This is the kick off to our annual January Blog Challenge: 31 Days To Clean Up Your Blog. What better time than January to sit down and review your blog? Over the 31 days we'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to deal with all those pesky maintenance tasks, take steps to grow in the new year and make blogging easier. This is Day 19.
What is Google Search Console?
Yesterday we talked about a Google Analytics account and sometimes that gets confused with google search console which used to be known as google webmaster. There can be a little confusion between the URLs and landing pages for Search Console and a Webmaster account but they are the same thing. To add to the confusion, there's a search console tool inside google analytics which can get confused with the separate google search console tool. We hope you're not too confused yet!
Google Search Console gives you access to a whole suite of tools that you can't access in Google Analytics but that can give you critical information about the health of your website in the eyes of Google. This can be extremely helpful if you're working on SEO improvements.
In other words, Google Analytics tells you about the type of traffic you have and the people who visit your site. Google Search Console tells you about the health of your site and what you could be doing to increase your traffic.
What Kind of Tools Can I Find In Google Search Console?
Search Console gives you access to tools that can:
- page speed insights on mobile and desktop - along with tips on how to improve
- tell you if any manual actions have been placed on your site by google
- inform you of security issues
- allow you to upload a site map
- help you with mobile usability
- analyze your recipes for correct markup
- show you if you've been featured on Google Discover (this can sometimes help explain random traffic increases under the "direct" referral in your Google Analytics
- you can change your international targeting
- get information on external and internal links
Oh... and there's actually a lot of information on... well... search results!
Search Console Search Results
Search Console also has an entire section on google search results that allows you to see the key words and phrases people are using to find you. This is a more complete picture than what you'll see in google analytics
Along with the key words and phrases you'll see how many impressions vs clicks you're receiving and your average position in search results and your average CTR (click through rate). This can be very useful information - especially if a lot of people are seeing your site in search results (impressions) but they're not clicking through. This is something you can investigate and improve on.
If your average position for a search term is low, that's a good sign you need to do an SEO overhaul for that piece of content.
You can also see where specific search terms are popular. For instance, we have a beer resource post that is over 3x more popular in UK search than it is in the US, and over 7x more popular in the UK than it is in Canada.
You Might Need External Help
Google Search Console provides you with a whole host of critical site information. To ensure you have a healthy website, you need to spend some time in it at least once a month and address any critical issues you spot.
If you're not a techie person, some of them issues you spot may seem quite daunting. Don't be afraid to enlist the help of your web developer. If you enjoy the technical side of blogging, google provides a host of information on how to fix issues or improve performance!