This blog will look at Google Search Console – previously Google Webmaster Tools – and why it’s also an important tool, especially when linked with Google Analytics.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (Formally known as Web Master Tools) is a free service offered by Google that provides you with insights into what is happening with your website. But don’t confuse it with Google Analytics!
Analytics measures and tracks your website visitors, providing data that gives you an understanding into who these visitors are and what they want from your site. Whereas Google Search Console provides information on how your website and its pages look to Google.
But what’s the difference? Analytics is for analysing data after people have been to your website and Search Console is for making sure they get to your website in the first place.
Search Console is all about discovering how people find you online and making the most of that information.
What can you do on Google Search Console?
The Google Search Console will give you various options for action, all relating to your website’s performance. Here’s a breakdown of what you can do:
- See how many impressions your website’s links are getting on Google Search and how many people click them
- Measure how successful your Keywords are
- Check your index status (the full amount of URLs available from your website for Google Search to link to)
- Review your XML site maps
- Check if there are any errors with your web pages
- Check any security issues such as malware
- Measure your traffic levels and get notified of sudden changes
This is not a complete list but it covers the main issues and uses of Search Console.
There is also the added advantage of being able to access Google Analytic tools from the Google Search Console, once the two services have been linked. This means you’ll be able to seamlessly use the two without having to worry about signing in to two different websites. To do this, you’ll have to use the same Google account for both services.
How do I benefit from using this thing?
If you’re not using Google Search Console, you’re missing out on vital information that could help you increase the traffic to your website. In terms of linking Google Analytics and Google Search Console, there is a lot to be gained. Especially from an SEO perspective.
The best example for demonstrating the benefit of linking the two services would be Keyword monitoring. If you looked at your Analytics and saw that people were spending more time on a particular portion of your website, Analytics will now also tell you what keywords or phrases your visitors used to find you website – All from a single report.
Where do I go from here?
Much like their Analytics, Google has a range of excellent free content to help you make the most of Google Search Console.
- Google’s ‘Webmaster Academy’ – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6001102?hl=en
- A dedicated blog from Google – www.googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com