How to Use Google Search Console to Improve SEO
While there are a lot of SEO tools available right now, Google Search Console stands out because it is free and it handles your SEO and keyword needs at the same time. Although it is such a powerful tool, there are lots of people who do not know how to take full advantage of its features when it comes to improving their SEO. Today, we are going to see how you can use this incredible tool to do exactly that.
Find Out The Keywords You Are Ranking For
If you do your SEO well, you will usually rank for the keywords you have optimised for. What many people do not realise is that you can sometimes rank for other keywords that are included in your content but that you have not optimised for.
This usually happens because your content covers a broad subject and you use these keywords a lot. You can see these keywords by clicking “Performance” and then looking at the “Queries” tab.
Once you have these keywords, you can start thinking about the type of content you can create around them. Doing so will allow you to rank even more pages because you now know there is a demand, interest in, and search volume for these keywords.
Find Out How Your Pages are Ranking
While you are in the “Performance” section, you can also click the “Position” tab to see where your pages rank for different keywords. This will allow you to know if your optimizations are working or if you need to rethink your strategy.
You can combine these results with the keyword results from above to lengthen your content or optimise it better, so it ranks better.
See Which of Your Pages Have Been Indexed
The number of indexed pages is a key indicator of whether something is wrong with your SEO. You can find the number of indexed pages under “Coverage”. You can see both valid pages and those with errors.
The number of valid pages plus the number of pages with errors should equal the number of pages on your sitemap. You should endeavour to have as few pages with errors as possible.
If there is a discrepancy, that may show that you have crawling, content duplication, or indexing issues that you need to take care of.
Identified Unindexed Pages
The pages with errors we have discussed above have crawled, but they have errors stopping them from being indexed. However, there are other reasons why pages might not be indexed. For example, you may have instructed bots not to crawl your website for some reason and forgot to remove that condition.
Sometimes you remove a page or rename it and do not add a redirect, so the previous URL appears as a 404 page.
If you have too many pages like this, Google will demote your website in its rankings, and so you should take care of them as soon as possible. Go to “Coverage” as above and click on the tab “Valid With Warnings”.
You will see a warning for each unindexed page, so you know what to do.
Google Search Console is a very powerful tool if you know how to use it properly. Take about 10 to 20 minutes a day to explore its features so you can find new ways to leverage it for better SEO.