Google Search Console is an invaluable tool for website owners and SEO professionals. It provides critical insights into how your site performs in Google search results and offers valuable data to help you optimise your web presence. However, to make the most of Search Console, you need to audit your profile regularly. This guide will walk you through the steps to audit your Google Search Console profile effectively.
Why Audit Your Google Search Console Profile
Regularly auditing your Google Search Console profile is essential for several reasons:
- Identify Technical Issues: It helps you identify technical issues affecting your website’s performance in search results. This includes crawl errors, indexing problems, and mobile usability issues.
- Monitor Search Performance: You can track changes in your website’s search performance, including clicks, impressions, and click-through rates (CTR).
- Submit Sitemaps: You can submit sitemaps to ensure Google indexes your site’s pages correctly.
- Check Index Coverage: Auditing allows you to review the index coverage report to see which pages are indexed and which are not.
- Enhance SEO: By analysing search queries and page-specific data, you can refine your SEO strategy.
Step 1: Access Your Google Search Console Account
- Log in to your Google account.
- Visit Google Search Console.
- Select the property (website) you want to audit from the list of properties on your dashboard.
Step 2: Review Performance Data
2.1 Performance Report
- Click on “Performance” in the left sidebar.
- Analyse the data:
- Check the total clicks, impressions, average CTR, and average position.
- Review the data over different time frames to identify trends.
- Use the filters to segment data by queries, pages, countries, and devices. This can help you pinpoint specific areas for improvement.
2.2 URL Inspection Tool
- Click on “URL Inspection” in the left sidebar.
- Enter a URL from your website and click “Enter.”
- Review the index coverage status, mobile usability, and any crawl issues for that specific URL.
Step 3: Examine Index Coverage
- Click on “Index” in the left sidebar and select “Coverage.”
- Review the index coverage report to identify errors or issues with specific pages. Take action to fix these issues.
- Click on each error type to see which pages are affected and follow Google’s recommended actions to resolve them.
Step 4: Check Mobile Usability
- Click on “Enhancements” in the left sidebar and select “Mobile Usability.”
- Review the mobile usability report to identify any issues affecting the mobile experience of your website. Address these issues promptly.
Step 5: Submit Sitemaps
- Click on “Sitemaps” in the left sidebar.
- Submit your website’s sitemap if you haven’t already. Click “Add a new sitemap” and enter the URL of your sitemap.xml file.
- Monitor the sitemap report to ensure that Google is successfully crawling and indexing your site’s pages.
Step 6: Review Enhancements
- Click on “Enhancements” in the left sidebar.
- Explore reports for other enhancements such as Breadcrumbs, Sitelinks Searchbox, and Logo.
- Address any issues or errors found in these reports to improve your website’s search presence.
Step 7: Analyse Links
- Click on “Links” in the left sidebar.
- Review the “External links” and “Internal links” reports to understand how your website is linked to from other sites and internally.
Step 8: Check Security & Manual Actions
- Click on “Security & Manual Actions” in the left sidebar.
- Monitor the Security Issues and Manual Actions reports to ensure that your site is not flagged for any security issues or manual penalties by Google.
Step 9: Set Up Email Notifications
- Click on “Settings” in the left sidebar and select “Preferences.”
- Ensure that email notifications are enabled. This way, you will receive alerts when critical issues arise.
Step 10: Regularly Review and Act
Google Search Console is not a one-time audit tool. To benefit from it consistently, you should:
- Regularly Monitor: Set aside time to review your data and reports at least once a month.
- Act on Insights: Take action on issues identified during your audits promptly.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with Google’s updates and best practices for SEO and search console usage.
Conclusion: Auditing your Google Search Console profile is a vital part of maintaining a healthy online presence. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can identify and address technical issues, monitor search performance, and optimse your website for better search visibility. Regular audits will help you stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of SEO and ensure that your website continues to perform well in Google search results.