With more people using the internet than ever before, it’s essential for a business to have a prominent online presence and an active website that customers are easily able to find and navigate through. Whilst there are many different SEO techniques that can be used to help optimise and drive traffic to a website, getting your website ownership verified in Google Search Console (previously called ‘Webmaster Tools’) and other popular search engines such as Bing Webmaster Tools, which also powers Yahoo & Siri, should be one of the first steps you look into to increase your online presence.
However, it’s not uncommon to find that many businesses avoid doing this due to a lack of understanding and knowing the ins and outs of the process itself. As a result, many are missing the opportunity to gain extremely valuable data and analytics on their website’s performance and how it ranks in search engine results. This insight is what enables businesses to adapt and optimise their sites in order to improve visibility and ranking in the search results for their target audiences.
Adding your site to Google Search Console
Firstly, in order to track how Google is indexing your website, you need to add your site in Google Search Console by signing in or creating a Google Account. Once logged in, enter the URL of your website into the box and click ‘Add Property”.
Verifying your site
Now your website has been added, Google will begin collecting data from its traffic, so the next step is to verify your site. The verification process is purely for confirmation that you own your site and therefore are entitled to request actions or receive the private search data that Google Search Console provides.
There are a number of different ways to verify your website on Google Search Console, whether that’s verifying through adding an HTML tag, uploading an HTML file or domain name provider. Which method you choose to use will be entirely dependent on what suits you and your website. If you’re unsure, luckily Google has provided more information on its Google Search Console’s support page.
The benefits Search Console provides
Google Search Console provides a whole range of benefits for any type of business, all of which can help to improve their SEO strategies.
One of the main benefits that Google Search Console gives businesses is direct insight into the top keywords users are entering into the search engine for which there’s visibility, average ranking and subsequent clicks.
An easy win for many businesses is to improve the internal linking and/or re-optimise pages for which there are high impressions but lower average ranking. By improving the ranking the click through rate (CTR) will typically rise. Position 5 in Google will typically get a 5 per cent CTR whereas Position 3 would have an 11 per cent CTR.
Search Console regularly checks for website errors, broken pages, malware issues and provides businesses with information as to whether they will be penalised for bad SEO practices that can cause the site to lose it’s ranking in the search engines results pages (SERPs). This allows businesses to fix these errors and keep track of any Google updates that may have an impact on their site in order to ensure that all their web pages are appearing in Google’s search results and as high as possible.
With the increasing amount of time people are spending on the internet, it’s vital for businesses to plug their websites into Google Search Console in order to ensure they are making the most of their online presence across both desktop and mobile.
The insights and visitor metrics Search Console provides through reports, tools and resources about a website’s performance can be extremely beneficial for a business’s SEO efforts and for increasing conversions.
Simon Schnieders, Founder and CEO of Blue Array