Have you ever checked out Google Search Console on your website? Chances are you have, as it’s a standard part of any Google SEO toolset. It’s the one-stop shop for all things related to SEO and user experience (UX) on your site.
You can access Google Search Console directly from your Google Homepage or from the mobile app. Simply search for “Google search console” and you’ll be taken to the page.
On this page, you’ll find three important tabs:
- Search Analytics
- Search Traffic
Let’s dive into each tab and what it can tell you about your site.
This tab gives you a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening across your entire website. You’ll find a variety of metrics here, all related to the performance of your website.
You can start by analyzing the overall traffic to your site. Next, you can dive into more specific metrics, like how many people are landing on your home page, which pages are drawing the most traffic, and so on.
You can also look at some of the less critical metrics, like how many pages were crawled by Google’s web crawler (aka. Googlebot) in the last month, and how often Google picks up on your site.
This tab is where you can track the traffic coming to your site from Google search results. You’ll find two important metrics here:
- Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
Clicks tell you how often users are explicitly clicking on a search result on Google, whereas CPC measures how much you’re spending on each click. The lower your CPC, the more you’re making per click.
While clicks are important, it’s crucial to track the amount of traffic they’re sending your way. A good rule of thumb is to look at the average daily traffic (AVD) to your site and compare it to its daily average (DAA). If the AVD is higher, that means more people are coming to your site than it usually gets. Conversely, if the DA increases but the AVD doesn’t, that could mean the spike is coming from a single, highly productive user.
This tab will tell you what improvements you can make to get the most out of your site’s performance.
By clicking on the “Performance” tab, you’ll be taken to a page that has several important tips for making your site faster.
Firstly, there’s the mobile-friendly test. Make sure that your site is functioning well on mobile devices. If a user lands on your site from a mobile device and has a bad experience, you’ll lose out on a lot of sales. To access this option, just click on the three dots next to “Show desktop version” at the top of your page.
Secondly, there’s the website speed test. You can also use the Google Analytics Profile to test the speed of your site on specific devices. Just open the Google Analytics app and head to your website. Once you’re there, click on “Profile” in the top-right corner and select “Mobile.” (If you’re using a personal computer, click on “Desktop” to test the speed of your site on a larger screen.)
You can get a feel for how fast your site is by entering your website in the “Website speed” field and clicking on “Go.” The speed test will then crawl your site and give you an idea of how long it takes to load on different devices. (Keep in mind that the time it takes to load on a different device can vary, so you may get a slightly different result from the speed test on each visit.)
This is a list of some of the best general-purpose SEO tools and tips. You can access these resources directly from the Google Search Console. For example, you can use the “Keyword Planner” tool to find words and phrases that people are typing into search engines to find your site.
Creating a strategic SEO plan
So you’ve gotten everything set up in Google Search Console and you’re ready to start promoting your site. The first step is to put together a comprehensive plan, which you can do using the SEO tools in Google Search Console. These tools will help you find search terms (aka. keywords) that people are using to find your site. You should include a variety of terms for optimum results.
For example, if you’re selling skateboards, you might want to include terms like “best skateboard,” “top five skateboards,” and so on.
Once you have your plan, it’s time to put it into action. Start by choosing approximately three to four keyword phrases for each section of your site. For example, if you’re making a blog post about skateboarding, you might want to write some articles about “best skateboards” and “top five skateboards.”
After you’ve chosen your keyphrases, it’s time to use them in your content.
If you’re using WordPress, go to the “Settings” section within the CMS and type your chosen keyphrases into the “Writing Screen” field. (You can also do this directly on the “Settings” page, which is accessed via the WordPress Dashboard.)
The next step is to create content for your site using the chosen keywords. In the previous example, you might want to write an article about “top five skateboards,” or visit one of the many informative blogs in your niche to see what kind of content they’re posting. Continue to add content with more targeted keywords as you go along.
Now that you have a steady stream of content on your site, it’s time to build backlinks (also known as “inbound links”). Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site. Backlinks are very important for SEO and UX because they allow Google to understand what your site is about. If a website is linking to your site, that means people are finding value in what you have to offer. A good backlink strategy helps to build trust and credibility with potential customers.
To get started, enter your site in the “Backlinks” section of Google Search Console and click on “Create a Plan.” You’ll then be presented with a map, displaying the backlink opportunities on your site.
You can use the backlinks you find on your site to get more visitors and increase your sales. If you have a blog, you can use strategies like guest posting to get backlinks and spread the SEO value you’ve created to other websites in your niche.
If you’re an eCommerce store or running a physical retail business, you might want to take advantage of local SEO. This type of SEO works for businesses that have a physical storefront and serve customers in a single region. (Most big eCommerce businesses operate like this.)
To get started, enter your location (city, state, and country) into the “Location” field of Google Search Console and click on “Create a Plan.” You’ll then be presented with a map, displaying the opportunities for local SEO on your site.
You can use the local SEO tools in Google Search Console to get a general idea of how well your site is performing in a particular location. For example, you can enter “Atlanta Google Search Console” into the “Location” field and look at the metrics in the “Local SEO” section.
If you’re using WordPress, go to the “Settings” section within the CMS and type your chosen keywords into the “Writing Screen” field. (You can also do this directly on the “Settings” page, which is accessed via the WordPress Dashboard.)
Once you have your plan, it’s time to put it into action. Create content for your site using the chosen keywords. Add inbound links to your site as you go along.