Post cover image showing a woman in overalls sitting at a laptop. Graphic overlay reads: How to Use Google Search Console

Want to get more traffic to your website? Want that those users to connect with your brand and the products or services you offer? You need to be using Google Search Console. It’s a free tool from Google and is available to anyone.

What Does Google Search Console Do?

With Google Search Console you can see “how Google crawls, indexes, and serves websites.” If you want to dig really deep, this information can get pretty complicated. The simple answer is that Google Search Console can help you understand what people are looking for when they search. Understanding what users are looking for can help you create content they’ll connect with.

How to Get Started with Google Search Console

To get started using Google Search Console you need to login or create an account at search.google.com.

Once you’re logged in, there are a few things you’ll have to do before you can utilize Google Search Console for your website. The first step is to verify your site ownership.

Google Index Coverage Report

Once you complete this step you’ll want to run an Index coverage report to make sure that all of the pages of your website can be indexed by Google.

Indexing is when Google analyzes the information on a page of your website including the text, images and videos. Then Google stores information about that page in it’s Google index database. This is how Google knows if a page of your site has relevant information that directly connects to what a user is searching for.

There may be some pages are your website that you don’t want indexed by Google, or there may be new pages you’ve added (like blog posts) that have been discovered, but have not yet been indexed by Google.

You can see in the screenshot above that my website has 127 pages that are not yet indexed. Some of those pages I may have intentionally prevented from being indexed, some may be waiting to be indexed and some may have errors preventing them from being indexed.

Not every page in your website needs to be indexed – but the pages you want to rank for like your home, about, services and other pages with key information relevant to your small business definitely should be indexed.

It’s a good idea to make it a regular task in your small business to run a Google Index Coverage report.

Google Mobile Usability Report

After you run the Index coverage report and fixed any errors that need to be handled, the next step is to test your website’s mobile usability with the Google Mobile Usability report. As more and more users visit websites using a mobile device like a smartphone, it is critical that your website is as optimized for mobile as possible.

Here’s an example of what a Mobile usability report looks like:

Sample Google Mobile Usability report for britelime.co

Do You Need to Submit a Sitemap?

After you’ve reviewed your mobile usability report, you may want to consider submitting a sitemap to Google Search Console. It isn’t necessary for you to submit a sitemap, but it might speed up your site being found.

Google Search Performance Report

Finally, once you’ve done all of these steps, you’ll want to run a final report called the Search performance report. This report will show you how much traffic is actually reaching your website from Google Search. The report has a lot of valuable information you can use to start making necessary adjustments to your site and content.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re traffic numbers are lower than you’d like. Remember, you can’t improve what you don’t measure… so now that you know what you’re numbers are, you can start to make improvements!

What’s the difference between Google Analytics and Google Search Console?

Google Analytics tracks visitors once they’ve reached your website. Google Search Console helps you get them there.

How to Use Google Search Console

Website SEO

October 1, 2022

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