If you have a website and are looking to improve your visibility on Google, free search engine tools are invaluable resources that you should take advantage of.
Chances are, you already know and use Google Analytics on a regular basis , but if you haven’t, you should add Google Search Console to your site.
Google Search Console is a free tool that will help you improve the overall performance of your site by detecting SEO issues that could prevent it from being indexed by Google or from showing in organic search results.
What is Google Search Console for: 10 concrete uses
Here are some of the main ways to use Google Search Console
1. What are the most popular queries
Anyone who finds your website through organic search uses a specific search term to get there. Google Search Console shows you the most common keywords that bring people to your website.
Go to Performances and you’ll see a list of all the keywords people have found you with and the number of times someone clicked on your link after searching for each keyword.
You can see how the different keywords perform in terms of clicks, impressions, and click-through rate.
This information shows you if you are successful in attracting people to your content based on the keywords targeted in your SEO strategy. It also reveals the keywords people find you with that you had no intention of targeting at all.
2. What are the most popular pages.
Each website will have pages that will perform better than others in the search engines. Google Search Console helps you determine which of your web pages is attracting the most people to your site.
You can find your most popular pages in the same section where you found the keywords, and filtering and displaying different subsets of data works in much the same way.
You’ll see a list of all the pages people have viewed and clicked on in descending order of popularity, with your best performing pages at the top. The default view shows you the most popular pages in terms of clicks and impressions. You can also see which pages are performing the best in terms of click-through rate and position.
3. Where do visitors come from?
If your business serves a particular region of the world, it is more important than anywhere else to get traffic from visitors who live in a specific geographic area. Google Search Console also provides data on the location of your visitors, so you can make sure you’re reaching the right people.
This data is found in the same section as the keywords and page data. You must then select the country that interests you in the menu.
You will see the number of clicks your website receives from each country, with the highest numbers at the top of the list. As with other categories, you can also switch to viewing results based on impressions, click-through rate, and position in the search rankings.
4. What devices are your visitors using
Today, every business should have a mobile-friendly website. But even if you’ve already taken steps to make sure your website looks good on mobile devices, it’s still good to know what proportion of your visitors are engaging with your website on each type of device.
Select “Devices from the menu”. Here you can see the breakdown of how many clicks you get on each type of device and you can toggle to see the number of impressions, click-through rate, and average position as you like.
5. Check your indexed pages
This is an important feature of Google Search Console to monitor regularly. The indexing of your pages by Google is the basis if you want to reference them.
To check your indexed pages, go to the “Cover” tab. You will then see your valid pages, those that contain errors and those that are excluded.
6. Submit a sitemap.
Google crawlers can learn a lot about a website and its individual pages on their own, but you can help them get the information they need by submitting a sitemap to Google.
A number of websites automatically generate a sitemap for you. Otherwise, you will need to create a sitemap and upload it to your server. Once you’ve generated it, uploading to Google Search Console is extremely easy.
To submit your sitemaps, click on “Sitemaps” in the menu on the left of the page, then enter your site URL in the field provided.
7. Remove URLs from the Google index
This feature of Google Search Console allows you to remove URLs of your site from Google search results temporarily or permanently.
In the menu on the left, go to “Deletions” and indicate the URLs one by one or by batch with a prefix.
Google specifies that for a permanent deletion, it is necessary to prevent the indexing of the pages concerned on your site (via the robots.txt for example) or to delete them permanently from your site.
8. Check your mobile ergonomics.
While it is a good idea to test your website on mobile phones yourself, you can also use Google Search Console to confirm that your website meets mobile usage standards.
In the Search traffic section of the left menu, select the “Mobile usability” tab. If everything about your site looks good for Google based on its mobile usage standards, you’ll see a green check mark telling you that no errors were found.
If Google Search Console identifies an element of your website that is not performing well on cell phones, such as using flash or a small font size, you will receive a message in this section informing you of the problem so you can work. to solve it.
9. What are your links
Inbound links, also called backlinks, are one of the main ranking factors. So every time another authoritative website refers you to another site, it increases the authority of your website in the eyes of Google’s algorithm.
Under Search Traffic in the left menu, select “Links” to your site. You will see external links from other sites as well as internal links inside your own site.
You will see a list of websites that include a link on their site to yours, as well as a list of the pages on your website that other sites link the most to. In the section called “How your data relates”, you can also see the anchor text that other sites use most often when they link to yours.
You can find more information on each back link by clicking on the website and then on the given link. From here you can see the specific pages that include the link.
10. Check that the rich content of your site is working.
Finally, if you use schema.org markup or other structured data on your website, Google can confirm for you if it is configured to work in the SERPs.
You will find different categories for enriched content such as breadcrumbs, products, review snippets or even the search field associated with sitelink links.
These are all methods you can use to communicate more information to Google’s crawlers about how your web pages appear in search results.
How to connect your site with the Google Search Console
To get started, head over to the Google Search Console. To access it, you will need to sign in with your Google account. Make sure you use the same one you use here for any other Google webmaster tools you use.
Step 1: Once logged in, find the “Add Property” button at the top left of the interface and enter your website URL. Click the “Continue” button.
Step 2: Connect to your web host and copy / paste the TXT record indicated in the DSN configuration.
Step 3: Click on validate. Note that sometimes you have to wait a few minutes for the validation to be taken into account.