If you're serious about increasing your website's exposure, then you need to get familiar with the basics of Google Search Console. Google Search Console is a resource provided by Google that gives you access to important Search Engine Optimization related analytics and reports, and can identify problems that are having a negative impact on your website's SEO.
Google Search Console is free and is easy to setup. Follow these simple steps to get started:
- Make sure you have a Google (Gmail) account. If you're one of the few without a Gmail email address, create one here.
- Once logged into your Google account, head to the Search Console.
- Next, add your website by clicking the ‘Add A Property' button on the top right of the screen.
- The next few screens will walk you through a series of steps that verify you are the owner of the domain provided.
Once Google verifies that you're the owner of the website, you will be given access to the reports and diagnostic tools that can really help you increase your exposure within Google searches.
Now that you have access to the Search Console, let's look at some of the most useful reports and utilities to be aware of:
Search Traffic - this area provides meaningful insight into how people are arriving at and navigating through your website.
- Search Analytics - analyzes your performance on Google Search and breaks down the numbers according to search queries, pages, devices, and more
- Links to Your Site - this report tells you which websites contain links to your site (the more the merrier! Huge for SEO)
- Mobile Usability - this will list any potential issues related to the user experience of your website on mobile devices
Google Index - this section provides information related to Google's understanding of your website. It's important to come back to these reports often, especially if you're consistently adding new content and new pages to your website
- Index Status - shows you the number of pages within your website that Google is aware of (very important for SEO!), how many pages are blocked from indexing, and how many pages have been removed.
- Remove URLs - allows you to temporarily hide web pages from search results for whatever reason.
Crawl - crawling is the activity performed by Google's bots that run around the internet and collect information about all websites. Understanding how Google crawls your website is key to learning about improvements that must be made in order to be ranked higher in search engine results.
- Crawl Errors - this will report any errors Google runs into when crawling your website (fix these fast!)
- Crawl Stats - this shows crawling activity for your website over a 90-day period. It includes stats about how many pages were crawled per day, the size of the pages, and time spent downloading a page.
- Fetch as Google - this allows you to see your webpage as their bots do, and can explicitly request specific pages of your website to be indexed. This can help speed up the indexing process for new pages as they're added to the website.
- Sitemaps - this report shows you any errors that may be present in your sitemap file. When everything looks good, you can submit the sitemap to Google for indexing.
Make sure you're “keeping Google happy” by staying on top of the information provided within the Google Search Console. If you're interested in learning more about how SEO works or want to get serious about increasing your website's exposure, contact LyncServe. We'd love to show you how we can help your business.