Search Console is self-described by Google as “tools and reports [to] help you measure your site’s Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search results.” In other words, it is a free platform that allows website users to gather data to better optimize their sites so in turn, you can help your website perform better.
Google Search Console isn’t just for Data Analysts, it’s made with everyone from a business owner to SEO specialists in mind. It can be confusing at first glance but with time , this information can help your website stand apart. The hardest part is setting it up. We’ve broken down the steps to help make the process as straightforward as possible.
In order to set up search console you need to:
- Verify your website on Google Search Console
- Link Google Analytics to Search Console
Due to the confidential information available through Google Search Console, you can’t just make an account and get the information for every website. Google requires permission to be granted.
This permission is granted by verification. To verify your website on Search Console you need ensure you’re logged into your Google business account and:
Go to Google Webmaster Tools.
Select the three bars in the top left hand corner and then click “Add a property”
3. Enter in your domain information. You must enter all available domain names. You must also add each domain. ( website.com / blog.website.com / www.website.com, etc) If your site supports both http:// and https://, add both as separate sites.
4. Click “Continue.”
5. Pick a way to verify you own your website (HTML file upload, domain name provider, HTML tag, GA tracking code, or GTM container snippet). If your website is hosted by Google it should automatically verify itself.
Immediately following your website being added to Search Console, Google begins collecting and tracking data for your website. After you’ve verified your website you need to connect Google Analytics and Search Console so they can communicate with each other.
Link Google Analytics to Search Console:
- Log into Google Analytics with your business account
- Click Admin, and select the website you want to enable Search Console data sharing.
In the PROPERTY column, click Property Settings.
3. Scroll down to Search Console Settings. If your website was verified correctly the URL of websites verified in Search Console should be listed, meaning you have permission to make changes. If you cannot see any URLs listed, go back and reverify your site on search console.
4. Under Search Console, select the reporting view(s) in which you want to see Search Console data.
5. Click Save.
You can use GSC for innumerable and valuable types of research but to name a few you can:
- Identify your highest-traffic pages.
- Monitor your impressions over time.
- Monitor your average position over time.
- Identify your highest-ranking pages.
- Identify your lowest-ranking pages.
- Identify ranking increases and decreases.
- Identify your highest-traffic queries.
- Compare your site’s search performance across different devices ( desktop, mobile, and tablet).
- Compare your site’s search performance across different countries.
- Identify which sites link to you the most.
- See how Google views a URL.
After you’ve connected Google Search Console & Google Analytics, explore all the new data available and consider how you can use this information to improve your website.