Google Search Console is a free tool to help you monitor your website in Google search. In other words, it is not about getting your website in Google – this is a common misconception. The real power of Google Search Console is using the features and information it provides to improve the ranking of your website on search results pages.
Therefore, Google Search Console is a powerful SEO tool for your Christchurch business. Here are nine ways you can use it to get better search rankings, increase traffic to your website, and find new customers.
1. Setup Your Site on Google Search Console
The starting point is to set up your website on Google Search Console. Google may already know your website exists, but you will need to go through the process of verifying you are the site’s owner. You may need the help of an SEO agency in Christchurch for this part.
Once you have access to Google Search Console for your website, the next step is to submit a sitemap. This will help ensure that Google is aware of all the pages on your site.
2. Set a Preferred Domain
Depending on how your website has evolved over the years, you can have multiple variations of your website address. Even if your website is brand-new, it will have two versions:
You should tell Google which version you prefer to use. This will ensure you fully benefit from links to your site instead of those benefits being split across different domains.
3. Link Google Search Console with Google Analytics
Google lets you link your Google Analytics account with Google Search Console, providing you with more data and additional tools. As it’s free and easy to do, it is a step you should complete as soon as possible.
4. Fix Crawling Issues
One of the most important features of Google Search Console is error reporting. In other words, Google provides you with information about errors it finds when crawling the pages of your site.
You should check this report regularly and correct any issues identified.
5. Analyse Keyword Data
You will find more detailed keyword data in Google Search Console than in Google Analytics. To find it, click on the Performance tab. For each keyword, you will see:
You can filter by any of the above options to get even more information on the keywords that people have used in relation to your website. Plus, in the above table, you will see other options. This includes an option for Pages that gives you information on the performance of individual pages on your site.
6. Identify Keywords That Are Doing Okay, But Could Be Easily Improved
Some of the easiest keywords to optimise – and the ones that can deliver the best return on investment – are those that are currently at the bottom of the first page or on page two or three.
Google Search Console makes it easy to find these keywords. In the Performance > Queries report, click on the filter icon. Now filter for keywords where the position is higher than seven or eight and click Done to update the results. You can then sort using the position column.
This will display a load of keywords. You are interested in those from position seven or eight up to about 30.
You then need to prioritise this list of keywords so you can target them. A good starting point is to work through your onpage SEO guide for each of them.
7. Find New Content Ideas
You can also use the Performance > Queries report to look for keywords that have low click-through rates or low/zero clicks.
Once you identify the most important keywords in this category, you can target them. As they are likely to be long tail keywords, creating new, engaging content is often the best approach.
8. Analyse Link Reports
Google Search Console gives you helpful information about links. To find this information, click on the Links tab to display data for both internal and external links.
You can then drilldown further to provide you with more information that you can use in your SEO strategy. Building stronger relationships with websites that already link to you is a good example.
9. Improve Your Internal Linking Strategy
Internal links are an important part of SEO as they help Google understand your website and how the different pages relate to each other. Internal linking also helps Google identify the most important pages on your website, i.e. the pages with the most internal links.
You can use Google Search Console to help you find and correct issues with your internal linking strategy.
For example, you can check the internal links of an underperforming page. If there are not enough, you can add more.
Maintaining Your Website’s SEO Presence
Using Google Search Console should be a key part of the SEO strategy you implement for your Christchurch business. Not only is it free to use, but it gives you an insight into how Google views your website, as well as helpful tools that you can use to improve rankings.