Setting up Google Search Console

You’ve got your keywords, you’ve put them into your website, and you’ve even optimised the pages. But now you’re thinking: So what? Are these keywords helping me? Fortunately there’s an easy, and free, way of finding out which search terms Google has ranked you for. This tool also tells you how they compare to real searches conducted by real people. Setting up Google Search Console is the answer.

Previously Google Webmaster Tools, this free keyword analysis tool was rebranded in 2015. It’s part of a suite of Google Console products that includes Google API Console and Google Cloud Console. It runs through Google Analytics, and provides search term information you can easily act on to get more of your web pages onto the first page of any SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Here’s how to get your hands on this information:

(Have the URL of the site you are setting up ready to copy and paste)

Log in to your Google Analytics site. Go to your Google Analytics data page, and scroll down the menu to ‘Acquisitions’. From there scroll down to ‘Google Search Console’ and select ‘Search Queries’. This takes you to a prompt to set up Search Console data sharing. It should look like this:

Setting up Google Search Console

To make things easy for you, I’ve put together a Google Search Console walk-through video that takes you through all the steps for setting it up. This is a quick four minutes walk through that will enable you to associate your website with the Search Console to begin collecting data.

Watch the video ‘Setting up Google Search Console’ now

If you’ve followed the video instructions, you will have a website that integrates with Search Console. To check this, go to the left-hand menu of your Google Analytics data page. As before, click Acquisition > Search Console > Queries. The data panel for search queries should now appear. It may take a day or so before this table is populated with data.

How to Use Google Search Console Data Following Setting up Google Search Console

Once you have access to this data, the crucial data you can act on are the Search Query and Average Position metrics:

  • Search Query shows the actual search term that someone typed into Google for which Google subsequently displayed your website in the search results.
  • Average Position shows the position you were listed at. A listing between 1 and 10 indicates you were probably on the first page. Anything from 10 to 30 indicates you were on page 2 or 3 of the results – and that with just a little effort this could easily become a page 1 result.

So how do you use this information? Look at the search queries and select the phrases that most closely match the products you’d most like to be found for. Use these queries as your new keywords. Optimise the relevant pages with them using, for example, the Yoast SEO Plugin from an earlier blog post.

Give us further insight into search activity in relation to your website. Set up Google Search Console on your Google Analytics account.