Are you using Search Console to improve your SEO performance
Search Console is a great tool that will show you just how well your SEO activity is performing over time. For those of you who aren’t sure what Search Console is, you may have heard of Webmaster Tools. Search Console is the new name Google has given it. Rather strangely, the URL is still https://google.com/webmasters.
There are many functions within Search Console giving you a huge amount of data, but today I want to concentrate on just one:
Put simply it tells you what search queries (what people type into the search bar) you are appearing under. It doesn’t matter how far down the Google rankings you appear; if Google finds your website in that search, it will tell you.
Impressions: this is the number of times you’ve appeared for that search query
Clicks: the number of times someone clicked through
CTR: the clickthrough rate. In other words, what percentage of times did someone click through. Number of clicks/Impressions.
Position: where did you appear in the rankings? The higher the better. Chitika says 91.5% of clicks are on page one, so you need to be there.
How this helps you
- What are you ranking for?
Search Console will quickly show you what search queries are generating traffic for you. Are they what you expected? Where are you ranking for the searches you want to rank for? Are there terms in there you don’t want? If, for example, Viagra is in there, you really should be checking your site for hacks.
- How have things changed?
Are your rankings improving or sliding? Comparing date ranges means you can easily see whether your SEO efforts are paying dividends or whether you need to re-focus.
You can see, from the image above, that my ranking has improved for small business marketing support. I’ve slipped slightly for sme needs, but I’m not that worried about a 0.4 move.
- Are they the right terms?
If your website is ranking well for a query with very few searches, you may need to focus on alternative terms. Ranking No.1 is great, but only if there is a lot of people searching on that term.
- Is your SEO company performing?
If you have an SEO agency helping you to improve your natural search results, this can easily help you to understand just how well they are performing. I won’t name names, but one of our clients was using an SEO and PPC agency to drive traffic. They were telling my client that he was ranking on page one for XX search terms. That was, in fact, true but these search terms were averaging about 20 searches per month. Their rankings for the high volume search terms were actually slipping – something they weren’t pointing out to my client. Needless to say that SEO agency isn’t working with my client anymore.
- Where is your traffic coming from?
What country(s) do you trade in? If you only work in the UK but a lot of your traffic is coming from South Africa or the USA, you are getting a lot of useless traffic.
As you can see Search Console can be a really useful tool, as part of your small business marketing efforts. It will help you understand what is happening and point you in the right direction, ensuring your efforts are focused on the right tasks. If you are just beginning to really measure your marketing performance, this is a great place to start.
I hope this helps.