Google Webmaster Tools, currently known as the Google Search Console, is a free tool designed to help you implement on-page SEO tactics with easy to understand audit and editing features. While it might seem too technical for SEO beginners, it’s a fantastic way to learn SEO by starting with the basics and gradually unraveling its features.
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How to Add Your Website to Google’s Search Console?
If you want to start using the Google Search Console, you need to first create your account. You can use other email addresses, not just Gmail ones. You then add your site by clicking on the “Add property” button, and you should add all the domains and subdomains (HTTP, HTTPS, www, subdomains, etc.).
Lastly, you’ll need to verify the ownership of your website. You can do this by linking GSC with an existing Google Analytics account, by submitting the HTML file of the website, adding a meta tag, or editing your DNS settings.
We will go through the main SEO implementations you can make with GSC and explain each of them to better understand what it does for your website and how well you are performing on Google.
Let’s see what it can do for your SEO strategy.
Submitting a Sitemap to Google
One of the things you can do in the Google Search Console is to submit your sitemap to Google for indexing. This is a rather technical part of SEO, but it’s important to do it to ensure that your website is indexed correctly.
When search engines “crawl” your website, meaning reading it with the help of automated software, they do it with the purpose of adding what they find to the search engine’s database, called the Search index. This is the huge database from which it retrieves its search results.
In order to make sure that your website’s content is indexed correctly and all the pages on your site that you want to be shown will appear there, you can submit a sitemap easily with GSC.
Seeing What Google Sees
A very helpful feature in Google Webmaster Tools is that it allows you to see any webpage on your website as Google sees it. When you fetch as Google, you find out if the page you submitted the URL for is currently indexed by Google, if it’s mobile-friendly, and if it has any crawl errors or redirects (404 error, 403 error, 301 redirect, and so on).
Here, you can request indexing of any page, with the option to include the direct links as well if the fetch status of your URL is other than Complete.
Internal and External Links to Your Site
This feature shows you what internal and external links you receive, and how strong they are. This analysis provides great information on what links to your site are weaker and which ones are actually bringing you Google organic traffic.
One of the most useful SEO tools in the Google Search Console is seeing what keywords appear on your website. It gives you information on what keywords appear on which pages, what other variants of them can be found, and what search traffic they bring. Connecting your website traffic to the search queries used by visitors is very useful in determining your keywords for future content.
You can also get information about the click-through rate (CTR) for each search query, which helps you understand how users get to your website – which is the most successful organic search for a certain page.
Structured Data Report
If you’ve been trying to get shown as rich snippets in the Google search results, the structured data report in GSC is extremely useful, showing you what markups Google picks up and how they perform.
Over to You
As you can see, Google’s Webmaster Tools is a set of fantastic SEO tools that can help you get more conversions. We at Australian Internet Advertising use it successfully for our website audits and when implementing our SEO strategies. If you need our insight as SEO experts, contact us for a free consultation.