Learning how to use Google Search Console to support your SEO strategy is really important. It’s a fantastic tool for two key reasons. It shows you if there are any website issues (such as broken links, page errors, etc.) on your website, and it also shows you what search terms people have used to find your website.
For both of these reasons, Google’s Search Console is a fantastic tool to use to support your SEO strategy.
By knowing what people have searched for to find your website, you can begin to get an insight into what keywords are bringing traffic to your site and that obviously will show you whether your SEO strategy is working. This can aid the content you’re creating for your website, in the form of blogs or news, and show you that you need to take a look at your meta data.
So, here is our guide on how to use Google Search Console to support your SEO strategy.
Google’s Search Console dashboard essentially shows two key things: Google’s ability to crawl through the website (vital for SEO) and the number of trackable Google searches to your website (over a 90 day period).
If under ‘crawl errors’ you see 3 green ticks, great job! This means that Google can navigate through your website. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any website errors, but overall it means your website is in good shape.
*We recommend contacting your website developer if you find any errors within your Google Search Console. They will quickly be able to resolve any issues.
When looking at your ‘search analytics’, you can see the Google searches people have used to find your website over a maximum 90 day period. You can also see the number of clicks for each of the searches.
This is incredibly useful as it allows you to test the effectiveness of your SEO strategy. If you’re targeting a number of keyword terms and want to see if ranking well for them is bringing traffic to your site this is the place to find out.
A point so many people miss is downloading the search data (which we highly recommend).
Downloading your search analytics will show a whole heap of extra information that can give you extra insight into your SEO performance; as we explain below!
SEARCH ANALYTICS BREAKDOWN
Though the Search Console csv sheet isn’t pretty to look at, you can quickly filter out searches that don’t offer you any insight.
What you can see through the sheet however is:
- Key terms people are using to find your website (‘branded’ or ‘unbranded’)
- Whether or not people are clicking on your website when using that search term (using the click through rate – CTR)
- How many impressions your website has for each search term
By branded keywords we mean the inclusion of your company name, so a branded keyword might be ‘effective communication pr’. Generally with these keywords you see more clicks and a better click-through-rate (CTR), because people are directly searching for you.
Unbranded words are not directly associated with your company, so for Effective Communication an unbranded search term could be ‘digital marketing agency cardiff’. Someone has searched for that term and has found us with it. With unbranded keywords you should pay close attention to the click-through-rate.
If there is a keyword which generates a lot of impressions for your website in Google but you have a low click-through-rate it might be due to your meta description. Writing a meta description that better describes the page or service and encourages a click might drastically improve the number of visitors you get from the keyword.
By looking at the keywords in the excel sheet you can begin to focus your SEO efforts on the right keywords.
For example, you might invest a lot of time targeting the keyword ‘coffee shop cardiff’, but after looking at your Search Console data, you’ve only had 20 clicks to your website from that term over 90 days, even though your site has had 5,000 impressions. That means your click through rate is less than 1%!
In that case you may decide to focus on more long-tail keywords (with more of a focus on local search terms), e.g. ‘coffee shop in pontcanna’.
You might see that the keywords you’re targeting only give you a few impressions a month, and that might show youthat you need to better optimise your current website to improve your ranking and move higher up in the search results.
Another way the sheet can help you is by showing a list of unbranded keywords that could be turned into blog posts. If people are searching for a term and your website shows up, but you haven’t got anything on your website specifically for the term, add something! If people are specifically looking for something it means they have intent, and that means they could be a potential lead or customer (they know what they want).
So, now you know how to use Google Search Console make sure you give it a try! It’s a great tool to use to check up on your SEO progress, so make sure you use it!
If you have any questions about the Search Console why not leave us a message? And if you enjoyed the post please share it on social media, we’d really appreciate your help!