Google is very good at giving website owners information. The problem is, it can be too good at it – Google Analytics presents so much data we often have clients complaining that they’re overwhelmed by the amount of data. They don’t know when to start.
Similarly, the information available from Google Webmaster Tools (now called Search Console) can be daunting – it’s, how shall we put this – functional in design terms. It uses technical language, and it keeps changing where data is located. A straw poll of our clients revealed less than 1 in 10 ever look at Search Console – and less than 1 in 25 look at it regularly.
So here are our top 5 reasons why anyone who has a business website should use Search Console:
- Google Index > Index Status – Are all your pages indexed?
This will tell you if Google is finding all your pages – if it isn’t, they’ll never bring you new visitors, and you’ll want to make sure you have a sitemap in place and registered in Search Console (Crawl > Sitemaps)
- Security Issues – has your website been hacked?
You’ll find out if Google has spotted any suspicious activity on your site
- Crawl > Crawl Errors – is Google having problems with your site?
Tells you if Google is having problems like being able to find or index your website – of particular interest is the “not found” section, where too many instances can affect the search visibility of your website
- Search Traffic > Search Analytics – what keywords are being used to find your site?
Since Google stopped giving non-paid search keywords in Google Analytics, this is the best route to find out how your website is being found in search
- Search Appearance > HTML improvements – avoid basic coding errors
Find out where you’re making easy-to-fix errors such as duplicate or non-indexable pages content