What is Google Search Console and why do you need it?
Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service provided by Google that allows you to monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your website’s presence in the Google Search results. It provides many valuable insights into how people find your website not available in Google Analytics.
Adding and validating a website in Google Search Console
To access Google Search Console you’ll need a Google Account. Once you’ve logged into your account you’ll then need to add a property (your website) and prove you have ownership of that website. This can be done can be done by uploading a verification file, adding a meta tag to your website, via Google Analytics, or by DNS.
Why you should use Google Search Console (GSC)
Still wondering why you should be using GSC? Here are some of the key features:
Analyse Keyword Performance
Within the “Performance” section you can view the keywords which are driving the most traffic to your website. You can then look at what URL is ranking for those keywords and ensure the the page is correctly optimised.
Identify Keyword Opportunities
Along with showing what keywords are sending visitors you can also view what keywords your website is getting impressions for and the average position you appear for that keyword. This data can be used to find keywords you may be appearing for but don’t have content that’s been optimised.
GSC provides a report that updates daily which details the URLs on your website that have been indexed and those that are not indexed. This allows you to check that all pages on your website are being indexed correctly and also ensure pages that you don’t want indexed (e.g. tag pages on a WordPress powered website) are being excluded.
Monitor Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that they’ve deemed important for delivery a great web experience to end users. The “Core Web Vitals” section shows which URLs are rated good, poor, or need improvement.
Hopefully this article has given you an overview of Google Search Console and some of the features available. If you already have a Google account it’ll only take a few minutes to setup and verify a property. If you have any kind of interest in SEO then there’s really no excuse not to be using GSC.