When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), you’ll want to use every possible tool to your advantage. One of the best tools for improving your SEO is the Google Search Console, which is “a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results.”
If you’re not set up, you can learn how to do so here. It’s great because of the robust list of features that it offers and because you can get data straight from the horse’s mouth — Google itself. Here are five specific features of the Google Search Console that can help your SEO tremendously.
1) HTML Improvements
You can access this section by clicking on “Search Appearance” and “HTML Improvements.” From there, you can quickly find out if Google is having any issues indexing your site. For instance, Google might tell you that some of your meta descriptions are too short or too long or you have content that’s non-indexable.
This way you’ll know precisely what needs your attention, and you can make the appropriate adjustments so that Google can index your website more efficiently.
2) Search Analytics
Click on “Search Traffic” and then “Search Analytics” to access this feature. It will show you some valuable information including:
- How many impressions your keywords are getting
- The number of clicks that your keywords are getting
- What your click-through-rate (CTR) is
- Which devices visitors are using to browse your site
This is helpful because you can tell which keywords are bringing you the most traffic, what’s actually getting clicks, what’s not getting clicks and needs some tweaking, etc.
3) Links to Your Site
Click on “Search Traffic” and then “Links to Your Site” for this feature.
The backlinks that point to your site are one of the main factors that Google takes into account when assigning your content a position in search engine results. If there are high quality, relevant sites linking to you then you should be in good shape. But if there are low quality, irrelevant, spammy sites linking to you then this can be a problem.
By utilizing this feature in the Google Search Console, you’ll know what your link profile looks like. If you find problematic backlinks, you’ll want to disavow (eliminate) them. You can learn more about this process here.
4) Crawl Errors
Click on “Crawl” and then “Crawl Errors.”
Crawl errors are things like URLs leading to a non-existent page, 404 errors and so on. These definitely won’t do you any favors from an SEO standpoint, but Google Search Console will let you know about any crawl errors they find. From there you can address any issues so that Google can crawl your site more effectively, thereby improving your rankings.
5) Fetch as Google
Click on “Crawl” and then “Fetch as Google.”
Whenever you create new content on your website or blog, it takes time for Google to crawl and index it. This is problematic because it can hinder your SEO and takes longer for new content to rank favorably. But the “Fetch as Google” feature is an excellent solution because it allows you to manually notify Google that you’ve posted new content so you can expedite the time it takes them to index it. Check out this resource to learn the details about sending a fetch request.
If you haven’t used the Google Search Console yet, it’s highly recommended that you do so. It’s completely free, and you should be able to figure out the basics fairly quickly. Once you get the hang of it, you can use this tool to manage your SEO like a well-oiled machine.