If you have a website, the holy grail is more traffic. If you’re a blogger, it will extend your influence. If you run an eCommerce or affiliate site, you will make more money. Nothing bad can come from having more clicks to your site. A simple-to-use tool from Google will help you increase your traffic in a variety of different ways. It’s Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools. It’s packed with features that can aid your site. What’s more, it’s free. What are you waiting for?
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (or GSC) is a free service from Google, enabling you to monitor and manage your site’s search functionality. It has numerous different functions, but broadly, they help you refine your site so it performs as well as it possibly can in Google. If you can rank high in Google you will get traffic.
Let’s get started!
Search Google Search Console and click on the correct link. You’ll need to enter your website’s URL and verify that you are the owner.
Before we delve deeper into the world of GSC, it may help to know what some of the words you see mean, in the context of GSC.
- Clicks – when someone clicks on a link to your site, after seeing it in Google
- Impressions – when someone sees a link to your site on Google (whether they click on it or not)
- CTR – Click Through Rate. Impressions divided by clicks. The proportion of times your link is clicked on, compared to how many times it’s shown. Expressed as a percentage.
- Position – The number on Google’s search results pages that your site appears. Top is number 1.
4 Ways to use Google Search Console to Boost Traffic:
#1 Find out why people are clicking on your site
Once you’ve made it into GSC, you’ll see a menu on your left. This menu leads to all of the features GSC offers. Click on ‘search traffic’ then ‘search analytics’ and you’ll see an analytics chart (shown above).
In the list below the chart, you’ll be able to see exactly what people are searching for when they click on to your site. These keywords and phrases are incredibly valuable for search engine optimization (SEO).
To boost traffic, find what people want to see on your site, and put more of it up there. If you’re blogging broadly about music, and you find out through GSC that half of your clicks are coming from people searching about hip hop music, make sure your next articles are about Kanye West and Migos.
#2 Find Out Why People Aren’t Clicking on Your Site
On the same chart, CTR is essential to find out what isn’t working on your site. If a particular page on your site is receiving large numbers of impressions for a search term, but only a small number of clicks, something is amiss. It means people are being offered your page on Google, but thinking ‘no thanks’ and clicking somewhere else.
You can improve this situation by addressing your page’s title and description. Make them more descriptive and appealing. Sell the benefits of clicking. You will reap the rewards.
It’s difficult to say what is an acceptable CTR. It depends on your position on Google’s search results. If you’re in position 1, it should be around 30%, but that number falls away dramatically the further down Google you go.
#3 See Who is Linking to Your Site
The ‘links to your site’ page on GSC can be found in the ‘search traffic’ menu. It shows you if other sites are linking to yours, and if so, who.
Backlinks are one of the main contributing factors to a high rating on Google. It was the strategy that Google search was founded upon. However, if bad quality sites are linking to you, it can have the opposite effect. Google will penalize you, marking you down in the rankings.
To boost your traffic, use GSC to see who is linking to your site. If they’re good quality sites, that’s great. Contact them and try to get them to link to you some more. In addition, connect with sites similar to those that are linking to you. See if they will put links up for you too.
If you see a bad quality site on the list, and you think Google may be marking you down because of it, you have the opportunity to ‘disavow’ those links.
#4 Fix Errors
GSC also helps you find malfunctions on your site. These errors may cause problems for your readers, and Google will mark you down as a result. These errors include 404s, when a link on your site leads to nowhere, usually an old page that you took down ages ago. GSC gives you the information to go back and fix broken links.
GSC can also help you find out if your site is mobile optimized, or not. As mobile overtakes desktop for Internet use, it’s never been more important that your site works smoothly on mobile. Google knows this, and marks down sites that aren’t optimized for mobile. If GSC tells you that all or part of your site isn’t optimized, it’s something you must fix as soon as you can. It will lead to an increase in mobile traffic, however, so it will be worth it.
You can also find out if you have any issues with security, which is always handy to know. If GSC tells you, you must get them fixed.
These are just four ways where using Google Search Console can help you boost your traffic, and make a success of your site. There are many other useful features on GSC. Go in there and get a little lost, you’ll be surprised what you can find. How you use it is up to you, but seeing as it’s free, you really should be making use of Google Search Console today.