enter the URL of the page you want to compare


6. How to Identify Pages with the Best CTR

Click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that indicates the ratio of the number of clicks to your website to the number of impressions (views) your website has on search engines.

To view this data in Google Search Console, you can follow these steps:

  • On the Google Search Console page, select the Search Results menu 
  • Activate the CTR menu which is above the graph
  • A new column will appear in the menu below the graph
  • Click the CTR column heading
  • The top item is the page with the best CTR

7. How to Optimize Pages with Low CTR in Search Console

If you already know the pages with the highest CTR, you can also see the pages with the lowest CTR. The method that needs to be done is the same, it's just that you need to sort the CTR from small to large by clicking the CTR column 2 times.

You can use several ways to increase the CTR:

  • Optimizing page titles to better attract the attention of your target readers
  • Offer clear benefits from the page such as: "Complete Guide to Google Keyword Planner"
  • Use short headings (<60 characters)
  • Use good language, clear and correct in the page title

8. How to Find Indexing Problems on the Website

Indexing is the process of registering a page or website into a collection of pages displayed by search engines. When you finish publishing a new page, occasionally there will be an indexing problem where the page has not been registered or indexed to the search engine database.

You can identify these problems through Google Search Console in the following ways:

  • On the Google Search Console page, select the Coverage menu
  • Check the menu labeled  Error  on the chart
  • The page with an error appears at the bottom of the graph

9. How to Submit Page For Indexing

If you find a page that has not been indexed by Google, you can submit a request to the Google search robot for indexing.

Following are the steps for  requesting indexing in Google Search Console:

  • Select the URL Inspection menu
  • Enter the URL you want to index
  • Click the request indexing button 



10. How to View Mobile Usability

You can also check whether your website can be displayed and used properly on mobile devices with Search Console. You can see this data under the enhancements menu on the main Search Console page.

With this data, you can monitor which pages still have display problems on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

11. How to Identify and Fix Mobile Usability Problems

After identifying a mobile usability problem, you can decide what needs to be done to fix it. In this example, we have 2 types of problems:

  • Clickable elements too close together: the clickable items are too grouped, allowing for errors when selecting.
  • Content wider than screen: content on the page cannot be displayed completely on mobile devices.
You can also check which pages are having problems with mobile usability by selecting the type of problem at hand.

12. How to Monitor Google Discover Data

Google Discover is a special feature for Google applications on mobile devices that is intended to display content that is relevant to users.

You can view this data by selecting the  Discover menu under the Performance menu. Google Discover requires pages that are optimized for Accelerated Mobile Page content  (AMP).

So, make sure your website already has AMP settings.

13. How to Monitor Optimization Results in Search Console

After carrying out various optimization steps on your website, of course, you want to know whether these changes have a positive impact or reduce website performance.

You can monitor the results of your optimization terms by comparing the performance of one page over two different periods. Here's how to do it:

  • On the Google Search Console page, select the Search Results menu 
  • Select the new button which is above the chart
  • Click page, then enter the URL of the page that has been optimized
  • Select the date button above the graph, then click compare
  • Enter the date before the change and the date after the change

In this example, we are monitoring changes to an article on the blog for the last 7 days compared to 7 days before the change.


14. How to Check and Fix Security Problems

Site security is one of the keys to increasing your website traffic. If your website is detected to have malware that is harmful to visitors, then Google will display the message 'connection not secure' or even close access to your website.

To avoid this, perform a security issue check regularly. You can check for security issues on the website by following these steps:

  • Open Search Console
  • Select the Security & Manual Actions menu
  • Select Security Issues

15. How to Monitor and Filter External Backlinks

The more reputable the website that provides a link to your website, the better your website's reputation is on Google. On the other hand, if the website that provides a  link to your website has a bad reputation, then you need to take a disavow step to 'reject' the backlink.

You can monitor backlinks in the search console by selecting the links menu on the Search Console side menu.



Conclusion

Google provides Search Console to make it easier for website owners to monitor everything about their website. Various things can be achieved with this tool, from monitoring website traffic to solving website security problems.

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