A Guide to an SEO Audit
If you’ve been running a website for some time, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with Google’s Search Console. But this guide is for you if you’re new to Search Console or have never spent time with it. It’ll walk you through all that Search Console has to offer and help you discover what Google Search Console is, its importance, how to utilize it, and much more. Ready? Let’s go!
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a hosted service that Google provides to help you with your SEO. This hosted service provides tools that let you understand where traffic is coming from and how well it performs on your website. Google analyses your site’s performance based on the data you provide them. And eventually, this data is used to build a profile of your site and how it performs over time.
By using Google Search Console, you can answer questions like:
“How many people visit your site? How long do they stay? What pages do they see? Where do your visitors come from? What were people searching for that led to your site?”
Without Search Console, however, these questions would remain unanswered. This means you would be in the dark, wondering what happened to all of your traffic. Indeed, you’re in charge when you understand how your site performs!
Main Features of Google Search Console
Search Traffic is the main reason that most marketers use Google Search Console. This tool gives you the ability to see your organic search performance.
Organic search traffic is the traffic you receive from Google and other search engines based on specific keywords or phrases typed into Google, Bing, etc. So, if you have a website with very little organic traffic, it can be beneficial to leverage this feature to improve your ranking.
The Search Analytics section of Google Search Console gives you insight into where and how people find your website. You can find it within the “Crawl Errors” section of the dashboard. Search Analytics helps you to understand where people come from and how they find your site.
The network sharing feature allows you to see other sites with similar content. Like Search Analytics, Network Sharing gives insight into how people found those sites.
While this feature is most associated with Search Analytics, it can be extremely helpful if your competitors have similar content to yours or if you have a website linked externally by someone else. On this occasion, you must know what that person who shared your site has to say about it.
Network Sharing is great for learning about which publications have linked to your site or for seeing which keywords people use when they find your website.
The keyword overview section gives you an insight into which keywords you rank for. Doing this helps you learn what keywords to focus on to improve your organic search traffic. In addition, it also lists the number of people who’ve clicked on those queries. As a result, you can learn where people are gaining organic traffic and how many views that traffic generates.
Search Console Help
Here, you get information on using the tools in Google Search Console. In addition, a link allows you to access the Google Search Console Help Blog, which contains helpful information on the use of each tool. In addition, some other articles and videos can help you get familiar with the various features of Google Search Console.
Things to look out for
URL inspection tab: Helps for site clean-up, page inspection, and code analysis. These tools can help to optimize your website and fix broken links in the process.
As previously mentioned, you can use the URL inspection tool to see if a site has been hacked. However, it is necessary to ensure that the URL inspection feature is turned on. When Google crawls your site, they will not be able to determine if your website has been hacked. Ensure this feature is turned on to know if issues arise with your site.
Coverage: Coverage shows the percentage of indexed pages, links to your site, and internal links on your site. It can be used to identify internal issues that can affect your website’s performance. For example, if you have many broken links on your website, it would show up as a significant number in this feature.
Sitemaps: Sitemaps allow you to upload a sitemap for your website. It is important to input the sitemap file into the feature as it helps Google find new pages that may have been added to your website. This tool can also be used if you have moved a page on your site and want to update Google with the new page location. It is also good practice to check this feature as it will alert you if there are any issues with your sitemap.
Removals: Help to determine if others are using your website and copying your content. It will help find who is using the site by showing URLs of pages duplicated on other sites. This feature can also be used to clean up any duplicate content.
Page experience: Page experience lets you see how people find your site. It will show you the number of visitors, their demographics, browsers, and devices accessed on your site. It will also display how long they stayed on your site and if they left a comment or email address with the site.
Core web vitals shows your site’s performance with other websites. With this feature, you get a good idea of where others are ranking and how you perform compared to them.
Mobile usability: Here, you get to know how your website performs on mobile devices. It will show you if there are any issues on mobile devices and give you an idea of what is affecting their performance.
Crawl errors: With this feature, you can view errors that Google has found on your site and how they found out about them. This helps find issues on your site that need to be fixed, such as broken links, missing alt-text, etc.
Conclusion on Google Search Console
The features in Google Search Console are extremely helpful in understanding how your website is performing and what actions improve your organic traffic. Using these features, you can track progress and get valuable insight into how these improvements affect your website’s performance. In addition, these tools will allow you to understand where changes need to be made on your site.
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