One of the most challenging things about SEO is that it requires constant tweaking. Either because Google is updating its algorithm or because you noticed a drop in rankings, you always need to keep an eye on your SEO strategy and make the necessary changes at the right time.
But, with so many moving parts in an SEO campaign, it can be a bit difficult to keep track of everything and understand what is working and what not.
Thankfully, there’s a tool for that! It’s called Google Webmaster Tools and it can show you how your site is performing and what you can do to improve your ranking and get at the top of the search engine results page.
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What Is Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools (known today as Google Search Console) is a free suite of SEO tools that provide data regarding your website’s performance. You can use GSC to identify and fix website errors, add structured data, create sitemaps, improve your visibility in the Google search results and, generally, improve your overall SEO strategy.
If you are not using Google Webmaster Tools already, then you will need to create your free account and add your website. Make sure to add every version of your site and be very careful with the entry. HTTP: and HTTPS: are seen as two different sites in the GSC.
Once you’ve added your site, you will need to verify that you are the owner. It might take a few hours, but once the site has been verified, you will start seeing data on your website.
How Can Google Webmaster Tools Help with SEO
Boost Your Search Visibility
It takes a lot of work to rank high for a particular search term. Your website must be indexed and crawlable, your content must be relevant and authoritative, and every element of your site must be properly optimised. Google Search Console gives you an overview of your SEO efforts and lets you identify any issues that could affect your position in the organic search results. For example, under the HTML Improvements tag, you can see if there are any title tag or meta description issues, such as duplicate meta descriptions or too lengthy title tags, and fix them quickly.
Understand How Google Sees Your Website
Perhaps one of the most effective uses of GSC is that it allows you to understand how Google sees your website as well as how your target audience finds your site.
For example, you can see what search queries your audience is using to find your website as well as the devices they are using (desktop or mobile.)
It will also give you an overview of the keywords and the different variants that are used on your website together with their occurrence and significance. You can use this data to analyse your performance in Google search and determine if you need to create more content around a certain target keyword, for example.
You can also use the Google Search Queries function to see the number of impressions and clicks, the average CTR, and the average position for a particular keyword.
These options are especially useful since Google removed the keywords data from Google Analytics.
Improve Your CTR
Here’s how to get a high CTR using Google Search Console. From the Search Analytics function, you will get an overview of your site in the Google Search results. You can see which pages have high visibility but a relatively low organic CTR. These pages will need a few tweaks, such as:
- Making sure that the meta description and title tags are unique;
- Using your target keyword in the meta description and title tag;
- Made sure meta descriptions are no longer than 135 – 160 characters long and that the title tags are 50-60 characters long, including spaces;
- Make sure that your headlines (<h1> tags) are different from your title tags;
By making these simple changes, you should get a higher CTR in the upcoming months.
Ensure Google Can Read Your Site Properly
If you want to boost your site’s ranking on the search engine results page, then you need to ensure that Google can crawl and read your site properly.
Go to the Crawl option and check to see if there are any crawling errors. If you notice any broken links or links that send users to pages that don’t exist, make sure to fix them or create 301 redirects.
And, since you are here, you should also use the Fetch as Google option to see how Google “sees” your website and if there are any errors that you need to fix or improvements that you could make.
Check Your Sitemaps
A sitemap is a list of URLs that you want Google to crawl and index. With GSC, you can review the sitemap you’ve submitted (or the one that Google found,) and see what pages were crawled and indexed by the search engine. You can also use Google Webmaster Tools to scan the sitemap and identify any errors that need to be fixed.
See If Your Website Has Been Hacked
If your website is not secure enough, then it can be affected by malware. The problem is that you could be navigating your site without noticing any errors while users accessing your pages might be “welcomed” by pop-ups or page redirects to weird sites. This poor user experience can dramatically affect your ranking as people won’t feel safe navigating your site or giving your sensitive information like their credit card details.
GSC can notify you if there is any strange activity on your site. Just make sure to enable email notifications so you can get all the important information about your website.
Do You Want to Improve Your SEO? Let AIA Help!
Google Search Console is a great tool and you should include it in your digital marketing arsenal. It can help you understand better how your website is performing, what issues might affect your ranking, how prospects find your website, and what changes you should make to get a better position in the SERPs and higher CTR.
The problem is that most people Iook at those numbers and don’t really know what to do with them.
At Australian Internet Advertising, we are masters when it comes to GSC. We know what to look for, how to examine and interpret the data, and how to put that information to use and turn it into strategies that will help your website rank higher and your business grow.
Do you want to find out more about what we can do for you?
Check our services here and then book a free 30-minutes strategy session with our SEA experts. We will talk about your business, your goals, and tell you how you can improve your SEO and generate more leads than you are currently getting.
Get in touch now!