Google Search Console, formerly known as Webmasters Tools, is a highly valuable asset for any SEO or webmaster. Next to Google Analytics, it is an industry standard of a product that is recognized as a must for any serious webmaster trying to drive organic search traffic and improve their website. With that being said, what can you do with the tool? Here is a list of 3 useful ways to use Google Search Console for your website today.
Search Analytics: Want to know exactly how much traffic you are getting from Google? Sure you could go to Google Analytics and search via traffic acquisition to find out how much organic traffic you are getting, but this metric counts all search engines, not just Google. To find out how much traffic the almighty Google is giving you, you can go to Search Console and view, “Search Analytics.” This will let you know how your website is doing in terms of Google Traffic.
Sitemaps & Robots Files: Have you created a sitemap and robots.txt file for your website? Good. All websites should have both. But did you do it correctly? That is a more difficult question. Thankfully, Google allows you to test both your sitemap and robots.txt file within Google Search Console. A useful tool to use to make sure you are setting your website up for success.
Check for Manual Actions Penalties: If you follow best SEO practices hopefully this will never happen to your website. But sometimes things out of your control happen and your site will receive a manual action penalty from Google. This is when something from Google decides that your website is trying to “game” search results in an unethical way. If you notice a sudden drop in traffic in Google Analytics, you can reference Google Search Console to see if your site has received a manual action penalty.