If you're not using Google Search Console (formerly called Google Webmaster Tools), then you're losing business.
Strong words, but true. And the sad truth is that most business owners have no idea what it is and/or don’t know how to use it.
So what is it?
Google Search Console (GSC) is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site's presence in Google Search results.
It's not that your site won't show up in the search results without it. Rather, you won't know how your website is doing online.
GSC will show you -
- how your pages are ranking,
- which keywords are bringing in traffic (so you can focus on them to bring in more business),
- how Google sees your site (and it’s not always pretty),
- which websites are linking to yours (sometimes there are sites that you definitely don't want to be linking to yours),
- if there are any errors (such as pages that aren't showing up in search, missing pages (404 errors) or broken links),
- if your site has been hacked (small business websites are the most frequently hacked - hackers seem to think it's fun to do),
- if you've received a manual penalty from Google, meaning that they've decided not to show your page or site because you did something you shouldn't (many people aren't aware of all the things that are against Google's terms of service)
- and much, much more.
This is information you cannot get elsewhere and it’s critical to ensuring that your website ranks well.
Unfortunately, most websites don’t even have Google Search Console set up, and even if they do, business owners (or marketing teams) don’t look at the data.
The end result is that you’re leaving money on the table because you can’t fully optimize your website.
WHAT TO DO
Watch this video with a simple, step-by-step tutorial on how to set up Google Search Console for your website, as well as submit a sitemap to Google. Even beginners can do this!
Don’t forget to subscribe – the next videos will cover how to get the most out of your GSC account.
If you're working with a web designer or marketing firm, make sure they set this up (and do it correctly - many people do it wrong).
And if you're one of my clients, don't worry - I set up GSC for every website I work with (because I couldn't do what I do without it!).
This Quick Read first appeared in the August 2018 GROWth Report newsletter. Want to stay up to date? Subscribe below!