In the early days of the internet, a website owner could easily build a website and know that in a short time it would be found on the internet. Sure, we still had to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but at that time we were not competing with millions of other websites, with thousands being added every day. In this article, my intention is to provide you information to help you let Google know you exist.
Google Search Console (GSC) is an essential tool for website owners and administrators to monitor, maintain, and optimize their website’s performance in Google Search results. Using Google Search Console for your website offers numerous benefits and insights, which can ultimately lead to improved search engine rankings, increased organic traffic, and better user experience. Some of the key reasons to use Google Search Console for your website include:
Search Performance Insights
GSC provides valuable data on your website’s search performance, including impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), and average position for specific keywords. This information can help identify opportunities to optimize your content and target relevant keywords to improve your site’s visibility in search results. This also helps see if the keywords you’re ranking for are the ones you actually WANT to rank for. Keeping an eye on these insights is important to get your website listings where you need them to be to reach your potential.
Indexing and Crawling Control
Google Search Console allows you to submit your sitemap and request indexing for new or updated pages. This ensures that Google is aware of your site’s content and can crawl and index it accordingly. Additionally, GSC can help you identify crawl errors, such as broken links or server issues and address them to improve your site’s performance. To me, this is also an important aspect of your website. Google likes to see sites that are providing good, relevant content. And by adding content either via blog posts or additional information or FAQ’s about your business will help your ranking as well. So, if Google is indexing your site regularly, they will see you are a serious and active business.
With the increasing importance of mobile search, GSC offers a mobile usability report that highlights issues affecting your site’s mobile experience, such as viewport configuration, touch elements, and text readability. Addressing these issues can enhance your site’s mobile experience and improve its ranking in mobile search results. This is critical since people literally have the world at their
fingertips. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out. Things to consider here is how legible the site is. Are the links easy to get to? One thing Google looks at is if the links are too close together which makes it hard to click. Many of your website builders provide options to format your page(s) to be mobile friendly or have different margins and padding for your mobile viewers giving them a better overall experience.
Structured Data and Rich Results
Google Search Console helps you monitor and validate structured data implementation on your website. Structured data can enhance your search listings with rich results, such as review stars, product information, or event details, making your site more appealing to users and potentially increasing click-through rates. Structured data is a way of organizing and formatting information so that it’s easy for computers to understand. Think of it like filling out a form—each piece of data has a specific place and format.
For instance, in an address, the city, state, and zip code each have a designated spot. This makes it easier for computers to process and understand the information. This could be alt text and description on an image or reader text on a link. Things that are behind the scenes a human eye doesn’t see but helps with your listings. On the other hand, rich results, are the enhanced search results you see on a search engine like Google. They’re more than just a website’s title and description. They might include pictures, ratings, or even a brief summary of a recipe. These rich results are often generated from the structured data on a website. They give users a sneak peek of the information on the webpage and help them decide whether to click on it or not.
Security and Manual Actions
GSC notifies you of any security issues, such as malware or phishing attempts, and alerts you to any manual actions taken by Google due to policy violations. By addressing these issues promptly, you can maintain your site’s credibility and ranking in search results. From a webmaster’s standpoint, this will save your bacon! You will appreciate this much more if you’ve ever run into this (which I have many times). I’ve had website owners contact me stating that Google is blocking their website, and they don’t know why.
In many cases, the website has been infected by malware or a hacker has found a back door to their website and has set up a phishing site that runs in parallel to your existing site. This means your site can be down for a week, ten days or even longer. Trust me—you cannot rush the situation; you have to satisfy Google that the issue is resolved. This is a case where preventive
maintenance will save you time. If you have GSC already connected to your site, you will see the issue before you get banned, and Google will see that you’ve cleaned it up. If you don’t have GSC monitoring your site, it will take much longer to get this fiasco cleaned up, which means you are losing business as people won’t be able to order from you online.
Google Search Console provides information on both internal and external links pointing to your site, helping you understand which content is attracting the most backlinks and which pages could benefit from improved internal linking. There are always debates about linking, but I think the answer lies in the fact that if Google is analyzing it, that is your answer. Using the right link strategy along with SEO tips will definitely help your rankings, in my humble opinion.
Integration with Other Google Tools
GSC integrates seamlessly with other Google tools, such as Google Analytics and Google Ads, enabling you to gain a comprehensive understanding of your website’s performance and user behavior across multiple platforms. Obviously, this is a no brainer as you work to improve and advertise your site. Again, from a web guy standpoint, tying into Google analytics will tell you more than you realize about your website visitors. Knowing this can help you improve your site and business even more.
Using Google Search Console for your website is crucial for monitoring and optimizing its performance in search results. The insights provided by GSC can help you make informed decisions about your site’s content, structure, and technical aspects, ultimately leading to improved search engine rankings, increased organic traffic, and a better user experience. It really takes the guesswork out of knowing what you may not know. And in many cases if you DO know what you should be doing GSC can easily expedite the whole process. As they say, it’s better to work smarter not harder.