If your site does not have a Google Search Console account, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your organization’s SEO. Google Search Console, formally known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results. The Search Console tool is very practical and essentially creates a unique checklist of SEO issues to resolve. Below we have outlined the major items the Search Console tool will highlight and their SEO importance:
- Definition: In Google’s Search Console tool, there is a Content Keywords List which contains the most significant keywords and their variants Google found when crawling a website. This list of keywords provides insight into how Google is interpreting the content of your site.
- Importance- The content keywords provide insight into what search terms for which your site is showing up. By pulling this report, it can alert you to issues on your website. These issues include over-emphasis on a keyword not related to your business or missing keywords related to your business that need more emphasis.
Duplicate Meta Descriptions
- Definition- Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of webpages. Meta descriptions are commonly used on search engine result pages to display preview snippets for a given page.
- Importance- The easier it is for Google to identify and classify individual pages of your site that provide accurate and relevant search results, the higher your site will rank. Therefore, having unique meta descriptions for every page on your site is a best practice, and having duplicate meta descriptions will hurt your SEO.
Duplicate Title Tags
- Definition- Title tags are often used on search engine results pages to display preview snippets for a given page. The title element of a webpage is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content.
- Importance- Similar to meta descriptions, title tags help crawlers identify and classify pages. Therefore, it is important that they are unique, and having duplicate title tags will hurt your organization’s SEO. Additionally, title tags are part of what appears when your website shows up for searches. As a result, having relevant, accurate, descriptive titles is also important for successfully driving quality traffic to your site.
- Definition- The Robot Exclusion Standard, also known as the robots.txt protocol, is a convention to advise cooperating web crawlers and other web robots about accessing all or part of a website which is otherwise publicly viewable.
- Importance- While a robots.txt file is not necessary, it is useful for indicating to search engine crawlers which pages they should pay attention to and which they should ignore. This is especially important for a large site or one that includes many dormant pages.
- Definition- A sitemap is a file where you can list the webpages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content.
- Importance- Creating an official sitemap and submitting it to major search engines gives more credibility to your site in the eyes of the crawlers and makes it easier for them to find and track the website pages. The Sitemap section of the Search Console tool also provides information on how many pages were indexed from the sitemap and what pages were not indexed by crawlers.
Set up your Search Console account now to get started.