Google Search Console previously known as Google Webmaster is a useful tool to optimize our website. But as you know people always forget to do the easiest things, likewise, many webmasters also ignore to utilise the useful features of Webmaster tool. So, in this article I will tell you how to fix search engine optimization problems and follow your website’s ranking performance. Of let, Google Search Engine has added many unique features to make your website more accessible and using these features is very important to follow the latest Google algorithm.
Table of Contents
- Sign up process for Google Search Console
- Crawl Stats
- Crawl Errors
- Site Maps Generation
- Content Keywords Tool
- Links to Your Site
- Structured Data
- HTML Improvements
- Search Queries
How to Sign Up and add your site in Google Search Console
This is pretty easy to setup. Just type google webmaster in Google search to find this link https://www.google.com/webmasters/#?modal_active=none. You can use your existing Gmail account or you can create a new one.
Then the next step is to add property or your website to the Google Search Console. You can do this by clicking on add property option. Some sites use www and some without it, so, first, decide which matches you and then add. Then you will get another screen to verify your website. There will be 4 options, you can choose anyone. I prefer the first one, in which you just have to download an HTML file and upload it to your web server’s root directory. Lastly, you need to click on the verify to finish the process.
How to check Crawl Status
After logging in you will get a dashboard showing different data and graphs. Just head over to the Crawl option at the right bottom corner of the page. Then you will get a drop down menu and click on Crawl status. It will give you an idea of Googlebot activity.
Checking Crawl Errors
This is very important to check crawl error as it prevents search engines to index your website. Crawl error option plays above the Crawl Status option. There will be two sections:
Site Errors: It will graphically show you how many time Googlebot fails to index your website for 90 days.
URL errors: This section will show you how many URLs couldn’t crawl due to 404 error or Url error. The reasons could be removing the web page or wrong redirection etc. So you need to manually remove those URLs or pages from the server or there is an option in Google Search Console called “Remove Url”, you can use any of them.
How to generate Site Maps:
Sitemap is very much important for SEO Ranking. When Googlebot comes to your site, it searches for sitemap first. It tells Googlebot which pages of your website is new and which have been updated recently etc. Its generally an XML file which can be generated by third-party sitemap generator or you can use webmaster also. To submit an XML sitemap search XML sitemap generator in google. You will find a lot of websites to generate XML sitemap. Then create and download a site map by putting your website URL and upload it to the root directory of your server. After that open Google search console and go to site map option in Crawl menu. Then click on ADD/TEST SITEMAP option and type your sitemap’s name like “sitemap.xml”. Before clicking on the submit press TEST button to check whether your sitemap has been uploaded or not.
Content Keywords Tool
Content Keyword tool has a significant role in make your web pages keyword centric. It will show the main keywords your website has and how they are helping to rank in Google. You will get an option to download entire data in CSV format. After downloading the file you will get to know how many time a keyword has been repeated on a particular page. This will help you to know the worth of any keyword.
Links to Your Site
Link to your site feature shows you how to analyse backlinks pointing back to your website. It will also help you to know the most linked content and what are the anchor text you have used to get backlinks. You can click on the links and go the exact web pages you got the backlink. By analysing this option you can manage your backlinking strategies for better results.
Structured data is a unique tool to help search engines to understand your website’s elements. Your website is made up of many contents. There are author bio, dates and other options. So sometimes it becomes difficult to understand everything for the search engine. Search engines apply structured data to produce rich snippets which are individual portion’s information that will then become visible in search results.
To use structured data tool you have to log in to webmaster tool then select your website. You will see Data highlighter option at the left side, then you have to put URL of the website. You will get a new window, it will ask you to tag your elements with your mouse. This a quick process and you should use this feature to make your website better for new google algorithm
Google frequently has to change their services and enhancing every tool for improvement of integrated websites. If you are really thinking to optimize your site for Google then you should seriously think about HTML improvement. By this section, you will identify many things like
- Duplicate meta descriptions
- Long meta descriptions
- Short meta descriptions
- Title tag issues
- Non-indexable content etc
Search query option located in the search traffic option. It will show some of the very important data regarding your keyword and search phrases. You can organic search information like how many clicks your keyword has got, how is the CTR, you average position etc. You can consider this part as a mini version of Google analytics.
There are lot more options in Google search console and I will discuss those in next session. Till then keep navigating this options to become familiar with webmaster tool.