How to Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console – or GSC – is a powerful, free Google reporting tool that helps you measure and analyze your website’s metrics including impressions, clicks, rank, average CTR, and more. You can also leverage it to fix technical website issues and perfect the health and SEO of your site.
You can also leverage GSC to do the following:
- Submit sitemaps and URLs to Google to be crawled
- Set up email alerts for when a crawl error is found and notify Google when you have fixed the issue
- Understand which queries and keywords your site appears for in Google
- Monitor your site’s overall performance over time
- Find indexing issues and request Google to re-index pages
- Get Google alerts when they find spam on your site
- Locate the sites that externally link to your site
- Uncover which URL Google chose as the canonical version and see if it matches the one you chose
- Check hreflang implementation on your site and international targeting
Should I use GSC?
The short answer is, if you have a website – yes, you should use GSC. Business owners, SEO teams, digital marketers, and website developers, in particular, should use GSC to heavily focus on the health and success of websites. You can use GSC and BrightEdge together in order to gain maximum exposure to all of your performance and ranking information.
BrightEdge integrates with GSC, making our platform a one-stop-shop to determine your content performance metrics. Like GSC, BrightEdge will notify you via Anomaly Detection if your pages see an increase in impressions, clicks, or CTR.
Monitor Performance in GSC
Within Google Search Console, go to “search results” on the left-hand side.
Within this report, there are filters available to you including:
- Search type. You can filter for web, image, video, and news here. You can also compare search types to one another.
- Date. Here, you can filter between one week to 16 months and you can also customize the timeframe you’re looking for as well. There is also a “compare” section where you can determine how your site is performing week on week, month on month, year on year, etc.
- Query. Using the query filter, you can find queries containing or not containing specific keywords as well as find exact queries.
- Page. Leveraging the page filter, you can locate exact URLs as well as compare two URLs to each other.
- Country. Here, you can see how your site is performing in all countries that your site is visible in.
- Device type. While mobile indexing becomes increasingly important, it is more relevant now than ever before to track your mobile performance. You can filter device type including desktop mobile, and tablet. You can also compare two devices type performances. This can help you determine whether or not your mobile SEO needs work.
- Search appearance. Using the search appearance feature will show you how your rich snippets, videos, AMP articles, and more are performing.
Google Search Console reporting options
There are many Google reports and tools you can use to identify and track performance information in GSC. Below are some of the most relevant:
- URL Inspection tool. Using the URL Inspection tool, you can get information on the indexed version of a page Google chose. You can also request a URL to be crawled here.
- Coverage report. This detailed report will tell you which pages on your site are indexed and which aren’t but can be indexed and the reasons why.
- Core Web Vitals report. This tells you how your pages perform based on Chrome’s User Experience Report. Use this to fix poor-performing pages based on actual usage data
- Mobile Usability report. Use the Mobile Usability report to track how your site is performing on mobile. Mobile success should be of high priority to you therefore you should check back in on this report regularly.
Google offers video tutorials that will both introduce you to GSC and give you a deep dive into setting up and using the tool. Most SEOs and digital marketers leverage GSC on a daily to weekly basis to best understand site performance.