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How to Use Google Search Console to Improve SEO

It’s time to build up those rankings. Crafting a robust search engine optimization strategy includes keyword research, content creation, and site optimization. How do you know if any of it is actually working, though? Let us introduce you to Google Search Console.

Leave it to the most popular search engine to create something to help you know if you’re doing right by their algorithm. Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool created by search giant Google to analyze the success of your website performance. In it are several tools and reports to shed light on how you’re doing. We review how you can use this platform to amp up your SEO performance below.

Review Top Performing Keywords and Pages

So, what’s working? The best way to measure this is using the GSC performance report. Here you can review page performance and ranking keywordstwo metrics that will be beneficial to focus on to better your SEO.

Beginning with keywords, review which keywords are bringing traffic to your site. Do they match the keywords you’ve identified during your keyword research? Take note of this to make sure you continue to see success in the future as well as to help craft your content strategy.

Moving to page performance, this is a big indicator of how you can pivot your SEO strategy to see substantial results. By reviewing what pages are doing well, you can see what’s really driving quality traffic and attempt to replicate this strategy on other pages. You can see which pages may need slight adjustments to rank higher and which pages aren’t moving the needle.


Audit Indexing of Pages

You can’t improve your SEO if your pages aren’t being crawled correctly. “Crawling” is when Google visits (aka “crawls”) the different pages on your site. It may recognize pages that were previously crawled or come across new links to new pages during this process. Website owners can submit sitemaps (which we’ll discuss in detail below) for Google to have a bit of an easier time deciphering how all their pages connect. 

The crawl report shows which pages are being indexed and which aren’t, something you’ll want to take note of. Indexing is how Google understands the content on the page including images, text, and video. If Google can’t properly understand the content of your page, you won’t rank for your keywords. Worse yet, if Google isn’t even recognizing that there are additional pages linked to your site, your SEO could be missing opportunities to grow. 

The crawl reports will also alert you to technical issues that you need to fix to make sure your website is at its peak performance. These issues can range from 404 errors to redirect issues to malware issues—all of which you’ll need to fix sooner than later if you want to rank.


Confirm Mobile Usability and AMP

It’s not enough for your site to look good on a desktop. For many businesses, a large majority of website visitors will be checking out your content on their phone. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile-use, you’ll miss out on people who could’ve been your next customer pretty quickly. 

MMobile-Website-Design-on-Paperobile usability reports on Google Search Console outline which of your website pages don’t translate well when viewed on a mobile device. It’s pretty cut and dry in this report: A page will be listed as not mobile friendly or mobile friendly.  

Sometimes, it can take a bit for a website to upload when visiting through a mobile browser. Don't worry, Google has a tool for that, too. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a Google tool to help web publishers ensure that the content on the site quickly and correctly uploads to mobile devices. This is a third variation (desktop version, mobile version, AMP version) of your site that works to make sure your mobile usability report is clean and that users don’t struggle to load your site. It's definitely something to consider if you have a large percentage of visitors to your site coming from mobile.


Sitemap Submissions

As mentioned above, sitemaps are shared with Google to help the website crawlers know where to go. Sitemaps are basically a GPS for bots to understand how your pages all connect to one another. If you’re familiar with SEO strategies, internal linking is an important tactic for a healthy SEO rating. If you’re unfamiliar with the importance of internal linking, don’t worry, we’ll cover that in just a bit. 


How to Find Your Sitemap

Through Google Search Console, you can provide a sitemap with a list of your urls and overall site structure. Actually finding your sitemap isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Your sitemap file can be found by adding “sitemap.xml” or “robots.txt” to the home page of your website. For example, it would look like: “www. yoursitehere. com/sitemap .xml”

To reiterate, submitting a sitemap is a great way to make sure new links are being crawled and indexed by Google properly. If you’ve recently updated your site, submitting your sitemap should be at the top of your to-do list.


Check Internal Links and Backlinks

Links are what bring your site together. The more times you connect your links, the clearer the roads become on the GPS for the Google bots crawling your site. The links report from Google Search Console gives you insight into your top linking domains, your top linked pages, and top linking text. 

This overview helps you decide if there’s room for improvement with internal linking. Does your anchor text need work? Do you need to link to more internal pages? Understanding where there’s room to grow helps you then start to piece together action items for your SEO strategy.

It’s not just your internal links that are important. External links, known as backlinks, are a contributing factor to your SEO health. The links report shows you your external links as well as which sites are linking to you. Take the time to review your external links. Are they coming from sites with higher domain authority, in turn helping your site level up? Do you have a substantial amount of quality backlinks? If you answered no to either of these questions, it may be time for a revamped back-linking strategy.


Review Site Speed and Page Performance


No matter how great your service or product is, a poor user experience on your site can turn even the most qualified of leads away. In comes the GSC Core Vitals Web Report. This report lets you know how your site pages are performing based on field data, also known as historical data taken from user activity. 

One of the most important metrics you'll encounter is site speed. A slow site leads to higher bounce rates as most of us aren't willing to wait forever for a site to load. With this tool, you can pinpoint which pages are slower to load and make sure you speed it up. The page will be ranked as poor, needs improvement, or good - giving you a clear direction on what's priority (pages performing poorly) and what may need some smaller tweaks.


Trust MDM for Expert SEO

The truth is, improving SEO can get pretty in-depth. From technical issues that may not have a clear answer, to slight changes in strategy to get your desired result, it can take a long time to figure out what's the right move. 

Relying on the experts to investigate will save you the headache of trying to learn it all on your own. While Google Search Console is user-friendly, there are always nuances that are learned only through years of experience. Thankfully, our team has been doing this for long enough to know what's going to get you where you want to go.

If you’re looking to improve your search ranking through a detailed search engine optimization strategy, make sure to speak to our team on the ways we can help steer you in the right direction.


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