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Google Search Console: A Beginner’s Guide to Webmasters

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How your site ranks on Google search directly affects its traffic. Rankings are affected by the relevance of content to a search query, page load speed, behavioral signals, technical errors, and many other factors. You can get a complete picture of a property’s performance on Google search using Search Console.

We will tell you how to work with this service and use its reports for website optimization.

What is Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool for webmasters and SEO professionals that shows how Google crawls and presents a site in search results.

 

What tasks can be solved using the information in Google Search Console:

 

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  • Collect data about the target audience – what requests were used to navigate to the site, in which countries the users are located, what devices they use.
  • Analyze the keywords by which site visitors found it in Google search – for each keyword you can see its position, number of impressions, clicks, click-through rates.
  • Identify effective and ineffective pages in terms of loading speed.
  • Find non-indexed pages and speed up their indexing.
  • Determine the average position of the site on Google search, including the position of the site for a specific query.
  • Identify problems in the mobile version – the font is too small, the value of the viewport meta tag is not set, etc.
  • Analyze the link mass – which external sources link to the site and which specific pages.

How to Create account with Google search console 

  1. open your web browser and go to search console url by click here.
  2. You can use your Gmail account details to login.

How to add a site to Search Console

Log in to Google, go to the Google Search Console and first select the type of resource you want to add. The ways in which you can verify the rights to it depend on this.

There are two options available:

  • Domain resource . It is not a single protocol that is checked, but the entire resource, including all domains, protocols and directories. For example, when adding a resource promopult.ru, the check will also apply to its subdomain blog.promopult.ru. You can only verify the rights to a domain resource using DNS.
  • A resource with a URL prefix . Verification of rights is carried out only at a specific address with a specific protocol.

How to verify site ownership

Enter the domain or subdomain:

Confirm the ownership of the domain. To do this, copy the TXT record and add it to the DNS configuration of your domain. Click “Confirm”.

Search Console reports and tools

After adding an your website to Search Console, you can access its tools and reports. Let’s dwell on each and describe the functionality.

Overview report

Expand the list opposite “Resource” and select the required resource:

 

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After that, we get to the main page, where the “Overview” report is presented. This is a general report on key indicators.

Sections of the “Overview” report:

  • Efficiency . Shows data on how many clicks the site received in a month in Google Search and the total number of clicks.
  • Coverage . The number of indexed pages is shown.
  • Improvements . How many pages of the site are indexed without errors, and how many – with errors.

You can get detailed data for each item in two ways: go to the appropriate section of the menu (“Efficiency”, “Review” or “Improvements”) or click “Open report” in the table row.

Performance Report

 

This is a key report for SEO professionals. In the old version of Search Console, its counterpart was the Search Query Analysis report.

From the report you can find out:

  • By what requests users got to the resource.
  • The dynamics of traffic and impressions on the site.
  • Average CTR of the resource, pages with high and low CTR.
  • The average position of the site on Google search and the position of the resource for specific queries.
  • Determine from which countries and from which devices users enter the site (mobile, desktop).

Key internet metrics

The Internet Key Figures report shows how well your PC and mobile pages are performing. The data source is a report on the usability of the Chrome browser. This report has gained particular prominence with the introduction of new site quality factors by Google – Core Web Vitals. These are three metrics that will potentially affect a property’s ranking on Google:

  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) – the speed of loading the main content on the page;
  • FID (First Input Delay) – the time that passes before the first interaction with the content;
  • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) – layout stability (how much the layout shifts during the loading of content).

Data for all three indicators are presented in this report.

Important: you will not be able to view the loading speed data for a single page here. The data is grouped by status , metrics and URL groups . The purpose of the report is to get a complete picture of the resource efficiency as a whole and to troubleshoot problems. You can find out about the loading speed of a specific URL using the PageSpeed ​​Insights service .

Let’s go to the section “Basic Internet Indicators”. Here are the numbers:

  • effective URLs;
  • ineffective URLs;
  • pages you want to speed up.

Let’s take a closer look at the report on the main Internet indicators of site pages for PCs. To do this, click on “Open report”:

In the report, URLs are grouped according to the following parameters:

  • Low speed (LCP is more than 4 s).
  • It is necessary to increase the download speed (less than 4 s, but more than 2.5 s). These are URLs that are not ineffective, but you can increase their loading speed.
  • Quite reliable (2.5 seconds or less) . These are pages that load quickly and are well received by users.

You can see report that no ineffective URLs were found for three months. But there are recommendations for increasing the speed of loading pages.

AMP Status Report

For those who have implemented Accelerated AMP Pages on their site , Search Console has a dedicated report to track their performance. It shows you which AMP pages on your site are indexed by Google and identifies errors.

Like many reports in Search Console, this one has two parts – a chart and a table. The diagram graphically shows the number of pages with errors, warnings and no errors. The tabular section provides information on specific problems: URL not found or blocked in robots.txt, image size less than recommended, and others (for a complete list of possible errors, click here ).

Links

The “Links” report combines four at once:

  • External links . Shows the pages of your site to which external links lead.
  • Internal links . Listed are the pages to which internal links from other pages of this resource lead.
  • Most linking sites . There are external links to your resource.
  • The most common link texts.

This report allows you to determine which page has received the most inbound links and determine the pages on which you need to build links. Based on this information, you can also increase the weight of the landing pages using internal linking and work out an anchor list.

 

How To Use Google Search Console
How To Use Google Search Console

Let’s summarize:

 

  • Google Search Console is an indispensable tool for webmasters and SEO professionals. Identifying indexing issues, seeing how Google presents a site in search, assessing traffic and link mass – this is not a complete list of tasks that can be solved with its help.
  • The transition to the updated version of Google Search Console happened in 2019. Therefore, most reports and tools are new. An exception is the tools in the Legacy Tools and Reports section.
  • For normal display of the site on Google search, we recommend checking the site at least once a week for errors and changes in all sections of the Google Search Console. Also, do not forget to check the mail linked to the service – it receives important notifications and summaries about the effectiveness of the resource.

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