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How to Use Google Search Console to Improve SEO

Last Updated : 05 Dec, 2023
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In the vast realm of the internet, standing out can be quite a challenge. Whether you’re running a personal blog or managing a business website, search engine optimization (SEO) is your trusted sidekick in the quest for online visibility. Google Search Console, a free tool provided by the search giant itself, is a superhero’s utility belt for enhancing your SEO efforts.


What is the Google Search Console?

Google offers a free web service called Google Search Console (GSC), formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools. It offers a wide range of tools and reports that help website owners, webmasters, and SEO professionals monitor, optimize, and troubleshoot their website’s performance in Google search results. It provides the following suite of tools:

  • Performance Data: GSC provides insights into how your website is performing in Google search, including information on clicks, impressions, click-through rates (CTR), and average position for specific keywords and pages.
  • URL Inspection: This tool allows you to check how Googlebot crawls and indexes individual pages on your site. You can request indexing for specific URLs, view indexing status, and troubleshoot any crawling or indexing issues.
  • Coverage Report: It shows you which pages on your website are indexed by Google and which ones have issues preventing indexing. This helps you identify and address potential problems.
  • Sitemap Submission: You can submit your website’s XML sitemap to GSC, which helps Google understand the structure of your site and index its pages more effectively.
  • Mobile Usability: GSC checks your site’s mobile-friendliness and highlights issues that could negatively impact mobile search rankings.
  • Security Issues: It notifies you of any security problems or malware detected on your website, ensuring a safe browsing experience for users.

Why Is Google Search Console Important for SEO?

Google Search Console is crucial for SEO for several reasons:

  • Performance Insights: GSC provides valuable data about how your website performs in Google search results. You can see which keywords drive traffic, monitor CTR and impressions, and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Indexing Control: You can submit your sitemap and request indexing for specific pages, helping Google crawl and index your content faster and more accurately.
  • Issue Identification: GSC alerts you to crawl errors, security issues, and mobile usability problems. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent drops in rankings and organic traffic.
  • Structured Data: You can use GSC to test and validate structured data (schema markup) on your site, which can enhance your search results with rich snippets and improve click-through rates.
  • Keyword Research: While not as comprehensive as dedicated keyword research tools, GSC provides insights into which keywords users use to find your site. You can optimize your content accordingly.

Getting Started with Google Search Console

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of SEO improvements, let’s ensure you have Google Search Console set up for your website.

  1. Sign Up: If you haven’t already, create a Google account. Then, visit the Google Search Console website and sign in with your Google account.
  2. Add Your Website: Click on the “Add Property” button and enter your website’s URL. Google will ask you to verify ownership by adding a small piece of code to your website or through other methods.
  3. Verification: Follow the instructions to verify your website. Once verified, you’re ready to explore the treasure trove of data that will help you improve your SEO game.

Image #1: The Google Search Console Home

Understanding Search Analytics

One of the most valuable features of Google Search Console is the “Search Analytics” report. It provides insights into how your website is performing in Google’s search results. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Click on “Performance” in the left sidebar: This will take you to the Search Analytics report.
  2. Date Range: You can choose the date range to analyze your website’s performance. Start with the default settings, which typically display data for the last 3 months.
  3. Key Metrics: Focus on the following key metrics
    1. Total Clicks: The number of clicks your website received from Google search results.
    2. Total Impressions: The number of times your website appeared in search results.
    3. Average CTR (Click-Through Rate): The percentage of clicks divided by impressions.
    4. Average Position: The average ranking of your website in search results.

Image #2: Adding a new Domain Inside New Property

How to use Google Search Console

Using Google Search Console effectively involves the following steps:

  1. Verification: First, you need to verify ownership of your website. This typically involves adding a unique code snippet or HTML file to your site or verifying through DNS or Google Analytics.
  2. Set Up Sitemap: Submit your XML sitemap to GSC to help Google understand your site’s structure.
  3. Monitor Performance: Regularly check the performance report to assess how your site is doing in search results. Look for trends, opportunities, and issues.
  4. Fix Issues: Address crawl errors, security issues, and mobile usability problems as soon as they are identified in GSC.
  5. Submit URL Indexing Requests: If you have new content or updates, use the URL inspection tool to request indexing for specific pages.
  6. Use Other Features: Explore other tools like the URL inspection tool, structured data testing, and mobile usability reports to enhance your site’s performance.

Optimizing Content and Keywords

  1. Identify Top-Performing Content: In the Search Analytics report, look for pages with high click-through rates and a good number of clicks. These are your top-performing pages.
  2. Analyze Keywords: Review the keywords that are driving traffic to your site. Are there specific keywords that perform exceptionally well? Identify these and consider integrating them into other pages or creating new content around them.
  3. Low-Performing Content: If you have pages with low click-through rates or impressions, it might be time to revisit and improve them. Check if your meta titles and descriptions are engaging and relevant to the content

Fixing Technical Issues

A well-optimized website also needs to be technically sound. Google Search Console helps you identify and fix technical issues:

  1. Coverage Report: Under the “Index” section, you’ll find the “Coverage” report. This report highlights any indexing issues Google has encountered while crawling your website. Address and fix these issues to ensure all your pages get indexed.
  2. Sitemap Submission: Submitting an XML sitemap of your website to Google through Search Console can help Googlebot discover and crawl your pages more efficiently.
  3. Mobile Usability: Check the “Mobile Usability” report to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Google’s mobile-first indexing means your site’s mobile version is a significant ranking factor.

Monitoring Backlinks and Security

Two more crucial aspects of SEO are monitoring backlinks and ensuring the security of your website:

  1. Backlinks: Google Search Console provides a “Links” report under the “Index” section. Here, you can see which websites link to your content. Monitor these backlinks to ensure they come from reputable sources. Disavow any harmful or spammy backlinks.
  2. Security Issues: Under the “Security & Manual Actions” section, you’ll find a “Security Issues” report. Regularly check this report for any security-related problems, such as malware or hacking attempts. A secure website is favored by both search engines and users.

Regular Check-ins and Iterations

Optimizing your website for search engines is not a one-and-done task; it’s a dynamic and ongoing process. Google’s algorithms evolve, competitors make changes, and user behavior shifts over time. To maintain and improve your SEO performance, regular check-ins and iterations are essential. Here’s how you can establish a routine for monitoring and refining your SEO strategy:

  1. Monthly Performance Reviews: Set aside time each month to review your website’s performance in Google Search Console. Pay attention to the following aspects:
  2. Traffic Trends: Look for patterns and trends in your website’s traffic. Are there any spikes or drops in clicks and impressions? Identify the causes behind these changes and adjust your strategy accordingly
  3. Keyword Performance: Check how your target keywords are performing. Are certain keywords gaining or losing traction? Consider adjusting your content strategy to capitalize on high-performing keywords
  4. Crawl Errors: Regularly inspect the “Coverage” report to ensure that Google is not encountering indexing issues on your website. Address any crawl errors promptly.

Differentiate Between Google Search Console vs. Dedicated Tracking Tools

While Google Search Console provides valuable SEO data, it’s not a direct replacement for dedicated keyword tracking platforms like SEMrush or AHREFs. Here are some key differences:

Google Search Console

Dedicated Tracking Tools

GSC primarily provides data related to your website’s performance in Google search

The dedicated tools offer data from multiple search engines and other sources.

GSC offers limited keyword research capabilities compared to dedicated tools

They provide extensive keyword suggestions, search volume, and competition analysis.

Competitor analysis, chain linking and other advance features are missing, only access to the basic set of tools

Dedicated tools often offer competitor analysis features, helping you understand your competitors’ strategies and keywords

Backlink analysis is not natively supported within the array of GSC

Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs provide comprehensive backlink analysis

The GSC is a very basic service when it comes to site audits, rank tracking etc.

These often include features like site audits, rank tracking, and content optimization suggestions

How to use Google Search Console to drive more traffic to your site

To use Google Search Console to increase traffic to your website, consider these strategies:

  1. Keyword Optimization: Identify high-traffic keywords in GSC and optimize your content to rank better for them.
  2. CTR Improvement: Focus on pages with high impressions but low CTR. Rewrite meta titles and descriptions to make them more enticing.
  3. Structured Data: Implement schema markup to enhance your search results with rich snippets, making them more attractive to users.
  4. Mobile Optimization: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly to capture mobile search traffic.
  5. Fix Indexing Issues: Resolve crawl errors and ensure all important pages are indexed.
  6. Regular Monitoring: Continuously monitor GSC for performance changes and issues that may arise.
  7. Security: Monitor the security issues report to ensure your site is safe for users.
  8. Performance Monitoring: Keep an eye on performance metrics and make necessary adjustments to improve your site’s search visibility.


In the ever-evolving digital landscape, staying on top of your SEO game is crucial for online success. Google Search Console serves as your trusty companion, providing valuable data and insights to improve your website’s visibility in search results. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can harness the power of this free tool to enhance your SEO efforts and achieve better results on the web.

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