For better or worse, Google is with us to stay. Though Google and other search engines can sometimes make us feel we live in a Big Brother society, the search giant provides some very cool recognition and data gathering tools for business owners.
Google Search Console is a free and fantastic way to monitor your website search rank and continually tweak your site for the best search engine results. Read on for a beginner’s guide to GSC set up and use.
Then, start managing your website with enhanced search engine savvy as you watch the conversions roll in.
DIY SEO is not for everyone. If you know you’d rather serve your customers and run your operations, Romain Berg is a comprehensive digital marketing agency you can trust with your Google Search Console account.
Fill out our contact form today and discover how to make your search data work for you.
What is Google Search Console?
With search rank being such an essential indicator of online traffic and conversions, it’d be nice to track your site’s rank over time, especially with new competitors entering the e-commerce space each week.
GSC provides a free pathway for precisely this kind of tracking. And, when you know what your search rank pattern is over time, you can use other data to infer why those changes take place, and how to stay ahead of them.
Some elements that can change your search ranking include:
- Evolving Google algorithms
- Manual penalty actions from Google
- On-page and off-page SEO
- Organic traffic
- User experience
- Content quality
- Click-Through Rate
- Keyword use
- Bounce rate
Google Search Console gives you data like how often your site appears in searches, which user queries pop your site up in search results, and how often users click on your website from those queries.
GSC can also alert you when:
- it finds spam and indexing issues on your site,
- another site links to yours, or
- you have a mobile usability issue.
GSC set up
If you don’t yet have a Google Search Console account, it’s easy and free to set one up. The article in the link above will give you a set-up primer depending on your Google and SEO experience level, as well as your organizational role.
You can launch your GSC account here. You’ll need to verify your domain with GSC, but Google will walk you through the process. Once you’ve verified your domains, Google can begin gathering search data on your website.
You can also link your existing Google Analytics account to GSC once you’ve verified ownership of your domain.
Using the data from GSC
Impressions are the measure of how many times your website shows up in a user search, regardless of whether the user clicks on your website. Impressions count whether users scroll to see your website listed in their search results or not.
Impressions work in conjunction with other data markers to help you adjust your SEO approach on your website.
Perhaps the most essential search rank performance indicator is your CTR, or Click-Through Rate. This metric measures how often users click on your site when it appears in their search results.
The CTR markers that can help you the most are:
- Highest CTR Queries: These are the long-tail keywords or questions your audience asks that show your website the most often in search results. You can use the vocabulary in these queries to further refine your audience message. You can also set the time frame for data inclusion. If you’ve just run a seasonal sale or new product promotion, you may want to view your CTR for the last month or quarter. To get a broader summary of your CTR, you can choose 12 months or longer. Comparing your highest CTR to your impressions can provide a picture of overall page performance. For example, if you have a low number of impressions, but a high CTR, you’re hitting the mark with the users who find you. However, a low impression score means you’re not getting seen by many people. You may need to adjust your keyword use or PPC strategy to generate a higher impression score that gets your brand in front of more searching eyeballs.
- Average CTR: Monitoring your average CTR over time provides a more general picture of page performance over time. You can pick up trends with this kind of tracking. If you notice a significant dip or rise in your average CTR, it’s smart to find out why. It could be that a competitor flexed on you during a CTR dip. If your CTR soared in a particular period, maybe that new product launch or branding update resonated with more of your audience. Or, maybe your social media campaign paid off and would be worth repeating. When you can correlate changes in your CTR with changes in SEO, new campaigns, rebranding, or something else, you’ll learn how to use your marketing resources for higher ROI.
User location and device comparisons
If you’re a local business or a multinational business, GSC can help you further refine your niches. GSC can help you silo your traffic data into different countries and mobile vs. desktop devices.
You can use this data to target users in the countries with the highest CTRs more carefully. You can also mine the metrics for how many people find you on mobile devices vs. desktops.
For local businesses, your searchers trend significantly toward mobile searches, so optimizing your mobile device experience can increase your local traffic.
Indexing and backlinks
GSC will let you know how many other websites link to yours. The more legit backlinks you score, the higher your search rank.
GSC can also help you track how and whether your pages are indexed. Indexing means Google can see them and crawl them without error or redirection.
As you add more content, keywords, or site pages, your indexing will increase. You’ll want to troubleshoot any indexing errors on GSC, as well, as they pop up. These could be redirects, password protected pages, or something else.
Outsource your GSC data analysis to the SEO ninjas at Romain Berg
Admittedly, there are a lot of moving parts to successfully using your search data to grow your online traffic and conversions. Every business owner should have a beginning understanding of how Google displays your business in queries, and some common missteps to avoid.
However, we get that most owners launch their companies because they love what they make or who they serve, not because they nerd out on SEO best practices.
Trust your SEO and comprehensive digital marketing to the expertise of Romain Berg. We thrive on data, and we deliver results, not hype.
Compiling and presenting search data is paramount to creating digital marketing strategies that convert. Fill out our contact form today. We’ll be in touch to help your search data work for you.