How to Use Google Search Console for SEO or Keyword Research

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how to use Google Search Console

Summary: This post offers an ultimate guide for how to use Google Search Console in 2024. Check how to use GSC for SEO or keyword research purposes and how to use it to monitor your site’s health and performance, page indexing status, and more.

About Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free service provided by Google that helps users monitor their site’s health, performance, and presence in Google Search.

Google Search Console offers a set of free tools that help website owners understand how their websites are performing in Google Search and help them troubleshoot issues with the site visibility in Google Search results.

The main features of Google Search Console include monitoring site performance, checking the indexing status of site or pages, identifying errors that may prevent pages from being indexed by Google, submitting sitemaps, identifying mobile usability issues on your site, view the external links of your website, check your site security issues and manual actions taken by Google, etc.

Check the basic guide for how to use Google Search Console below.

How to Use Google Search Console for SEO: 2024 Ultimate Guide

If you are an SEO specialist or marketer and doing online marketing, you need to use Google Search Console, one of the best free Google SEO tools. It helps you do marketing analysis and make smart marketing decisions.

Preparation:

If you haven’t connected your website with Google Search Console yet, you need to first set up Google Search Console for your website.

Then you can go to the official website of Google Search Console, log into GSC with your account, and access the dashboard of Google Search Console.

After logging in, you can see various tools and features in the left panel. Check the function of these tools below.

how to use Google Search Console

1. Overview

Under the Overview tab, you can see a summary of the performance of your website. You can see the web search clicks, the number of indexed and non-indexed pages, the Core Web Vitals and HTTPS status of pages, etc.

2. Performance

Under the Performance tab, you can view data on how your website is performing in Google Search. You can see the search queries that users are using to find your site, the pages that are getting the most clicks and impressions, the average CTR (click-through rate) and position of pages, and many other performance metrics.

3. URL Inspection

This feature of Google Search Console lets you check if a URL is indexed by Google or not. It also provides information about when the URL was last crawled, whether there are any crawling or indexing issues with the URL, etc.

If a page is not indexed yet and it says “URL is not on Google”, you can click the “Request Indexing” option to submit a request to ask Google to index this page.

Inspect URL

4. Indexing

Under the Indexing tab, you can see three sections: Pages, Sitemaps, and Removals. They allow you to check and troubleshoot your site or page indexing issues.

Pages

You can click “Pages” to view the indexed and non-indexed pages on your site.

  • You can see how many pages are indexed and check what pages are indexed.
  • It also displays non-indexed pages and displays the reasons why pages aren’t indexed. You can identify the errors and try to fix the indexing issues.

Sitemaps

You can click “Sitemaps” to submit your website’s sitemap to Google Search Console. The sitemaps provide a list of URLs about your site structure. This helps Google crawl and index your site more effectively.

Submit Sitemaps in Google Search Console

Removals

If you need to urgently remove content from Google Search, e.g., you deleted some pages from your website, you can click Removals > New Request, enter the URL you want to remove, and click Next to remove the URL from Google Search results.

Remove URLs

5. Experience

Google core ranking systems favor content that offers a good page experience for users.

Under the Experience tab, you can see three sections: Page Experience, Core Web Vitals, and HTTPS. You can check if your site meets the standards of these page experience factors.

Page Experience

Gives an overview of the page experience of your website.

Core Web Vitals

  • “Core Web Vitals” includes a set of factors that Google considers important for a good user experience.
  • It indicates how your site performs in loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability.
  • It uses metrics like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), etc. to measure the page loading speed, responsiveness to user input, and visual stability.

HTTPS

  • Check if your site and pages are using HTTPS. Using HTTPS is good for Google SEO and helps improve your site rankings.
  • Websites using HTTPS encrypt data between the user’s browser and the website’s server. It is more secure for online communication. It means the site is safe to visit.
  • The “HTTPS” section provides information about the security status of your website’s URLs.
How to Use Google Search Console to Check Page Experience

6. Enhancements

  • Offer reports on rich results, breadcrumbs, and sitelinks searchbox enhancements.
  • Help you implement structured data markup and optimize your site’s appearance in search results with rich features.

7. Security & Manual Actions

  • Provide information about your site security issues like hacked content, malware, or phishing attacks detected on your site.
  • Display manual actions taken by Google like penalties for violating Google’s webmaster guidelines, and offers instructions for how to fix them.

8. Links

  • Provide a report of external links pointing to your website. Display the number of links, referring domains, and top linking pages.
  • Offer a report of internal links. Display the top linked pages and the number of links.
  • You can use this feature to analyze your website’s backlink profile and identify opportunities to improve link quality and authority.

Related: Fix “Ownership Verification Failed” in Google Search Console

How to Use Google Search Console for Keyword Research

Although Google Search Console is not a professional keyword research tool, it provides some insights that you can use for keyword research.

  • You can use the Performance report to see which keywords and pages are driving the most traffic to your website.
  • Under the “Queries” tab, you can see a list of search queries that users have used to find and visit your site in Google Search results.
  • You can identify the impressions, clicks, CTR, and keyword rankings of queries and pages.
  • You can analyze the CTR (click-through rate) of some queries to check the performance of those keywords. For queries with high impressions but low CTR, you may optimize the page title, meta description, and content to better meet users’ search intent to improve the CTR.
  • You can select the period to compare the performance metrics like clicks, impressions, CTR, and position of keywords or pages.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Google Search Console provides valuable insights into how users interact with your website and how your site performs in Google Search. It’s an essential tool for website owners or webmasters to optimize websites for better performance and visibility in Google Search results.

This post provides a detailed guide on how to use Google Search Console for SEO and keyword research, hope it helps.

About the Author

James Young

James Young, has been a Google SEO expert for about 10 years. He has helped several companies achieve tens of millions of organic traffic per year in the past. He is talented in this area and tries to dig deeper into Google SEO and online marketing. He offers various SEO thoughts to help others rank higher in Google searches, gain more traffic, and build better websites.