SEO Tips: 6 things brands must check regularly on the Google Search Console
Keeping your business in good health is important for all brands. But just as important is ensuring the health of your website.
And your website’s “Health Center” is the Google Search Console tool.
I consult the Search Console daily as well as those of our clients. This is very important to check that everything is in order and that there are no major bugs. The GSC gives the important points to watch to save time on these somewhat technical aspects of SEO.
What is the Google Search Console for?
Originally, this tool, offered for free by Google, was intended for webmasters. Hence its old name Google Webmaster Tool.
But today, every entrepreneur is also a webmaster. In fact, a business without a website is no longer really a business these days.
You must manage your visibility on the web rigorously and diligently. In addition, collecting a significant flow of traffic to your site is fundamental to growing your business.
Through Search Console, Google gives you a wealth of information about your website and how it sees and understands it. Google indexes websites, and in particular the pages of websites, using Googlebot. It is no more and no less than a little piece of software that visits your website regularly.
Thanks to all the data collected by this robot, Google knows many aspects of your site and shares them with you.
Why consult it regularly?
The data collected by the GSC is like the health check of your website. This is why it is important to make your website Google friendly. Thus, Google will have a precise vision of your themes and your core business. It can then offer your business to Internet users who could become your future customers!
Investing significant efforts to build your brand, produce quality content, distribute it on social networks in order to generate quality traffic on your website is all in vain if Google does not ‘OK’ your website.
How often to visit the Google Search Console?
Once the decision to consult the tool on a regular basis is taken, the question of the frequency of consultation arises.
Our answer: It all depends on how important your business website is to you.
Regardless of the size of your company, your level of turnover or your number of employees, if visibility and the development of your brand image are a priority, you must devote time regularly to consult your Search Console.
That being said, we advise you to check your Search Console:
At least once a month, for a full consultation,
If possible once a week, to resolve any problems (15-30 minutes),
And if your website is critical to your business, check it out for at least 5 minutes, every day. To make sure that your SEO strategy is on the right track and that there are no indexing issues.
A good way to proceed is to plan a “complete check-up” (1 hour of work) once a month, and a quick check (a few minutes) on a very regular basis.
11 checkpoints on Search Console [Checklist]
A quick glance at the big picture
Once logged into your Search Console account, click on the property (site) that interests you. The overview is displayed with the navigation menu on the left.
This overview is made up of 3 main sections:
At the top right, there is also a notification icon that lets you know if Google has sent you any messages. It is often to notify you of errors that you also receive by email.
From “Performances”, if the traffic generated by Google does not suffer a worrying drop,
In the “Coverage” frame, if you have indexing errors that may come from problems in your sitemap file.
And at the bottom in “Improvements”, errors by topic: essential Web signals, Mobile ergonomics, AMP, Fields of research…
We will come back to all of these topics in detail later in this article.
Once this first very quick dashboard run is completed, then go to the next step of my Google Search Console Checklist, if you see any points to correct.
View and resolve your Index errors
The second item in the Search Console navigation menu is “Index”. The Google index is quite simply a large database in which Google stores all the pages and websites around the world.
Note: Google can only include pages that are in its Index in its search results. And if a page does not appear in its Index, it is as if it did not exist in terms of SEO. If your business website is not in Google’s index, you are unlikely to appear in search results. Your SEO is non-existent.
The Search Console tool provides key information about the pages on your website that are in Google’s index.
2.1. View coverage data
Regularly check the shape of the indexing state curve. The curve must be constantly growing.
If it is not, it is:
That there is a problem with your website,
That you mistakenly modified your robots.txt file,
That you don’t create content regularly,
Or that you have intentionally deleted pages from your website.
In the first 2 cases, act quickly to correct the problem!
We recommend that you take the following steps:
Check regularly that the number of errors is not increasing faster than adding pages to your site. If so, there is a problem that needs to be resolved quickly.
Set a goal of reviewing error details and correcting a specific number of errors very regularly.
2.2. Check your sitemaps
Check this page regularly and deal with any errors and warnings there! It’s also a good way to check the index date of your pages. So, you know if your updates have been taken into account by the search engine.
If you are working in WordPress, you can implement this with plugins like Yoast SEO.
2.3. Manage your URL deletions
In this section, you can declare URLs that you no longer use or that are obsolete to Google. This way, Google will also remove them from its Index. Again, this is a way to speed up the Index update instead of waiting for the robots to find out for themselves.
Analyze the improvements suggested by Google
Once indexed, Google analyzes your pages so that it can rank them in its search results. Among all the criteria for analysis, there are many technical factors such as page load time, their compatibility on mobile, not to mention the analysis of structured data.
The Search Console offers you a detailed report of:
Essential web signals (account load time and the quality of the user interface),
The AMP format,
Structured data such as FAQs, search fields, breadcrumbs…
Note: you may not have all of these sections or others. It all depends on what you have implemented on your site and what Google manages to identify in its index. Even if it’s less vital than Index errors, try to quickly correct any suggested improvements, for at least 2 reasons:
Google always prefers to highlight error-free pages
If you delay, you risk accumulating dozens of mistakes
Check security and other manual actions
Google is involved in the health of your site, but also in the protection of its users. In addition to its powerful algorithms, there is also a team of reviewers (humans) who can take action against you.
They are indicated in this section according to 2 categories:
Manual actions (to verify that Google does not have a grievance with your site),
Security issues (alerts you if it thinks that your site has been hacked by hackers).
Check your links profile
With this feature, you study your backlinks (external links) as well as your internal links, that is to say the mesh of your site. It is important to work on your external links to increase your domain authority (DA) and therefore your positioning in Google searches.
We recommend that you open this section in order to simply ensure that there is no sudden drop in the number of external links identified by Google. If so, analyze the reason and make sure there is no problem with your popularity or partner sites.
Analyze how internet users find you
It is better to start by correcting most of the errors before analyzing your presence in the SERPs. The data in the performance section is displayed according to 4 dimensions of interest to you:
The number of clicks: the number of visitors who clicked on one of your links in Google which points to your site,
The impressions: the number of times that Google users have seen one of your pages in search results,
The CTR, or click rate: the ratio between the number of clicks and the number of impressions, multiplied by 100 to obtain a percentage,
The position: the position of your page in the results, for example 3rd position, 30th, or 50th, …
This section specifies the traffic that Google sends to your site, and from which keywords.
We recommend that you abuse this tool. It gives you lots of ideas on what kind of content your visitors are interested in and how to find and improve your poor content! You can test what works to constantly improve your positioning and work on your SEO.
This article has only one goal – to help you realize the importance of the health of your website. A healthy site has a higher chance of appearing on the first page of Google for the keywords you are aiming. Do not neglect the information that Google points out to you, it is there to help you and provide the best user experience for Internet users.
With the Google Search Console tool, which is free, make sure that Google:
Correctly indexes the pages of your website,
Position your pages well, and on which search keywords,
Does not have a grievance towards your site,
Can browse your site, via its crawlers, without a problem,
Finds your site easy to use for mobile devices,
And many other things that are important for users.