Introduction to Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) is a complimentary service that assists in monitoring your website’s search performance and technical SEO well-being. It provides insights into various metrics, such as search appearance and user experience, which are instrumental in enhancing your site’s visibility and driving more traffic from Google. GSC enables you to analyze your site’s performance on Google, understand which pages are indexed, submit sitemaps and URLs for crawling, pinpoint technical SEO issues, and much more.
Initiating Google Search Console
To begin using Google Search Console, you must log in with your Google account and add your website as a property. You can choose between adding a domain property for a holistic view of your website’s data or a URL prefix property for specific site sections. Verification is required through your DNS provider for domain properties or via multiple methods like HTML file upload for URL prefix properties.
Roles and Permissions in Google Search Console
Search Console accounts feature two primary roles: owner and user, each with varying levels of access. Owners have comprehensive control over the property, while users have limited permissions. Owners can be verified or delegated, and users can be full or restricted. Associates are also part of the ecosystem, with specific task capabilities.
Sitemap Submission in Google Search Console
Submitting a sitemap via GSC is crucial as it facilitates Google in crawling and indexing your pages more efficiently. The process involves entering the sitemap URL in the Sitemaps section and waiting for Google to process it. A successful submission is confirmed by a status message.
Utilizing Google Search Console Reports
Google Search Console offers a suite of reports and features to enhance your SEO strategy:
- Performance Report: This report provides data on clicks, impressions, CTR, and average position on Google.
- URL Inspection Tool: It allows you to check the index status of individual pages and troubleshoot visibility issues.
- Page Indexing Report: This report shows indexed and non-indexed pages and helps identify and fix indexation problems.
- Sitemaps Report: It displays your sitemap submission history and any issues encountered.
- Page Experience Report: This report evaluates user experience based on criteria like Core Web Vitals, mobile usability, and HTTPS security.
- Enhancements Report: It details structured data on your site and any issues detected.
- Manual Actions Report: It informs you of any manual actions imposed by Google for policy violations.
- Links Report: This report tracks your external and internal links, providing insights into backlinks and site navigation.
- Shopping Report: For e-commerce sites, it shows data on product-related structured data issues.
- AMP Report: It details issues with AMP pages that may prevent them from being indexed.
Integrating Google Search Console with Semrush
Linking your GSC account with Semrush consolidates insights about your website, allowing you to access GSC data alongside tools like On Page SEO Checker, Backlink Audit, and more. This integration also enables you to view competitor data within the same interface.