Google Search Console is a free web service provided by Google that lets website owners check the status and visibility of their sites for Google Search.
It’s the most effective way to discover both problems and valuable opportunities for your website in Google.
This is a quick simple guide for website owners. I’m just going to cover why you should treat Google Search Console as vital to your business (if you care about Google traffic!).
So let’s get started.
What Is Google Search Console Used For?
1. To Discover & Diagnose Problems
Search Console will tell you when things are wrong with your site. It’s pretty much the only way Google will communicate with you. You can’t phone or email Google and ask why your site traffic just disappeared overnight – because they won’t tell you. The best you can expect from that route is being pointed back to Search Console or just generic support pages.
What you can do instead is login to Google Search Console and often find messages and warnings that explain what the problem is. This can range from outright ‘penalties’ that have been applied to specific actionable ‘things to fix’ to improve your search results, such as Core Web Vitals or Mobile Usability.
2. To Identify Significant Opportunities To Grow Your Business
Search Console tells you what traffic Google is sending to you from search. But there’s so much more than just the daily totals in ‘Overview’. 🙂
In the ‘Performance’ section you can drill down into keywords and pages, and see exactly what search traffic you’re getting. The data in here can be extremely valuable, but is typically totally overlooked as people don’t know how to use it.
To the trained eye you can also identify real profit potential.
It’s possible to identify important new keywords that your site is not yet ranking for. Or ‘money in the bank’ type keywords where your site is almost ranking high enough to benefit. Using this data to guide search optimisation (SEO) work on your site can pay back enormously.
Search Console will also identify and break down traffic arriving from other Google sources, such as Google Discover and Google News. Extremely important for news and media publishers.
How To Get the Best Out of Google Search Console
Add your website to Google Search Console – you can use an existing Google account (or Gmail account). It takes just 2 minutes to do and costs nothing.
Then hand over the ‘site verification’ code to your web guy/gal, and follow their instructions for how to add them as a ‘user’ on your account. Finally, get them to dive deep into the data and make recommendations that will put money in your bank account.
Or alternatively our website audit reports can also help identify any problems and growth opportunities. We don’t use Search Console for these, but instead assess your website in the same way that your customers see it.