How to Use Google Search Console to Boost Your Website Rankings

Google Search Console Guide

As a business, you’re going to want to make use of all the free tools available to help your business get more recognition. One of the best such freebies is Google’s Search Console, which provides you with great insights into your website’s performance on Google Search.

The problem is, if you’re not already adept at using it and understanding all the terminology associated with SEO and programming, it can cause a bit of a headache. Various numbers staring back at you. Wiggly lines indicating something wrong (or right?) with your website. Errors demanding your immediate attention. It can be a lot to take in, but when used correctly Google’s Search Console provides you with valuable information on ways to improve your website’s search performance.

The good news is that you don’t have to stare at those numbers all day. Any new issues found will be emailed to you. However, It is worth logging in every month or so to check out your performance reports and make any necessary changes, particularly if you have added or changed the content on your site.

Understanding Search Console Terminology

To begin, let’s get to grips with the terminology. Google uses three steps to generate results from your web pages.

Crawling

This is the discovery process. Search engines scour the internet looking for new and updated content. This can be anything from an image to a video to a webpage. The way search engines do this is via a pathway of links, which is how they see the new content. A webpage isn’t just accidentally stumbled upon, it’s found because it’s connected to something else.

How to Improve the Crawling of Your Site

  • Make sure that Google can reach the pages on your site, see the content and understand it
  • Submit your sitemap to Search Console – it’s not a necessary step but it can help speed up the process of discovery
  • Good navigation is key – make sure your homepage links to the important pages and sections of your site
  • Increase your backlinks
  • Block unwanted crawling by using robots.txt

Indexing

Google has found your content and now it must figure out what it’s about. Google will analyse all the content on the page and try to understand it so it can store this information away in the Google Index to be used at a later date.

How to Improve the Indexing of Your Site

  • Use short page titles
  • Use page headings to convey message of page
  • More text than other content – this is easier for Google to index
  • Add alt text to images and video
  • Check Search Console’s Index Coverage Report to see all of the pages Google indexed or tried to index and fix any errors and warnings

Ranking

That information Google just stored when indexing? Here’s where it comes into play. When a user submits a query into the search engine, Google pulls out all that stored information to find the most relevant answer. With so many results to choose from, Google ranks them based on numerous factors such as: quality, user experience, relevance, location, language and device used.

How to Improve the Ranking of Your Site

  • Ensure your pages are fast to load
  • Check the Mobile Usability Report to see if there are any issues affecting the user experience on mobile
  • Continue to upload fresh content to your website
  • Optimise old content
  • Follow our guide to local SEO best practices

What Is Schema Markup?

Schema Markup is essentially a bit of code that you place on your website to help search engines display more informative and engaging results. Rather than just your usual meta title and description, schema markup allows you to showcase rich snippets such as price, customer reviews and event dates. If you have a brick and mortar store, you can also display your opening hours.

By adding schema markup, it changes the way search engines index the content on your site, improving your overall rankings and click-through rate.

What’s Next?

Keep checking over your Google Search Console dashboard every month or so to get a quick health check on your site, particularly when adding new content.

If you would like more help building the rankings of your site and adding schema markup, our team of performance marketing experts and SEO specialists can help. Get in touch by emailing success@5874commerce.com or calling 0121 369 5874.

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