What is Google search console?
Google Console was created so you can easily track the performance of your website in relation to organic search. From an SEO perspective Console is extremely convenient and quick at identifying areas that need fixing or improving.
From soft 404’s and indexing discrepancies to keyword performance. Google Console sends you notifications when new errors arise meaning performance affecting errors do not fall under the radar.
Here are some of the key features:
Index Coverage: this is one of the more technical features of Console, but so valuable. It shows how many or your web pages are indexed and visible in search results, how many aren’t and any errors/discrepancies that are stopping Google being able to. Often the errors are common causes such as failed redirects or broken links.
Enhancements: below ‘Index Coverage’ you will find the enhancements tab, this is where you find all the information needed to improve your site performance. It has insight on structured data (schema) enhancements, AMP usage, mobile optimisation and site speed.
Performance: within the performance tab you can see what pages and keywords your site ranks for with metrics including CTR, impressions and average SERPS position. Regular monitoring means you can reactively optimise pages when you see a slight dip in performance.
URL Inspection: this feature enables you to analyse specific URLs. You can identify indexing, crawling and structured data errors. You can also request the specific indexing of a URL if Google hasn’t yet crawled and indexed one of your SEO worthy pages.
Sitemaps: XML sitemaps are a Google bot’s guide to all the important URLs on your website. GSC has the facility to upload the URL of your XML sitemap, this enables Google to find it easily and prompts them to crawl it regularly. This function quickly gives you visibility to sitemap crawling or indexing errors and reviewing this regularly ensures that Google is always interpreting your sitemap correctly.
BENEFITS OF GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
- It’s free!
- A major benefit of Google Console is that it shows you any soft 404’s a site might have. Although not impossible, they can be quite tricky to find sometimes, especially on large eCommerce sites.
- Console has an intuitive, user friendly interface
- Wide range of different tools and insight
- Enables you to take control of the effective crawling and indexing of your website
Despite the friendly interface, the recommended fixes to errors can often be a little vague or very technical which can sometimes make it hard for beginners in the SEO space to gain actionable insights.