From many new and existing business owners, a common worry-filled statement is “This online marketing thing has me confused. How do I get more traffic to my website?”
Now, I understand the confusion. There are tons of articles online talking about the 99+ tools you absolutely must have to get traffic to your website. These answers often just leave you feeling even more uncertain about what tools to use.
The simple truth is, if you have an up-and-running website and a functional Gmail account, then you have everything you need to drive traffic. Best of all, it’s free!
So what is this too-good-to-be-true tool?
Well, my element of surprise is a bit too late because you already saw it in the title. It’s called Google Search Console or GSC for short.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a multi-feature tool which can be used to monitor and promote your site’s performance in Google’s search results. You don’t need GSC to rank well on Google Search.
However, it can be a very good inclusion to your digital marketing toolbox. If you’re a business owner, or making a marketing career out of helping business owners boost their traffic, then you need to learn about GSC.
Traffic Optimized Features of Google Search Console
GSC offers a wide range of helpful features to promote your website’s performance in search results and increase organic traffic. It is important to note that the skill requirements to use this tool ranges from beginner to advanced. Some features can be enabled by a single click (or tap) of a button, while others will require advanced knowledge of website functions.
Now, here are some of our favorite GSC features which are optimized to increase website traffic performance.
GSC provides a detailed analytical reporting of your website’s performance on search pages. This includes the frequency of your pages on search results, the clickthrough rates, and the performance of any additional features such as rich features.
With this tool, you can easily measure the performance of campaigns and overall website updates. For example, you can see the click-through rate of each page, an aggregate of search performance over time, the best (and worst) performing keywords, and so much more. With this information, you become more aware of what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts you need to invest more resources into, and which should be cut off.
This tool can be used to include structured data to your website. For example, when you Google an online clothing store, you can often find direct links to their store categories (e.g. Men, Women) in the webpage results. This is known as structured data in which a website has its information arranged in a hierarchy.
Some websites developed by expert developers have inbuilt structured data, but some others do not. GSC can be used to create structured data to help website visitors find your content better. It can also be used to promote the performance of an inbuilt structure.
URL Inspection/Fetch as Google
This is a valuable tool because it helps you to see your website from the POV of a user. Fetch as Google shows you published pages of your website. Basically, you can see your website exactly as Google sees it. This tool also allows you to submit your website to Google for rapid indexing. When Google indexes your website pages, it stores that information as a resource for related searches, giving you more visibility with your target traffic.
Here’s a video which explains the step-by-step guide to using Fetch as Google in GSC.
There are several other beneficial features of GSC, and the ones mentioned above just cover a fraction of them.
Here’s a detailed infographic on other features which the GSC provides. For even more information, check out this brief post by Google on their Search Console tool.
Next, let’s dive headfirst into how you can use Google Search Console to specifically skyrocket your traffic quickly, starting now.
How to Skyrocket your Traffic Using Google Search Console
Find and optimize popular queries for higher clicks
These queries are keywords which you might be ranking highly for but don’t bring in significant traffic. What this means is that people are seeing your site, but for some reason, are not clicking on it. Here’s a detailed guide from Google on how to find these queries on your search console.
Once you find these high performing keywords with low clicks, take a step back and evaluate them objectively to understand why they are not getting enough clicks. Is the title not attention-grabbing enough? Is the meta description enough to get a reader curious?
Optimize for Mobile Keywords
Most of us know about the importance of having a mobile-responsive website, but do you know about having mobile keywords? A study by BrightEdge reveals that 41% of the top 20 keywords rank differently on mobile and desktop searches. This means that your keyword strategy also needs to be optimized for mobile users.
The good news is, with GSC, you can see the mobile keywords you already rank for and improve on that performance for higher traffic. To find this information, click on the ‘Devices’ filter feature (under Search Analytics) → Filter Devices → Mobile.
Help Google’s Site Crawlers find you
There are two ways to get Google’s attention. You either wait for their site crawlers to find your web pages (which could take months after publication) or you could submit your website directly for indexing.
As a business owner or digital marketer, the more proactive option (which is submitting sitemaps) could contribute to boosting your traffic performance and help users find you. The ’Submit Sitemap’ button is at the top right-hand corner of the GSC dashboard, and can be used to submit as many pages as needed.
Find drops in performance
Sometimes, we experience growth plateaus where it seems like nothing we do could increase our monthly traffic significantly. In worse scenarios, we could experience drops in performance, or even lose our website’s spot on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
Once you notice a drop in traffic, it’s quite easy to go to your GSC and trace the decline as far back as possible. Once you identify where it started from, then you have a better idea of how to fix it.
While you make efforts to skyrocket your website’s traffic, it’s also important to keep an eye on the things that are already working and ensure that they are running smoothly.
Google Search Console is a very elaborate tool that can benefit both business owners and digital marketers. If you’re looking to enroll in a digital marketing course or earn a digital marketing certification, finding a course which teaches GSC could be a major bonus. At first glance, GSC might seem like a beginner’s tool, but don’t be deceived. It offers advanced features which experienced webmasters still use today. Ready to explore these features? You can create your GSC dashboard here.