Would you like to learn more about a free service from Google that will help to drive more organic traffic to your site? Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a collection of free tools to optimize your organic search presence. Google decided to change its name in 2015 to Search Console to make it more reflective of the diverse group of users that gain valuable data from this tool. Everyone from designers to business owners can access the previously untapped resource that is Search Console.
This is an easy service to set up in just two easy steps. That is adding and verifying your site in Search Console, which proves to Google that you’re either a site’s owner, webmaster, or other authorized user. There are several ways to verify a site once it has been added. The various methods are based upon whether you have experience working with HTML, if you can upload files to the site, the size of your site, and whether you have access to other Google programs. This streamlined process allows for ease of use and to encourage more site owners to take advance of this service. Now that you have your Search Console account set up, we’ll walk through the basic functionality and capabilities of Search Console.
The three main functions of this tool are to crawl, analyze and index your site. These functions can seem quite a bit technical, but I’ll provide you with all the information you need to understand how it works. Web crawlers known as “Googlebots” discover publicly available webpages and the links on those pages and bring it back to the Google servers. The data is then analyzed by the search engines and indexed to effectively gather and serve the most relevant content to user based on their searches. The aggregation of these data points allows for Google to go beyond the basic keyword query to discover the intent and contextual meaning of the search of that user.
These are equally important and allow us to isolate any issues that could be causing ranking fluctuations or impairing the user experience. As we deepen our understanding of this dynamic tool, we will explore more ways to leverage the learnings into data driven site optimizations.
Below are six of the central capabilities of Search Console:
- Submit a new sitemap for crawling and remove content you don’t want indexed
- Establish any unknown, valuable organic terms that are bringing users to your site
- Create and monitor content that delivers visually engaging search results
- Differentiate traffic drive to your site via desktop or mobile devices
- Monitor and resolve malware or spam issues so your site stays clean
- Integrate Search Console data within Google Analytics for a full view of site performance
These capabilities allow for an informed and comprehensive website data analysis by business or organizations decision makers and provides them with the information they need to establish a long-term successful SEO strategy. The first step in taking control of your website’s performance is to create a Search Console account, so go ahead and get started!