In order to improve brand awareness, it’s essential that businesses incorporate any useful tool that is available to them. One of them being: Google Search Console. But what exactly does this tool have that marketers, business owners, and SEO experts can take advantage of? Here is what to know about the search console and how it can benefit a company’s site if used correctly.
Some Background Info on the Google Search Console
"It turns out that the traditional idea of the webmaster reflects only some of you. We have all kinds of Webmaster Tools fans: hobbyists, small business owners, SEO experts, marketers, programmers, designers, app developers, and, of course, webmasters as well. What you all share is a desire to make your work available online, and to make it findable through Google Search. So, to make sure that our product includes everyone who cares about Search, we've decided to rebrand Google Webmaster Tools as Google Search Console."
In summary, at the time, Webmaster was immensely popular, but mostly among the Webmaster community. The rebranded version, however, allowed users — especially the ones who didn’t identify as Webmaster users — to feel a sense of inclusion; Google realized changing the name would only further increase the amount of users they already had.
Fast-forward to 2018, stats seem to support Google’s prophecy and decision to go on this particular path. Based on Built With’s Google Webmaster Usage Statistics, in 2015, Google Search Console users throughout the entire internet were around 6,300,000 and by 2018, usage rates reached about 7,700,000.
How it Helps Improve a Company’s Site
According to Google Support, the search console is defined as “a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results.” The service provides users with actionable reports, learning resources designed to get their content on Google Search, as well as the options to receive a diagnosis on every detail of the site such as analyzing the site’s traffic, providing 12-16 months of data, and monitoring spam issues. Moreover, every month the user can also use the Search Console status page which also allows users to examine the health of their site (e.g. dips in click counts, increase in errors).
In other words, based on internet activity, it lets the user meticulously examine the site’s performance and demonstrates what the user is doing wrong with the root cause of the problem being revealed or on the contrary, showing the user what they have been doing correct. Thus guiding them towards continuing their successful trend.
What Life is Like Without the Google Search Console
As mentioned earlier, the service is completely free but if one were to operate without the search console tool, slightly more creative effort would be required on one’s part to remain successful. The individual would likely have to make their site mobile friendly, be required to ask for customer feedback and to study the poll responses as there won’t be any system to tell them what’s wrong with the site.
Also, since site owners won’t have the privilege of optimizing a site’s content with Search Analytics or understanding how Google Search sees your pages, they would need to do research on their own and gather data (including from risky, incredible sources) that’s available to them on the internet.
Cons of Using the Google Search Console/Google in General
Although the search console is very beneficial to one’s site, it’s not entirely flawless. Some issues that have been reported recently include: HTML errors not being up to date with previously fixed errors still being shown, a learning curve for beginners (features are complex to master at first), interface not being as user-friendly as Analytics, and for various broken links, there being a limited amount of information given on where it came from, which makes it difficult to locate the real issue to fix.
All that said, although Google Search Console is not perfect, there is no question that there are still many conveniences to integrating the tool into your website, especially for small companies that are still looking to grow. Since Google Search Console is a no charge web service, giving it a try — to see if it’s a good fit — might not be the worst idea.