Something that is far too often left out of the conversation around web marketing and business websites, in general, is Google Search Console. We could confidently guess that of those out there without a background in our industry, a surprising chunk of you would not understand what it is that we just referred to despite the fact that it is by far one of the most valuable tools available to anyone with a website. We couldn’t really say why this is. Perhaps ineffective marketing on Google’s part, perhaps Google Analytics and Tag Manager tend to steal all the thunder, it’s hard to know. But either way, if you’re reading this then we hope that you’ll begin to turn that around for yourself once you find out a bit about how useful it can be. So let’s get straight into it!
What is the Google Search Console and Webmaster Tools?
To put it in layman’s terms, Google’s Search Console is a reporting platform you can login to with your Google Account which gives you information on how your site appears on Google and what Google considers to be wrong with your site according to their own standards. It also offers valuable intel on user behaviour and allows you to be as visible as possible to their search engine through means such as submitting your sitemap (a list of all URL’s onsite), submitting the site to their search index and much more to be covered below. Long story short though, it offers data just as (sometimes more) valuable than what website analytics or Google Tag Manager can provide. More importantly however, is that it provides data/information that those other platforms don’t provide, meaning you haven’t got the full picture of what your online health looks like if you aren’t reviewing that data regularly.
What Can You Do with Google Search Console?
We could write multiple blogs just on the features (and possibly might one day), but a few of the more useful features would be as follows:
- Notifications if your website has any manual penalties applied to it.
- If you notice that your website has suddenly stopped ranking, you can simply jump into Search Console to see if this might be because someone at Google has decided that your website is doing something undesirable. They won’t ever be super succinct about what the problem is, but they’ll give you a very general point in the right direction in terms of what you might need to review to fix the issue.
- Notifications if you’re deemed to be close to a penalty.
- Another feature that is super handy is what (for lack of a better term) could be described as Google’s warning system. If you have unnatural looking links they will let you know. If your content is otherwise looking a bit poor? They’ll
- Increased chances at online visibility!
- As we said earlier, you can submit your official sitemap to Google via Search Console (by simply entering the URL that it sits on), but you can also submit the site for indexing and see some interesting data come out the other end such as broken links and crawlability issues (things which are keeping your site from being indexed properly by the search engine).
- Review what Google thinks of your link profile.
- While it will hardly be an exhaustive list, you can review all the sites linking to you that are deemed important enough to warrant attention (for both positive and negative reasons). You can also review the anchor text (Anchor Text explanation for that here) of the links in question to get an idea of whether or not they are meeting best practice standards.
- Mobile Usability.
- You can now find information on mobile university rolled into the console so that you can assess things such as the number of mobile impressions you’ve had (meaning the amount of times your site has shown in results via mobile search) and whether or not there are any errors related to mobile usage of the site.
As we said, we could rattle features off for hours, but that should at least give you something to go on/look over once you log in. For more information try this beginner’s guide on Google Search Console.
But why does this matter with regards to Web Marketing?
This is again a hard one to list everything for, but we’ll again throw out a few examples:
- Are you directing ads to broken pages? Console might be the first place to find that out.
- Do you want to rank well for great search terms? Console can let you know when you have issues that are hurting your SEO such as broken links, slow loading, bad inbound links to the site, manual penalties and much more.
- Your Analytics account can be connected to your search console in order to see page level data from analytics next to your organic rankings data in search console (meaning less back and forth between reporting platforms)
- Do you need to check the health of a particular URL such as a blog or a landing page that you plan to use for Digital Marketing purposes? Search Console can do exactly that!
- If you are going to run a decent web marketing campaign, then you need all of the information available to you with regards to any potential impediments to success that may arise. You need to consider this reporting platform to be just as important as any other that you already run and factor it into your activities moving forward.
Lately, we’ve been visiting the idea of running a series of concurrent/rotating multi-part blogs due to the fact that it’s so difficult to sum up such important aspects of your online marketing via a single blog and we want to offer as much helpful information as possible. If you think this is a good idea then please feel free to leave us a comment below! But in the meantime we hope that this will give you something to think about. As always if you’d like to know more or to explore your options regarding web marketing in Brisbane or beyond then please feel free to get in touch!