Search Console is a free tool from Google designed to help you understand how Google views your website. It provides insights into the health and overall performance of your site on Google.
If you’ve never used Search Console then the description above probably sounds really boring. But don’t worry, it gets more interesting! Search Console is an incredible tool for getting more high quality traffic to your website. And that translates into more sales with less effort.
Google Search Console Tips
In this article we’ll unpack 4 ways you can use Search Console to improve your visibility in Google. And outperform your competitors for high value search terms. And as you already know, the stronger your site performance, the more business flows your way.
1. Page Level Optimization
Search Console can tell you how many organic searches every page on your website received, and how many people clicked through to that page.
This is powerful information! And here’s an easy way to put it to good use.
You know your top pages are already getting lots of love from Google. And when you think about it, it’s a lot easier to boost a page that’s already doing well than it is to boost one that’s way down in the search results. So with just a few minutes of effort you can potentially get your top pages to drive even more traffic to your site.
First, find the keywords that are generating traffic for your high performing page. You can do this by opening the Performance Report and setting the date filter to 3 months.
In the Performance Report select the Pages tab and click on your top performing page.
Next, click the Queries tab. You should see what keywords are driving your results for that page. More often than not, your top 1 or 2 keywords make up the bulk of your search clicks.
Finally, optimize your page around the phrase that is driving the bulk of your results. Since you know what Google thinks your page is a good fit for your keyword, you can slip related phrases into your text. Google can process natural language, so write naturally around your target phrase.
As long as you are careful not to over optimize your content (ie keyword stuff) then you should see significant gains in your search results for your target keyword. Be sure to save a copy of the original text. If you experience a decline in your ranking you can simply revert to your previous copy.
2. Directed Links
Optimizing your best pages around high performing keywords works great. But sometimes your competition is just too strong to beat the easy way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t win.
One of Google’s top ranking signals is backlinks pointing to your website. When someone cites your page as a positive influence on their own work, Google attributes more authority to your content.
Search Console has already given you two key pieces of information. You know exactly what pages are performing well on your website. And you know what keywords are driving the results for that page.
This is gold!
Use this information to build additional backlinks to these high performing pages. Good backlinks can only drive your search results higher. Link building isn’t always easy, but Search Console improves your chances of getting backlinks to the exact pages you want to promote.
In the left side menu select Links. Then in the upper right side of the report click to Export External Links. Now you have a list of companies that are predisposed to support your brand. Send the list to a b2b data company and they’ll prepare a list of names and emails so you can reach out. Thank them for their previous support and see if they’d be open to a guest post or infographic. Since they’ve supported you in the past there’s a good chance they’ll do so again.
When you create your links use variations of your target keyword as the anchor text. This will further reinforce to Google that your page is the best result for that particular query.
3. Optimize Your Paid Campaigns
It’s worth noting that Search Console can be linked to both Google Ads and Analytics to extend the utility of both platforms.
If you are using Google Ads then you are almost certainly using Google’s Keyword Planner to select keywords you want to bid on. But what if there was a better way?
Keyword Planner shows you popular search terms related to your topic.
Search Console shows you the ACTUAL phrases people are using to search for your solutions. And that’s SO much better. You can see what phrases potential customers are using. Add those terms to your ‘exact match’ keyword lists. This will reduce your bidding costs, and help you find customers you otherwise would have missed.
4. If It Ain’t Broke… Check Anyway
The easiest way to gain market share from your competitors is to have a website that fully complies with Google’s best practices. After all, the better Google likes what you are doing, the more likely they are to send search traffic your way.
But how do you know what Google actually expects from your website?
Great question! And fortunately it’s one that Google has already answered. In Search Console, on the left side menu you’ll see two important tabs. The first is Experience and the second is Security and Manual Actions.
The Security And Manual Actions tab is exactly what it sounds like. You’ll see if Google has identified any issues that prevent them from sharing your pages in the search results. For example, if they think a link on your page leads to a suspicious page they won’t want to risk searchers having access to that link. And your page or whole site could get blocked.
The Experience tab has three sections – Page Experience, Core Web Vitals, and Mobile Usability.
The Page Experience and Core Web Vitals reports are available to help you improve your website experience for your visitors. The reports summarize how your pages perform in real world visits. For example, are your pages secure or loading quickly. Overall experience is important because if Google believes your website has a poor user experience they’ll deprecate your search ranking. Note that smaller websites don’t have enough visitors to generate enough data for a report to be created.
The Mobile Usability tab works for all sites. Google will tell you if there are any issues that need to be fixed for mobile users to have a good experience on your site. This tab is SUPER IMPORTANT because Google has moved to a ‘mobile first’ approach. If your site performs well on small devices then you’ll outperform sites that aren’t as well optimized.
Information Is A Revenue Catalyst
Search Console is valuable because it tells you everything you need to know to improve your search traffic.
You’ll receive insights about what Google thinks about your site. For example, any mobile compatibility issues or security problems. And what pages on your website are indexed, and which are being ignored.
Even better, Search Console provides detailed information about how people are interacting with your site. You can export a list of search terms that are driving visitors to your site. And also see what phrases people are looking for in your niche.
All this information is there to help you make better decisions about your website. The better you apply the lessons Search Console has to offer, the more traffic and subsequent sales you’ll enjoy.
Matthew Murray is the director of Sales Higher, a B2B lead generation firm. Sales Higher grinds through the data so you can focus on landing deals.