Google’s Search Console, formerly known as Webmaster Tools, is one of the most powerful website data analytics tools around. It literally is a webmaster tool, allowing insight into how your site is behaving in Google searches. We all want our websites to be found and ranked highly on Google search, and to achieve this we need some guidance as to how our content, structure and security is performing.
Here’s our guide on some of the mega metrics a good webmaster tool provides.
First of all, the webmaster tool indicates any crawl errors detected. This includes the DNS being active, server connectivity and the robots doing their job. You will also be alerted to any URLs which are not being found during crawls. Secondly, there is an summary of the search analytics. This measures the number of users who clicked on your website as it appeared on search results. Thirdly, Google greatly appreciates a sitemap: this allows for better understanding and crawling of your website.
In this section, the webmaster tool offers insight into technical page issues. For example, under Structured Data you will find any errors that are present on any of your site’s pages. Clicking on the items with errors link, you will get an itemized list of all of these errors. A common error that occurs on many WordPress sites is the lack of author and title. If these are not manually added to the meta tags, Google will consider them as a page error.
Rich Cards are also monitored here. They provide Google Search Console with data about any offers, services, opportunities or products available on your website, and help to draw attention to them. Data Highlighter is another tool to make any data on your website stand out.
HTML Improvements draws your attention to any html code issues and Accelerated Mobile Pages is a feature to improve your mobile readiness.
Search Traffic & Google Index
Now we come to the juicy set of mega metrics we all crave! Here you can find out all you need to know about users clicking on your site when appearing on search results, and for which keywords your site is being indexed.
Search Analytics provides an overview of the performance of your website on Google Search. You can check the number of link clicks, impressions, CTR and position in search results, and you can view this data for queries, pages, countries and devices.
Links to Your Site, Internal Links and Manual Actions provide lists of all sites linking back to yours, as well as your site’s internal web of links and any spam actions in place.
International Targeting allows you to filter which countries you want to target, and which languages.
Mobile Usability is becoming the all-star favorite: it is essential that Google does not detect any mobile usability errors on your site, and if it does, you need to fix them asap.
Index Status depicts every page on your website that is indexed by Google. This basically refers to any page which has been recognized and included in Google’s data pool.
And now to the all-important webmaster tool metric, which in itself needs an introduction:
Here you will find a detailed list of all of the keywords Google recognizes as relevant to your website. You can click on each one and see its significance, occurrences and variants of the keyword. You will also see a list of all of the pages on your site in which the keyword comes up. This not only shows you which keywords are working for you, but also which keywords require more attention.
This section is all about scouring your website for any errors. Imagine them as roadworks or even roadblocks that you only notice when you are stopped or affected by them. Google’s bots roam your urls and will provide the feedback needed to fix any errors. One interesting tool is “Fetch as Google” which will return the information Google acquires from a crawl. This will show you if images are accessible, titles, meta description, etc. If you see any information is missing, this is your chance to fix it.
It is always good to double check that your site is safe. This webmaster tool will give you peace of mind that all of your protection schemes are up and running, and working well. If there are any security breaches, this is where you can seek them out quickly and fix them.
Now that you have an insight into the power webmaster tool we suggest you go and give it a try! Enjoy experimenting and discovering more and more every time you use Search Console.