If you are an internet entrepreneur running a business and interested in digital marketing, then most likely you are aware of the Google Search Console tool (formerly known as the Google Webmaster tool). This is one of the most important SEO and internet marketing tools for webmasters, digital marketers, and website owners.
Being an internet startup owner, you might be doing digital marketing, search engine optimization, paid marketing etc. But have you thought that using Google Search Console tool consistently can make your business website more search engine friendly and eventually make you more profits? Yes, this is true that if you start using Google Search Console regularly, you can improve your website’s user experience and overall digital performance significantly.
How to Start with Google Search Console Tool
If your business website is not yet added with the Search Console tool, then your first job is to integrate it with the tool.
To do this, you may open a fresh, new Gmail address and can use it for creating a new Search Console account. Once the account is ready for use, add your website with the tool. This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
After the integration process is complete, you can wait for a few days before you can get many important data about your website from the Webmaster tool.
There is a couple of crucial data you can get and analyze using GSC tool.
‘Search Analytics’ section tells us all the keywords our website (or webpages) is ranking for. Additionally, you will get the click numbers, CTR percentage (Click Through Rate) and average organic position for each keyword the website is ranking (has impression) for.
Besides, there are many filters which we may use to customize this list of data as per our requirements. Device, Country and Date filters are available here to tailor the data and reports.
Links to Your Site:
‘Links to Your Site’ section gives us all the backlink data of the website. This section lists all those backlinks which are acquired by the website and indexed by the Google.
We can utilize this data to analyze our inbound link profile and take valuable ‘Disavow’ decisions.
‘Manual Actions’ section shows information about if any manual penalty is taken against a website due to its poor content and toxic backlinks.
‘Mobile Usability’ section tells us about if the website is mobile responsive or not. Along with this, it also shows various mobile usability errors of the website. Correcting these will not only improves the website’s mobile ranking but also the user experience.
‘Index Status’ section shows the index graph along with the number of indexed pages by Google. Though this doesn’t show any of the indexed page URLs, we can see those just by using the search operators, like site:example.com on Google.
‘Blocked Resources’ section lists all the resources which are blocked from Google, along with their path. Blocking any webpage or resources from Google is considered to be a bad practise. Therefore, nothing should be blocked from Google and other major search engines. If you see a list of resources are blocked in this section, check the robots.txt file of the website and unblock those ASAP.
‘Crawl Errors’ section may list 5 types of errors. DNS errors, Server Connectivity error, Robots.txt fetch error, 404 errors and Soft 404 errors.
For DNS and server connectivity errors, please consult with the server or hosting company immediately.
Robots.txt fetch error happens due to mistyping, wrong extension, wrong placement and not-availability of the file. Robots.txt file must be uploaded on the website’s top-level root folder, the name must be robots and the file extension must be .txt.
404 and Soft 404 errors mostly happen due to the nonexistence of a URL. The solution is the ‘301 permanent redirection’.
Solving these crawl problems will not only help Google bots to crawl and index the website and webpages, but also improves organic ranking substantially.
Fetch as Google:
‘Fetch as Google’ section should be used whenever there is a big change on the website. If one new page is created or an existing page’s content has been changed, fetching those URLs using the ‘Fetch as Google’ will get quick crawling. Therefore generally use this portion if you want one page to rank faster.
‘Sitemap’ section gives us the option to add websites’ sitemap files to the Google Search Console tool. Google may use websites’ sitemap files to understand and identify the internal URLs quickly.
Additionally, we can resubmit the already added sitemap files to the Search Console tool whenever we create new webpages on the website.
Additionally, we can set the preferred domain version using the Google Search Console tool. We can select one of the three options (www version, non-www version and do not select) and set as the preferred domain version. Preferably, we should do this using the htaccess file or the website itself.
Google Search Console tool has many other data and tools which should also be checked, explored and analyzed periodically to understand the website, its performance, user-experience etc.
Conclusion: Checking these data regularly will get much error information which is otherwise hard to find. Correcting these errors will lead to better ranking, more organic traffic, better user experience, and indeed, more sales.
Therefore being an internet business owner, it is your job to add your website to the Google Search Console tool, check its data regularly, correct the errors with priority and improve website’s overall organic ranking performance.
Digital Marketing or Internet Marketing is the way to promote market and sell something using internet in front of our online customers. Digital marketing involves Search engine optimization, SEM, Social media, Content marketing and few more things. Digital marketing is not a new thing but it has been getting very popular in recent years. With more and more people are using smartphones and internet, digital marketing industry is growing rapidly.
Digital marketing is a lot more affordable way of marketing where at a much less cost we can promote our business, products or services to a larger set of audience which is unimaginable in traditional marketing.
The results of internet marketing are mostly measurable. Analyzing the results is very important to understand the ROI. Unless we have a clear picture of this we cannot take future decisions and that can paralyze the marketing expansions in the right direction. Digital marketing and its different tools get us those important raw data which we can analyze and come to a decision about how to do our next online campaign to reach more people and generate more profit.
As traditional marketing is not that measurable (at least in a short span of time), it's very difficult to scale it to the next level immediately. But in case of digital marketing we can take swift decisions rightly and scale our marketing and business to the next summit.
Traditional marketing is not at all targeting. Showing a commercial ad or placing a hording in a market does not guarantee that the advertisement is going to reach our customers only. But in digital marketing we can do this easily. Be it a keyword based marketing or interest based marketing, we can target the exact set of audience with internet marketing techniques, tools and channels. This gets the best ROI, saves money and generates more leads & sales.
Where Can We Do Digital Marketing?
For any type of business, we can do digital marketing. This includes real estate business, agency business, tourism business, education business, HR business, financial business etc.
If you are doing a business and still not using digital marketing for your business, products and services, start using it as soon as possible. You do not need a huge marketing budget to start digital marketing. You need to either hire digital marketer at your company or enrol yourself in a digital marketing course to build your own skills. The first option is practically better but the second option is must. Means even if you hire a digital marketing company or a freelancer or consultant, to do the job on your behalf, still you must develop your own internet marketing skills to analyze the job and measure the results correctly.
How to start Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing has few techniques and channels. SEO, SEM, Social media marketing, Content marketing, Email marketing are most important channels of digital marketing. Depending on your business type you can any or all of these.
SEO is going to be the most important channel. Search Engine Optimization alone can bring 65% traffic to your website which is most targeted and gets converted more often than any other form of online traffic. SEO needs skills, time, patience and consistency. You won't get any immediate results after starting optimizing your website. Depending on the competition, business location, types of products and services and the mode of business (retail or online), SEO may take as low as 3 months to start getting you the results.
Other than SEO, SEM and social media marketing is more like real time results. In these cases, you need to invest money to get business leads and other form of business benefits. The more you invest and more accurately you target your customers, you will get the better results.
Problems and solutions of Digital Marketing
There are few problems with digital marketing today.
First of all it is difficult to get good human resources in digital marketing. Unless you have good digital marketing manpower it's difficult to get the success.
All digital marketing companies are not up to the mark. If you hire a digital marketing agency without checking its clients' ratings, reviews, testimonials, social and blog postings, you may end up with hiring a wrong internet marketing company.
The solution is not readily available, unless you develop your digital marketing skills. It may sound a bit difficult initially, but if you can learn digital marketing, this will pay you a lot more than what you have invested in learning it.
Conclusion Digital marketing is the future of marketing. It cannot be separated but it is an integral part of your business. If you are not doing online marketing for your business, start it from today. Otherwise you are dragging yourself behind your competitor businesses.
A complete guide on Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster tool). Being a Digital Marketing and SEO trainer, I use to get many questions related to this big SEO tool, I have put together all the important details of Google Search Console (in depth) at one place.