Being well positioned in Google search results is often considered essential for the proper development of a website. The search engine is both the most used by Internet users and the best way to acquire new visitors. To understand how your site appears on Google, the latter offers the possibility of installing a free service: the Search Console. This name may not mean anything to you and you are simply wondering: what is the Google Search Console?? How does it work? What is his interest? Discover in this article the functionalities of the tool and its importance for your editorial strategy.
A tool not to be confused with Google Analytics
Google Analytics and Search Console are two services offered by Google to better understand the activity of your website and help you adapt your digital strategy. While complementary, they have distinct advantages.
Analytics: a global vision of the activity of a website
Google Analytics is used to analyze traffic and learn about user behavior. It gives information in terms of audience over a defined period: number of visitors, age, centers of interest, language, geographical origin, type of connection, etc.
Its graphs and other reports also provide information on traffic acquisition channels: organic, direct, through social networks or even through a link from a referring site. With this tool, you can precisely target your audience and determine your areas of improvement to capture more Internet users.
➡️ To deepen your knowledge of Google Analytics, discover the article on the main differences between Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics
Search Console: monitoring the positioning of a site on Google
Google Search Console focuses only on organic traffic, that is, that acquired through Google’s search engine. It allows you to refine the analysis carried out with Analytics and to focus on monitoring the positioning of your site in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page or search engine results page).
With all of its features, you can come up with a plan to grow your SEO quality. This also allows you to avoid the accumulation of errors harmful to the development of your pages.
The Search Console to establish a publication strategy
Whether you are a business owner, SEO specialist or web administrator, the Search Console facilitates your control and management actions. For an SEO web editor, the tool is an essential source of information for developing content and attracting both potential visitors and Google’s algorithms. Several avenues of work are available to this ghostwriting agency:
- Depending on the keywords typed in by Internet users, it has a wide choice of subjects to deal with or go into more detail. He can also adapt the editorial schedule accordingly and be proactive.
- The study of the average CTR per page and per request is an opportunity for him to review the optimization of existing content. If for a given query, the number of impressions is high, but the clicks are low, it may mean that some elements need to be changed. Sometimes changing the title or adding a meta description is enough to encourage a click.
A free service to install to benefit from all the data collected by Google
The next step is to register for free on the Search Console webpage and add a property that matches the domain name (example.com) or URL prefix (https://www.example.com). To prove that you are the owner of the site, different validation methods are available. You can, for example, use the Google Analytics tracking code already configured on your pages.
Once the initial settings have been made, connecting to the service presents no difficulty. The data collected by Google is available to you. In addition, as the owner, you have the choice of authorizing access to the tool to the various stakeholders and in particular to the SEO web editor. The latter can then more easily follow the results of the written content.
Indicators to monitor the performance of a website on the search engine
The Search Console organizes the data collected in the form of tables and graphs, thus facilitating their use. To monitor the performance of a website in Google results, it offers 4 indicators:
- Clicks: they indicate the number of times the Internet user has clicked on the link leading to the site from Google’s SERP.
- Impressions: this is the number of times the user has seen the site while scrolling through the results pages.
- The average CTR: it is expressed as a percentage and relates clicks and impressions. A CTR of 55% means that on average, for every 100 impressions or views, people click the link 55 times.
- The average position: this is about the position of the site in the search results. Position 1 is the highest.
These indicators can be filtered by dimensions: request, page, country, devices (mobile, tablet, computer) or date. The query dimension is particularly interesting since it specifies the words typed by the Internet user to find your URLs (addresses of your pages). This way, you know more about the search intentions of your visitors.
Features to optimize SEO in Google search results
The performance indicators are not the only assets of the Search Console. Many features allow you to control your positioning on the search engine.
A page is indexed when Google’s robots have crawled it and indexed it. This step is important, because without it, the search engine is not able to offer the page among its results. When you add content to your website, you can check with Search Console if it has been indexed. Otherwise, the URL inspection tool allows you to request indexing.
Similarly, you can submit a sitemap. This is a file that contains your sitemap. Its purpose is to guide Google and simplify the exploration of content.
Finally, in the event that a page loses its interest or becomes obsolete, it is possible to deindex it.
The index coverage report to detect errors
The Search Console also allows you to monitor and avoid the accumulation of errors thanks to the coverage report. This gives an overview of the indexing status of all the URLs known to Google. The addresses are classified into 4 categories: valid, in warning, in error or excluded. The more your site grows, the more valid indexed pages should increase.
For other categories, error URLs require special attention. Those of type 404, URL sent not found, are to be corrected as a priority. Indeed, they mean that the address indicated refers to a page that does not exist for Google and therefore for your users.
Google supports to deepen the question “What is the Google Search Console?” »
The features of Search Console are not limited to those described in this article. To go further and use the tool in a relevant way, Google supports provide detailed supplements. They also address other equally valuable reports for your business:
- Mobile ergonomics evaluates the adaptation of URLs to consultation on mobile.
- The Links report provides information about the sites that link to your pages.
- The on-page experience judges the quality of the UX (user experience).
As you can see, Google Search Console can quickly become indispensable. With it, you follow, analyze and act appropriately to strengthen your positioning in Google’s search results. Now all you have to do is install and explore!