Basics of the Google Search Console (GSC)
Step 1 How to Add Your site to The GSC
Start by logging in to the GSC and click “Add a property”. Paste your homepage URL on this field. What follows is doing verifying your site. While there are 7 site verification options, here are 3 of the easiest.
- Upload a small snippet of an HTML tag to your homepage’s code <head> section.
- Upload a distinctive HTML file to your site
- Add a special TXT or CNAME record to the settings of your domain.
Step 2- Deliberate on a “preferred domain”
This will tell Google of your non-www or “WWW” version of your website.
The version you will select here is the one that will show up in the search results. Remember not to set a preferred domain.
Step 3 Set the Country You are Targeting
To figure out the country you are targeting, Google looks at data like:
- The country you mostly get backlinks from
- Your ccTLD (eg: co.uk for Sites in the UK)
- The language of your site’s content eg, French, English, and so on
- The address you have listed on your website
- The location of your server
That said, the more information you can give Google, the better. After this, the next step is setting your target country inside the Google Search Console. To achieve it, under the “Search Traffic,” click the “International Targeting link. Click on the “Country” tab, followed by the “Target users in.” Finally, you will be all set.
Step 4- Link Google Analytics with Search Console
- Open Google Analytics
- Click “Admin” tab and then the “Property Settings” link.
- Scroll down and click on “Adjust Search Console.”
- Click “Add.” And hit “Save”
Step 5- Look Out For Security Issues
Security issues might hurt your SEO, and so you should be on the lookout. To achieve this:
- Click on “Security Issues”
- Check on what Google says on security issues.
In most cases, you will not detect any security issues, but checking is worth it.
Step 6 Add a Sitemap
Small sites might not need a sitemap, but bigger ones do. Click on “See the XML Sitemap” link to be taken to your sitemap. If your sitemap is not there, you might want to create one.
How to Optimize your Technical SEO With the Google Search Console
GSC has a lot of features to aid you spot and fix your Technical SEO issues easily.
Utilize the New “Index Coverage” Report to identify and solve issues with indexing
So long as you have everything in your site well set, Google will find your web page and add it to their index quickly. The index coverage report will let you know the pages in your site in Google’s index as well as the errors that are barring your pages from being indexed.
How Can You Find Errors With the Index Coverage Report?
There are 4 tabs on the index coverage report. There is Error, Valid with warnings, Valid, and Excluded. Click on “Error” status to know the pages with a specific problem.
How Can You Fix “SOFT 404” Errors?
Check out the URLs with such errors and use your browser to visit each of these URLs.
Use “Fetch and Render” to send Googlebot to the page. Fetch and Render will also render the page for you to see the page just as Googlebot sees it.
Click on the “Fetching” tab to view the live HTTP status code.
If you see a 200 status, it implies that the page got found and will be indexable.
Fixing Other Errors
The same process for fixing “soft 404s” applies to other errors you might come across. errors you can solve through this include:
- Redirect error
- Crawl error
- Server error
Fixing “Warnings” in Index Coverage Report
When it comes to SEO, you should not leave anything to chance. You thus ought not to ignore the bright-orange “Warning” on index coverage report. To fix and have the page indexed, you need to unblock it from Robots.txt. If you are not interested in having it indexed, you then can add to the page the “noindex.follow” proceeded by unblocking it from robots.txt or get rid of that page with the URL removal tool.
How Can You Use the URL Removal Tool in Search Console?
Click “Google Index” then “Remove URLs” and paste the URL you intend to remove. Submit request.
You can use GSC for Checking and resolving other potential issues in indexed pages such as an unexpected increase or decrease of indexed pages.
Getting More Organic Traffic with The Performance Report
Performance report in GSC shows the site’s overall search performance on Google. Not only does it show the clicks you get, but also informs you of your average ranking position and CTR. The performance report effectively replaces the search analytics report in Google’s old Search Console.
How Can You supercharge CTR With Performance Report?- Steps
- Find the pages that have a low CTR
- Look at all the keywords that such pages rank for
- Optimize your title and description for more clicks
- Monitor results
How Can You Find “Opportunity Keywords” with Google Search Console Performance Report?
An opportunity keyword refers to a phrase ranking between position 8 to 20 and gets a suitable number of impressions.
Why use opportunity keywords?
- Data from Google Search Console exactly tells you the exact traffic you should expect.
- You are somewhere on search results because Google already considers your site as a decent fit for a particular keyword.
Steps for Finding Opportunity Keywords
- Set up a date range for the previous 28 days
- Filter report to highlight only keywords that rank more than 7.9
- Sort by “impressions” to get a good list of “Opportunity Keywords”
How Can You Push Pages Up?
- Cover the topic in detail
- Improve video dwell time
- Include internal links for a quick/easy boost
- Get some backlinks for beating competition
How to Make Google Search Console Features Work for You
- Use the structured data testing tool to nail your schema
- Use internal links to power up crucial pages
- Use Powerhouse pages’ internal links to supercharge key posts
Advanced Google Console tips and strategies
What is Crawl Budget and why Use it?
A crawl budget refers to the number of your site’s pages crawled by Google daily. Assuming that your website has 100,000 pages and your crawl budget is 1,000 pages in a day, Google could take 100 days to crawl your site. Should you add stuff on your page, it will take longer to index, and even much longer if you add a page.
How to Get the Most out of Your Crawl Budget- Tips
- Get your site more backlinks
- Know how long Google takes to download your page
- Do not waste crawl budget on unnecessary pages
How “Fetch As Google” Will be Beneficial to You
- It will get your new content indexed in a few minutes
- It will identify all rendering problems
- You can use it to re-index your updated content
Now You Have It All!
Finally, ensure that your site is properly optimized for mobile users to avoid losing traffic. Time after time, compare your click-through rate on desktop and mobile to know which is working better for you.