How to use Google Search Console To Drive More Search Traffic

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Are you looking to get more people to visit your website?

A lot of people when first starting out make a big mistake when building and managing a website. They think that they can make a website that looks great, set it live, and thousands of people will find it. Without any further effort, people will visit the site every day and traffic graphs will continually point upwards. Unfortunately that is not the case.

While some websites and businesses do get lucky, go viral, and get extremely popular overnight, the vast majority have to put a lot of work in to get their name out to people. There are multiple ways people do this, the entire marketing industry is based around it. When talking about websites, there are a few main channels that people utilise, these are paid advertising, SEO, social, and email. There are of course more channels marketers make use of, but those four are the main digital ones that are used most frequently.

It can be tough to know where to start when marketing a new website. There are a lot of articles and videos online that say a lot of buzzwords without really saying much else. As with so many things in life, it’s best to start right at the beginning with some of the basics and not get dragged into more advanced techniques until you have a solid grasp of the fundamentals.

This article will hone in on a particular area of one of the four main digital channels, SEO. In particular we’ll discuss a tool in the SEO toolkit that can be of great use, this is Google Search Console. If you are looking to increase traffic to your website through SEO, Google Search Console should definitely be looked at.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a marketing channel that focuses on getting people to a website via their searches online. Everytime you put a question or keywords into a search engine, it brings up a list of websites for you to choose from. SEO is about making sure your website is in that list and gets clicked on. 

What a lot of people don’t realise when looking into SEO is that some traffic is worth more than others. For instance if you are an online shop, there is little value getting millions of clicks if no one converts into a sale. This means you are targeting the wrong people in your marketing activities.

Why use Google Search Console in SEO?

When people talk about SEO and search engines, most of the time they are actually just referring to Google because it commands such a large amount of the market. There are a huge number of tools available to people working in SEO, however most of the tools don’t have access to the first hand data that Google uses, it is all secondary and speculative.

Google keeps the details of their search algorithm very secret. But through search console, you get an inside look at how Google would like you to manage your site for the best search results. It is straight from the horse's mouth, as opposed to via a third party.

Using search console, you can view errors and issues Google has when crawling your site, fix certain issues, and get information and data about site use. It’s a great source of information that should be utilised.

How to use Google Search Console To Drive More Search Traffic

This article doesn’t cover all of the strategies you can use in search console to improve traffic, but it will give you a direction to head in. Understanding your way around search console will help you gain insights into your site’s performance that are extremely valuable.

Improve your site’s technical SEO

The first tip to improving your traffic with search console falls into the technical category of SEO. This concerns itself with the way your site is set up and how easily search engines can access the information on your pages. Through search console you are able to view a list of indexing errors. If you have indexing problems, your pages with the errors will not show up in the search results so getting this right is very important.

Within the dashboard you will be able to navigate to the index coverage report, this will give you a list of pages that are successfully and unsuccessfully indexed in the search result pages. Sometimes this will come up with a huge list of ‘errors’, ‘valid with warnings’, ‘valid’, and ‘excluded’. Begin by prioritising the errors that affect the most amount of pages. There will be information about each of the errors next to them, by clicking on more information, begin to learn about the issue and then research the fix. A lot can be simply rectified in a few clicks. 

Gain insights on your audience and target demographics

Search console provides a lot of information about the pages that are indexed, what search terms they rank for, what devices people search particular terms on, and how many visits you get.

This data is highly valuable and can be used in multiple ways. One of the most effective is to see what pages are performing the best, both in terms of impressions, click through rate, and bounce rate. If a page is getting a lot of impressions, but not many click throughs, consider updating the metadata to make it more appealing to people viewing the listing in the search results.

Similarly, if the page has a high bounce rate, you know that people are landing on the page but are not staying there long enough to convert towards your particular goal. Consider updating your content to keep people on the page for longer and captivate their interests.

There are a lot of different ways you can utilise search console to improve your organic traffic. Google Search console is extremely powerful and you should take the time to learn more about it if you are serious about improving your traffic levels through SEO.