Search Google Console is one of the best tools available to users for SEO analysis.
In fact, regardless of the complexity and refinement of all recent tools (we often talked about SeoZoom, for example), the Search Console is one of those more complete and also completely free.
Initially, when you open a website (or decide to managing a blog), it might seem complicated to connect your virtual space to this Google tool. Immediately after, however, you will notice how the exceptional features that this tool makes available exceed the initial complexity.
So crawling your website with GSC will be really comfortable, and to be able to identify most of the problems that can damage not only the positioning, but also the usability of the site.
What is the Google Console Search for?
GSC, formerly also called Google Webmaster Tools, is a free tool that really provides lots of features.
Over the years it has modified its graphic layout and has increased the baggage of functions, to get to what it is today: a complete tool, indispensable for anyone who wants to analyze their website from an SEO point of view, and not only.
The platform is divided into some macro categories.
- a first part of Introduction, where is reported a general overview with respect to the trend of the website, including monthly visits, any errors on the pages, performance and user experience;
- then follows the overview dedicated to performance, very useful for checking data such as: total clicks, impressions, click through rate (CTR) and the average position of your pages in the web search. Here you will see also the list of keywords for which your site is most searched and found;
- finally, the "URL check" item is used to check the status of a URL you own. It will be indexed? It will be present but not indexed yet? From here you can check and possibly request indexing of the link.
How to use the Google Console
As mentioned, we have several functions in this tool. In addition to the basic functions, in the menu we find several insights that are really useful.
In the section dedicated to the index, we find:
- the coverage: here we see if there are any indexing problems on our pages;
- the sitemap
- removals: if there are URLs we don't want anymore as part of the website.
In the user experience section:
- if our web pages have a good user experience also from a mobile point of view;
- if some pages require improvement;
- if there are errors.
Below is the improvements section:
- analysis of the "breadcrump" shows if there are any errors in the navigation path;
- the analysis of "sitelinks", especially useful if you are advertising.
There is then the section dedicated to security and any problems, and finally an essential section for SEO analysts, dedicated to Tools.
In fact, here are the reports with the statement of the pages with internal, external links, the most important words used as anchor text and, finally, all websites that link to our site (backlink).
How to activate Google Search Console for your website?
As we will see, activating GSC is not complex as it might seem.
First, you need to connect to the Google platform. Anyone who has a Google account can log in.
In this phase, two different solutions will open: you can decide to verify the property of the website via the domain or via URL.
The first case, via domain, is certainly more convenient because it manages to verify the property of all URLs corresponding to that domain. The verification takes place through the confirmation of ownership with a DNS record.
The second case, on the other hand, allows the verification of the specified URL only.
Once you have established which path to opt for, it is possible proceed with verification. If you encounter any errors at this stage you can consult the Google guide to verify of the properties of the site.
It is a delicate step, as much as essential, which is necessary to follow in the best way, as Google will carry out periodically checks.
The moment you verified the ownership, you can access the services of Search Google Console. Of course, it will take from a few days to a few weeks because Google can collect all data relating to our property.
What are Console Scan Reports?
In the new Google tool, some reports have merged into the new version in an enriched way. Other reports, on the other hand, can be approached from different places or have been completely abandoned.
In fact, in the new version we have:
- the overview page with a summary of errors, problems, but also valid elements;
- the performance report with the implementation of data received from Google, Discover and News search (if your site has enough traffic on these platforms);
- the URL checking tool (also available in the top bar) to track the indexing status of a URL;
- the coverage;
- the sitemap;
- the essential web signals (reports for SEO analysts and developers);
- usability on mobile and AMP (also for analysts and developers);
- manual actions;
- security issues;
- links, including backlinks;
- tests of mobile optimization;
- the tool for changing the address in case of migration of the site;
- the experience report on the pages.
Integrate Search Console with Analytics
Another step that can be useful is to integrate Analytics with Google Search Console. In this way, it is possible to have all the data available in one one place.
To do this, just connect to your Google Analytics account, in the "Administration" section and from there click "Properties", and then "Properties Settings". By clicking on "Edit Search Console" you can enter your account data. From that moment there will be the data of the Console inside the Analytics "Acquisitions" report.
Also, if desired, it is possible to view some general statistics within the website itself.