The Google Search Console dashboard is one of the simpler Google dashboards.
Since it was updated a few months ago it’s much more user friendly and easier to find your way around.
To make the most of Google Search Console you need to be able to find your way around to get the info you need quickly and easily.
Google Search Console dashboard video tour
Check out this video where I show you around the Google Search Console dashboard or read through the rest of the post and check out the screenshots.
So this is the Google Search Console dashboard. In the top left hand corner here you’ll see all the properties, the different versions of your website URL, listed in this drop down box.
By default, the property I’ve set as my main one is selected. If I click the drop down box you’ll see that my main property is the only one that displays my favicon. The favicon is the little icon that you see here that’s shown in the browser tab when you visit my website, kimscotland.com.
Google Search Console dashboard main area
You’ll see in the main part of the screen that there are 3 mini reports on view. At the top we have performance, then coverage and lastly enhancements.
Performance shows you just how your site currently performs in search results. So as you can see from my account that over the past month I’ve had 270 total web clicks.
If I click open report, I’ll get a much more detailed report on my site’s performance.
Here you’ll see the number of clicks against impressions. Impressions are the number of times anyone saw a link to my site in search results – this number includes links to images too. I’ve also got my average click through rate which is currently 0.4% and my site’s average position in search results.
Further down we have more information on clicks and impressions for other stats. Queries shows the keywords that have been searched for before people have landed on my site. This is useful to know so that I can optimise my content for those keywords.
Pages shows the click through stats for individual pages, so I can find out which of my pages get most views from search engines, and which don’t.
Countries shows my click through data grouped by country, the same for devices and search appearance.
As you can see the amount of data available within the Google Search Console dashboard is immense.
So this is a really useful report so that you can see if Google has had any problems indexing pages on your website. As you can see I have some coverage issues that I need to fix. I deliberately left fixing them until after I recorded this video so that you can see what it looks like.
If you have any coverage issues, you should get an email from Google letting you know, so that you can fix them asap.
There are several different reasons that Google can’t index pages. If you’re not sure how to fix them click on them and then you’ll see at the top here the Learn More button. If you click it, it will take you to a page that will help you fix the problem.
Once you’ve fixed the problem, click the validate fix button and Google will look at re-indexing that page.
First I’m going to look at mobile usability because it’s a hugely important one these days, with more and more people using mobile phones and tablets to access the internet.
This report will highlight any pages you have on your website with usability issues so that you can fix them. The minute Google finds any mobile usability issues, you will get an email.
If you’re not sure how to fix a mobile usability problem, click through it like we did with the coverage report, click learn more and you’ll be redirected to a screen that will help you sort it.
The products report works in a similar way, click on it and you’ll get a more in-depth report where it shows you if there are any problems. If you don’t know how to fix a problem, click it then hit the learn more button and you’ll get some info to help fix it.
Site link search box
A site link search box is a search box that appears within Google results, where you can search within a specific site from search results. This report shows you if there are any errors that might mean that any pages wouldn’t be found using that search box.
Again if you have an error, click it, then click learn more to get help on how to fix it.
I’m now moving on to sitemaps which is in the left hand menu here below coverage. Here you’ll see any sitemaps that you’ve submitted previously, or you can submit another one.
Sitemaps are really useful to tell Google exactly which pages appear on your site and how they’re structured. They’re especially good for really big or really complex sites. But I recommend that all sites submit one – because anything that makes it easier for Google to crawl your site has to be a good thing, right?
Leave me a comment below and let me know if you’ve submitted a sitemap for your website.
If not check out my blog post on how to submit a sitemap to Google.
Now I’m heading down to links, which is right here in the left hand menu. Clicking it gives me a summary of links related to my website. Any links from external sites to mine, internal links – so links to other pages on my site from within other pages on my site.
There’s also information on sites that link to my site the most and which text is used to link to my site.
Lastly we have settings which is towards the bottom of the left hand menu. Here you’ll find info on whether or not you have verified that the site belongs to you, info on users and permissions for this site within google search console and which indexing crawler is used to crawl your site.
Google decides which crawler is best suited for your site.
Google Search Console dashboard – verdict
In this post we’ve looked at finding our way around the Google Search Console dashboard. There’s a wealth of information in there if you know where to find it.
Here you’ll find the performance report that tells you how your site performs in search results right now, the coverage report which tells you if Google has had any problems indexing any pages on your site.
There’s also the mobile usability, product and site link search box reports which tell you if there’s any information missing that might effect those search results.
You’ll also find reports on internal and external links on your site. External from other sites and internal which tells you which of your own pages you link to within your site as well.
So you’ll be able to find all the information you need to kick start your SEO strategy.
While you’re check out these related posts:
9 important ways to use Google Search Console for SEO
The Google Search Console dashboard – all you need to know
Google Search Console vs Google Analytics – do you need them?