When it comes to getting your business noticed and in front of potential customers, it’s hugely important to rank well for keywords relevant to you and your customers on search engines – with the most important being Google; Google is the biggest of the search engines, accounting for 78% of desktop searches and 94% of mobile and tablet searches. Once you have initially set up your business with Google, there are loads of great free tools out there to then help your ranking in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) – one of the best tools being Google’s own Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools.

If you are unsure if Google Search Console is useful for you, here are 5 great ways it can help your business:

  1. Find Search Queries which Drive Traffic:

One of the best uses of Google Search Console is to monitor your site’s traffic over time and to see which search terms your site is ranking for and how much traffic these terms are bringing you. This can be done by looking at the “search analytics” report under “search traffic”. This report will not only show you the position of your site for organic search queries in Google results’ pages, but also how many clicks to your site these are bringing in. This data can then be used to find which keywords are performing best for you and which keywords you need to work on.

  1. Discover who is Linking Back to You:

Google Search Console will show you who is linking to you the most, which can prove invaluable when it comes to outreach – this data can be found in the “links to your site” report under “search traffic”. The more quality sites link back to you – known as backlinks – the more Google’s algorithm will identify your site as of value and rank you higher in results’ pages. Finding out who has linked to you, using Google Search Console, can allow you to follow up with these sites to build a mutually beneficial relationship and the chance for more backlinks in the future. This data can also be used to identify what kind of content is most often linked to on your site, showing what is working and what may not be working so well.

  1. Help Google Find Your Site and Your Content:

Google Search Console makes it possible to submit a sitemap of all your content to Google for it to crawl. This can be done by clicking on your site in Google Search Console, clicking “crawl” then “sitemaps”, then clicking “add/test sitemap” which will bring up a box for you to input and submit the sitemap address. Doing this will make it easier for Google to find all the content on your site as well as increasing the speed at which it will appear in results’ pages.

  1. Find Issues Google Recognises with Your Site:

Looking at the “HTML improvements” report under “search appearance”, Google Search Console will provide you with a table of issues it is reporting from your site. Fixing these issues can not only improve page load times, keeping customers happy and boosting customer retention, but also help you rank higher in search engines due to the fact Google’s search algorithm ranks sites with fast load times higher than those with slow load times.

  1. Discover if there are Mobile Usability Issues:

In April 2015 Google’s algorithm also started ranking sites based on how accessible they are via mobile and tablet. To see how Google reports your site’s mobile accessibility, view the “mobile usability section” under “search traffic”. Under this report, Google will look at how text appears on your site when accessed via mobile and tablet along with other factors such as how images and links appear. Fixing these issues will not only make it easier for customers to navigate your site – helping boost conversions – but also help push you higher up in Google results’ pages.

SEO can at times appear daunting and hard to understand, but the whole process can be quickly and easily demystified using Google’s free Search Console tool. By adopting these 5 Google Search Console uses into your business you will not only quickly improve your site’s accessibility, but, importantly, boost its ranking in search engines.