a guide to google search console and analytics integration, cute leather bound journal with pin and eyeglasses

A Guide To Google Search Console and Analytics Integration

Part 1: Setting your website in Google Search Console 

Utilizing Google Search Console is a crucial step in optimizing your online presence and improving your website's performance. It's an invaluable tool to track and monitor your website's traffic, visibility in Google search results, and gather insights on user behavior. With the integration of Google Analytics, you can gain a deeper understanding of how users interact with your website by analyzing website visits, page views, bounce rates, time spent on pages, etc. In this guide we'll provide a step-by-step walkthrough of how to set up your website in Google Search Console and integrate it with Google Analytics.

Here's a step-by-step guide to setting up Google Search Console:

  1. Visit the Google Search Console website.

  2. Sign in to your Google account associated with your website.

  3. Click on the "Add Property" button, whic means, add URL of your website. (any properties you already have will be listed in the upper left hand corner under “Google Search Console”  within the drop down menu. 

  4. Choose the "Website" option from the drop-down menu.

  5. Enter the exact URL of your website, making sure to use the URL that appears in the browser bar.

  6. Click on the "Add" button.

  7. You will now be prompted to verify your ownership of the website. This is where I have found it’s great to have the trust of my clients and access to their Google account. It’s where I think most people get hung up.

  8. Follow the verification process provided by GSC.

  9. After 48 hours and you're verified, you can access various tools and reports to analyze and optimize your website's performance in search results.

Benefits of Setting up Search Console

Remember, setting up your website in Google Search Console allows you to monitor your website's visibility in search results, identify and fix issues, and gain insights into how users find and interact with your site.

Your business will benefit from having access to this data, allowing you to optimize your website, improve ranking in search results, and drive more qualified traffic.

Insights from the Dashboard (PIESES) Performance, Indexing, Experience, Shopping, and Enhancements and Security.

a guide to google search console and analytics integration

Search Traffic:

Get an overview of how users discover your website through search results. Analyze the number of clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and average position of your website for different search queries.

Top Search Queries:

Identify the specific search terms that drive the most traffic to your website. This insight allows you to understand what senior athletes and their families are searching for and tailor your content accordingly.

Index Coverage:

Monitor the indexing status of your website's pages. Identify any crawling or indexing errors that may prevent certain pages from appearing in search results. Take corrective actions to ensure your content is properly indexed.

Mobile Usability:

Assess how well your website functions on mobile devices. With the growing number of mobile users, it is crucial to provide a seamless mobile experience. Use this insight to fix any mobile usability issues and optimize your site for mobile search.

Sitemaps:

Submit your website's sitemap to Google Search Console. This helps search engines understand the structure of your site and index your pages more efficiently. Monitor the status of your sitemap submission and ensure it includes all relevant pages.

Linking Domains and Internal Links:

Understand which external websites link to your site. This insight allows you to assess the quality and quantity of backlinks, which can impact your website's authority and visibility in search results. Additionally, analyze internal linking to search appearance to ensure proper navigation and indexability.

Page Speed Insights:

Evaluate the loading speed of your web pages. Slow page loading times can negatively impact user experience and search rankings. Improve page speed by following the recommendations provided in the Page Speed Insights report.

Security Issues:

Detect any security issues that may affect your website's performance or user safety. Monitor for malware, hacked content, or other security vulnerabilities and promptly resolve them to maintain a secure online environment.

Practical Insights From Google Search Results Using A Google Search Console Account

Performance: Click in to compare your search results over specific periods of time

Review what keywords you’re ranking for. 

This is important because it will show you which keywords are driving the most traffic to your site. Check if there is any change in ranking from one period to another and make adjustments accordingly. Additionally, see which queries generate the most impressions for each keyword and optimize your content using those insights.

Review what pages are ranking on your website. 

By doing this, you can determine which pages are performing well and which ones could use some improvement. Look for the pages that have a higher ranking, as this will help inform your SEO strategy. Also check to see if there is any page-level information such as Meta descriptions or title tags that need to be adjusted in order to drive more traffic.

What devices people are using to find you on Google.

Do you know if people using mobile devices to find your website? This is an important factor to consider when optimizing for SEO, as more and more people are searching online from their phones. Look at the analytics and see who you need to target in order to get the most out of your optimization efforts. You can also use this data to adjust your content accordingly so it is optimized for any device. This will help to ensure that your content is accessible and easy to find for all potential users. Additionally, you can use this information to see if there are any adjustments you need to make in order to improve the overall user experience of your website.

Where you’re showing up in search results

This insight is helpful because it allows you to see where your website ranks in comparison to your competitors. By reviewing this data, you can make sure that your content is optimally placed on SERPs (search engine result pages). Furthermore, by understanding where and when people are coming to your site from search results, you can adjust SEO tactics accordingly and ensure that your website is visible to the right people at the right time.

Google Discover exists.

Google Discover is a feature within Google’s mobile search results that displays content based on user-specific interests. By understanding what users are searching for in Discover, you can tailor your website and SEO strategies to meet the needs of those users. In addition, by understanding where your website is appearing within Discover, you can make sure it is seen by the right people.

You can regularly Export this data.

Make sure to regularly export this data from analytics programs, such as Google Analytics. This will provide you with a better understanding of who is visiting your website and what they’re searching for. You can use this information to adjust SEO tactics and ensure that your website is optimized for the right people at the right time. Additionally, you can use this data to measure the success of certain SEO strategies and determine which ones need to be adjusted or improved.

Page Indexing: Make sure the pages you want to be indexed are showing up in search.

My favorite spot in GSC: inspect any pages in search console reports.

The "inspect any URL" inspection tool is useful because you can find out immediately if your top pages are indexed pages or not. You can also use the tool to see which keywords are associated with a specific page, as well as other important SEO information. This is helpful in determining whether or not your SEO strategy is working and where improvements need to be made. Additionally, you can also compare different pages on a website to assess their performance.

Not found (404) may be irrelevant but good to check for errors.

These "Not Found" show up in Google Search Console data due to various types of errors. It's important that you don't overlook them as they can cause significant problems for your website, such as draining resources and affecting rankings. By using the "inspect URL" tool, you can quickly identify these errors and take corrective action to fix them if necessary. This will help ensure that your website is performing optimally in the search engine results pages.

Server Error (5xx) weird URLs show up.

The server errors (5xx) can indicate a range of issues with your website and should not be ignored. The "inspect URL" tool can easily identify these URLs, so you can take corrective action to fix them. This is especially important if they are impacting the performance of your website in search results. Knowing which pages or resources are causing problems is critical to ensuring that your website is performing optimally.

The "inspect URL" tool allows you to quickly identify broken links, so that you can take corrective action and fix them as soon as possible. This will improve the overall performance of your website in search engine results pages. It is important to note that while the tool can identify many potential issues, it cannot diagnose all server errors. If you discover a more complicated issue with your website, then reaching out to your webmaster or agency for assistance may be necessary.

Discovered-not currently indexed pages.

These insights are my new obsession in Google Search Console data because it reveals pages on your website that are discoverable, but not currently indexed in Google's search results. This is important as you can take action to understand why the page was never indexed and potentially submit a request to have them included.

By doing this, you may be able to reclaim much of the organic reach of those pages which had previously been lost due to non-indexed pages. Here's a pro tip: tweet those pages. Tweeting them helps get the pages indexed quickly.

Other helpful tools available when you use Google Search Console

Submit your site map.

Submitting your site map is another great way to get Google to recognize and index all of the pages on your website. It's easy and quick to do, so make sure you include this in your SEO strategy.

Page Experience should be green.

Other colors, it needs a closer look. Page experience is a big deal when it comes to SEO, and Google gives you an indicator of how your pages are performing. Make sure that all of your pages have a green rating so you can get the best out of your SEO efforts.

INP (interaction to next paint)

A metric that assesses a page's overall responsiveness to user interactions will replace FID (first input delay): The time from when a user first interacts with your page. INP (interaction to next paint) is more applicable and better captures the user's overall experience. Make sure that all of your pages have a high score on this metric so you can get the most out of your SEO efforts.

A note about shopping tab listings

They are managed in Google Merchant Center. If you have ecommerce, make sure that you list products in Google Merchant Center, it’s free advertising! By having your products listed there, it will help to ensure that they show up in the ‘Shopping’ tab. That way, more people can find and purchase them.

Google Search Console Insights Monthly Report

Gives you a quick look at some of your top performing data points, such as organic clicks, impressions, and CTR. This data can be used to determine what is currently working for your SEO efforts and which areas may need improvement. Additionally, it helps to identify high-performing keywords and content that could be targeted for further optimization.

Google Sitelinks Search Box

Users could refine their search results to focus on content from one website to get the best results possible. This structured data commonly known as Google's sitelinks search box and it represents an opportunity for every internet marketer to better shape the click path of their domain. With the data here, you can track how your website is performing with the sitelinks search box and identify opportunities to improve visibility.

Listen in as we discuss Google Search Console Reports on this episode of the Simple and Smart SEO Show Podcast!

 

 

[00:00:00] Crystal Waddell: Hello, and welcome back to the simple and smart SEO show podcast today. It's just me and B and we are about to nerd out on Google search console. So I was going to say, just in case you're not as excited as we are, and your eyes are starting to cross already because you're like, Oh my gosh, just relax.

Okay. This may be one of those episodes you need to listen to more than once. And if you're driving or doing something else right now, if you find value in this, you'll probably want to come back to it when you can go to your computer and maybe walk through some of this stuff that we're going to talk about.

But just, take it in for a little bit and let it marinate and then come back to it when you're ready to implement.

[00:00:43] Brittany Herzberg: I think that sounds good. And my thought is that we might be even including some links in the show notes for things like resources and whatnot that will help you execute and help you make sense of all of this.

So we'll see what happens.

[00:00:56] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. I love that. Okay.

All of these SEO tools that we talk about. They take a lot of the Google search console type data.

And run it through their algorithms or whatever.

And then sell it back to us.

Haha.

[00:01:12] Brittany Herzberg: Yolks on us, but

[00:01:14] Crystal Waddell: yeah, like it,

[00:01:15] Brittany Herzberg: it helps me, my, my comment back to Crystal.

It was like, it helps me make sense of some things. And then there's also like their additional like proprietary information or whatever that they've created.

So it, gives you a cuter, nicer aesthetic to look at things.

Or like it breaks things down and a little bit easier to understand way.

Which for us, when we're explaining things to our clients.

Can really be valuable.

[00:01:38] Crystal Waddell: Yes, for sure. I obviously a user of these tools. So I haven't gotten confident enough on my own to just use Google search console by itself.

But I'm starting to see the relationship, more and more, as I work through different people's websites.

So I just thought it was a funny thing to mention.

B said this earlier.

One of the most common questions that we get from people is like how to set up your Google Search Console.

So we're going to talk about that.

And then also one thing I thought was really important.

Was talking about the insights that you can glean from the dashboard of Google Search Console.

And then finally, the practical takeaways that people can apply to any business.

Those pieces of data that you want to look for that don't take a lot of brainpower. But some things to be aware of.

Yeah.

[00:02:29] Brittany Herzberg: And just like something that came to mind as you were walking us through that is something that's come up a lot when I do SEO technical audits.

Is I will see that there's a problem with the sitemap. So if you see that pop up on your audit, if you have had one of us say that to you, if I say that phrase and you're like, what in the world is that?

Don't worry, we'll get to it. But this is like the place that you would go to fix that, to address that. So that's one practical thing that you might have pop up in your world.

That you're like, Oh, I really should go investigate Google search console.

[00:03:06] Crystal Waddell: Okay. So I'm curious, like what type of website or website builder are people using where they're getting sitemap errors?

Is there like a common,

[00:03:15] Brittany Herzberg: The first one that comes to mind and it's been like a thorn in my side for months and months.

Is a Kajabi site.

And I have heard from some friends that I trust who are also in the SEO world.

That they have noticed some issues, some SEO issues with Kajabi.

However, it's hard for me to pinpoint exactly what's going on because we need support from Kajabi.

And we haven't been able to access them and get a straightforward answer of what's going on.

There's two that I'm thinking of, but I don't think they were Kajabi sites and I don't even know for sure what website host they had.

Have you seen that error pop up when you've done audits?

[00:03:49] Crystal Waddell: I haven't. The only time I've seen it pop up is when the sitemap was submitted incorrectly.

[00:03:56] Brittany Herzberg: We'll get to that in a little bit. But also, before we like.

Just keep throwing this around, you want to tell the people what the sitemap is.

[00:04:03] Crystal Waddell: Oh, yeah. Okay. So sitemap is just something that shows Google, like how your site's search performance is set up.

Gives your website domain.

And then it shows the organization of the site essentially.

[00:04:14] Brittany Herzberg: And if you've ever heard us or anybody say, Google is crawling your website. This is what Google is crawling, air quote, looking at slash analyzing like any of these words we could put in place of it.

So Google, especially since we're talking about Google search console.

They need the site map so that they can go take a look at your site.

That's how they're looking at it.

At least one way that they're looking at it. So it's important.

[00:04:39] Crystal Waddell: Okay, so let's talk about setting up Google search console. And one of the first things I wanted to differentiate.

Is that Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two different things.

[00:04:52] Brittany Herzberg: I did not know that at first.

We're talking years ago, but like still you hear all these terms and until you're in the world.

You don't really grasp what these different things do. Yeah.

[00:05:03] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. And one more name. I wanted to drop that we're not going to talk about today.

But we will cover in the future is Google Looker Studio.

Google Analytics gives you your data.

[00:05:14] Brittany Herzberg: This is how Google Analytics and Google Search Console were explained to me.

And it just clicked in my brain. So I'm actually going to read from my notes.

It's really short, but Google Analytics gives you everything that's happening on social, email, your website, beyond.

Google Search Console focuses just on your organic traffic to your website.

So that for me, like that's a simplification, however, it just like totally resonated and settled in my head. And then I was like, ah, I understand now.

[00:05:45] Crystal Waddell: That's really good. And then google looker studio gives you a way to graphically represent that data. So three different google products that all use the same information. But share it differently.

 Okay, so here's a little step by step guide for how you can set up Google Search Console.

Yes, a pro tip. Ideally, you would be logged in to your Google account. That's associated with your website.

[00:06:18] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, highly recommend doing that because I did not at first.

And I was like, why is this not working?

[00:06:23] Crystal Waddell: If you're not signed in to your Google account connected to your website.

You're going to have an issue, have some problems. Yeah, it's going to be frustrating. So we've all kind of been there and learned that one the hard way.

Okay, so you're going to make sure that you're signed into your Google account associated with your website.

And then visit the Google Search Console website. I have those two out of order.

So let's make sure we're signed into Google for our website and then we're going to go to the Google Search Console website.

[00:06:52] Brittany Herzberg: I'm going to make sure that we put it in the show notes. So you have it.

You can easily access it if you don't want to type in what we're about to say.

[00:06:59] Crystal Waddell: I've got

[00:06:59] Brittany Herzberg: search. google. com.

[00:07:01] Crystal Waddell: Okay. Search. google. com forward slash search dash console.

So once you're there, you're going to click on the add property button.

Properties just means websites.

So if you've installed any other websites.

They will be listed in that upper left hand corner under The words Google Search Console and within the drop down menu that's right under those words, Google Search Console.

So you'll want to choose the website option from the dropdown menu,

[00:07:42] Brittany Herzberg: which is on

the left.

In case you wonder.

[00:07:44] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. And that same dropdown menu underneath Google Search Console in the upper left hand corner.

All the websites that you already own will be there On the left, probably not a ton, but since I look at a lot of different websites, I've got a lot of websites there.

But at the very bottom of the menu, there'll be a plus sign.

And it says, add property. And so when you add the property, or you click add the property, it's going to ask you to enter the exact URL of your website.

And you want to make sure that you use the URL that appears in the browser bar. Whatever your registered domain is. And if you'll have this this box that pops up that says select property type. And you can either put in your domain. Or you can put in a URL prefix and unfortunately, I don't know enough about the URL prefix.

[00:08:43] Brittany Herzberg: I had something somewhere that I saved about that.

[00:08:48] Crystal Waddell: Domain is what I like to use because it's like all the URLs across that domain.

[00:08:54] Brittany Herzberg: So the URL prefix, which I've got linked in this. I'll share the link with everybody. It's a blog from Semrush.

I love it because they have the images as you go through the process.

But it says that the URL prefix could be something like, HTTPS. colon slash yourwebsite. com slash blog.

So I actually want to go through and test this with having just like my blog page on there. And that seems to be what they mean when they say prefix. So maybe let's say that you have, don't test this before we try this, but maybe you have a store and you want to test this with your store and add that in as a property.

It appears that can be something that you do.

What I do at least is when I'm adding in properties, I usually only do The website, like the domain.

So for me, that's brittanyherzberg. com. I haven't actually tried it with the blog page or the store page or anything like that.

[00:09:45] Crystal Waddell: When you put in the website, it's going to ask you to verify the domain ownership via a DNS record.

Now, one of the reasons why this it's so important to go in with your Google account.

If I had already added that domain to my Google Analytics account.

It would have automatically connected.

And so that's where this challenge pops up a lot. If you don't have it connected in Google analytics. So you definitely want to do that 1st and then choose 1 of these 2 options to verify.

Bingo.

Yeah, and it gives you directions based on the website that you're using. But yeah. I wish I had went into Google analytics first.

Because then I could have walked through this pretty easy.

[00:10:35] Brittany Herzberg: Again, learn from our mistakes. And it sounds really complicated.

I just want to take a minute. I know that.

We're probably throwing terms at you that you haven't heard before.

I know this probably sounds like uber, super duper complicated.

But. It actually goes a little bit faster when you're doing this on your own. And not trying to explain what's happening.

And Google does a good job of walking you through exactly what to do and how to set this up.

They've got prompts like Crystal was saying, they've got direction. You are guided through this, and it's a lot easier when you're just like boop.

Like clicking through and doing what you got to do. So you can totally do this.

Yeah, so even though they are separate tools, they do work together quite nicely.

[00:11:16] Crystal Waddell: Yeah, okay, so I just created a Google Analytics account like that fast, just as we were talking here. Once you do it here, you don't have to do it again in search console.

 And if the analytics is already set up. Then you have to give yourself permission. Then add it to Google search console. .

[00:11:35] Brittany Herzberg: Sorry, I'm walking through and I'm trying to add the tag.

[00:11:39] Crystal Waddell: No, that's good. It's so funny. This is so meta.

[00:11:42] Brittany Herzberg: Okay. I'm going to stop messing around.

[00:11:44] Crystal Waddell: One thing that makes me very sad.

Is that when you install google search console, even if you've had google analytics.

Google search console doesn't go retroactively grab that data. So that stinks.

And that's where these tools really come in to help. Because for whatever reason, they're able to pick up retroactive data on your website based on Google analytics that Google search console doesn't. So if somebody knows why that is, I would love to know yeah, let us know. Call us.

Okay, so back to our little checklist here. Okay. So once you have verified your website.

Which could take up to 48 hours.

You'll be able to access the tools and reports to analyze and optimize your website's performance. Based on organic search results.

And so that's what we're going to talk about next.

Yeah. The part

[00:12:35] Brittany Herzberg: that actually,

[00:12:36] Crystal Waddell: yeah, you showed up for, yeah, getting it to work is the hardest part. And then the fun part is when you can actually get insights from the dashboard.

And so I noticed that there is like a, an acronym for this in the dashboard. And it's what I refer to in my mind as PIESES.

Oh, I just saw that.

Yeah. And so I think about, I love pies. I love cherry pies.

So Pisces is performance, indexing, experience, shopping, and enhancements. Those are the insights that you're going to get from Google search console. And

[00:13:14] Brittany Herzberg: if it's easier to help you remember there is an S after that. So you could say Pisces, all those security and manual actions like are just interesting.

Yeah. Okay. It doesn't have security around there.

[00:13:25] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. So we could totally do that. Pisces. Okay, still

[00:13:29] Brittany Herzberg: in there. Don't you worry pie is still there.

[00:13:32] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. Sorry. You pie lovers. Okay. So let's start at the top with search traffic. Okay.

[00:13:38] Brittany Herzberg: Such a teacher. We'll start at the very beginning.

[00:13:42] Crystal Waddell: So with the search traffic insight, you're going to get an overview of how users discover your website through search.

Which means you're going to have the chance to look at and analyze the number of clicks. The number of impressions, actual click through rate, and the average position of your website for different searches. Yeah,

[00:14:03] Brittany Herzberg: man, it's very interesting. And I do want to point out, I'm sure you had intended to do this, but you do get an email once a month that gives you like It's like a gentle reminder of Hey, you can check and see how your website's doing and this is what's going on.

And it's nice. It's got little graphics and pictures and it's a very high level view. But if you want to geek out, you just click on the email and you come here. So if you've ever, maybe you are signed up for Google search console and you didn't realize it. And you've seen those emails. If you click, because I had that happen with a friend and a client.

And she was like, I don't know what this is, but here you go. Cause we were checking to see how her, sEO and how the keywords were helping her website perform better. And I was like, Oh, that's perfect. That's exactly what she's like. I've never made it

[00:14:45] Crystal Waddell: into this. Yeah. And that's called Google search console or Google search console insights.

I think so. Yeah. And yeah, it's a fun little email. And so that's probably the lowest lift, if you just install this and before you understand what exactly it's doing for you. Just wait for it to populate, over a month or so, and then once you get the email, then you'll get to see all the fun stuff.

[00:15:08] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, you'll get the high level, easy to digest view of what's going on.

[00:15:13] Crystal Waddell: Yeah, exactly. And within the insights of the dashboard, though, it'll tell you your top search queries. So what that means is it tells you the specific search terms that is driving the most traffic. I love looking at that. Yeah.

And for me, because my whole website is tailored to seniors in high school and senior athletes in particular, it lets me understand what senior athletes and their families are searching for so that I can create better content for them on the website.

[00:15:45] Brittany Herzberg: Bingo. And that's our whole goal is to create better content so that we can show up in front of the people who are actually looking for the stuff that we have.

And we're trying to connect with those people. So yeah, that's what

[00:15:56] Crystal Waddell: we want. And then number three, the index coverage report. We'll talk about this a little bit more in detail, but this helps you monitor the website's pages, which is the most important thing. Like indexing status is a fancy word for saying that your stuff is showing up on Google.

So this having some insight into the index coverage, let you know okay, are there any crawling errors? Are there any pages that aren't showing up in search results? Are there, what's going on there? Are you sure that the pages that you're creating? Are even visible to people searching online.

So that's a really important thing The next one is mobile usability. And you know for the most part Like a lot of the websites that i'm seeing most people are using their phones to search

[00:16:45] Brittany Herzberg: I was actually surprised by that though because when I do get that email the search console insights I have pretty consistently Had higher desktop usage, which I was pretty shocked by, but also like pleasantly surprised because I don't know that my website is I've been the one doing the development and the design of my website for years, which is not ideal, but I know because of that, that it's not like as good as it could be for mobile.

Squarespace does a lot of the lifting for me, but there's still things that I could do to improve it. So yeah, I was really surprised. And like I said, pleasantly surprised that I had a higher desktop usage. Yeah, for

[00:17:21] Crystal Waddell: sure. And that's why it's important to know because if you do have a higher desktop usage, then you might want to optimize your site for the desktop experience.

Whereas for me, my most of my traffic comes from mobile. So I want to Optimize it for that mobile experience. So my site actually looks better on mobile than it does on desktop But I do that intentionally because I know most of those people are searching on their phone So it's one of those things where it's okay now that You know where people are coming from, you get to make some decisions, which is why we like the data,

[00:17:57] Brittany Herzberg: because then we take the data and we make informed decisions based on the data

[00:18:01] Crystal Waddell: that's

[00:18:02] Brittany Herzberg: really like why you need to set this up in the first place is like what's happening and then based on the information that you're getting, you can make sense of it.

And then, moving forward, what decisions do you want to make?

[00:18:13] Crystal Waddell: Exactly. And then the next thing we already touched on a little bit, and that's sitemaps. That's where it's really important to submit your website sitemap to Google Search Console, and that helps search engines understand the structure of your site and index your pages more efficiently.

And... Then, this was something that was surprising to me. I didn't realize that Google search console did this. It talks about linking domains and internal links. So if you are interested in who's linking to your website or how your top linked pages are connected this shows you which. External websites, other people's websites linked to your site, and it helps you to assess the quality and the quantity of backlinks, which impact your website's domain authority, which we've talked about before, that score between 0 to 100, how trustworthy is your site and your visibility and search results.

Typically, the higher your domain authority, the more likely you're going to be more visible in search results.

[00:19:15] Brittany Herzberg: And just out of curiosity, because I did not follow where you just went, how did you see the internal and external links?

[00:19:22] Crystal Waddell: Okay, let me...

[00:19:26] Brittany Herzberg: I know I found it before, but I can never find my way easily.

[00:19:32] Crystal Waddell: See, all my windows are jacked.

[00:19:37] Brittany Herzberg: I have to open

[00:19:38] Crystal Waddell: up a new...

Okay, so you go to the link section. And click on external links. Where is the link section? Oh, it's

[00:20:26] Brittany Herzberg: under I follow isn't that

[00:20:32] Crystal Waddell: cool? Yeah that's really awesome because you can export that and see. And again, it's just so crazy because it's these are data points that we get from the SEO softwares that we use.

And it's oh, my gosh

[00:20:46] Brittany Herzberg: This is amazing. We have it for free. Yeah, really. But this also is really helpful when you are, I should pull this into the blog course, but this is really helpful when you are creating content because if someone is already linking to you, for example, I see a couple of podcasts that I haven't written blogs about on my site, but because I know that they're linking to me and I

[00:21:07] Crystal Waddell: already know these people have very high domain authority.

[00:21:10] Brittany Herzberg: The best use of my time, the most efficient way to create content would be to create content that would then link from my site back to these higher domain websites that are already talking about me because then search engines are like, Oh, they like each other. They know each other. This is like such a symbiotic great relationship.

Yeah. No, that's

[00:21:30] Crystal Waddell: really helpful to know. Yeah. Low hanging fruit, right? Yeah. Okay. So yeah, I like that was also super helpful and insightful and I'm glad that you liked that. Oh, I'm freaking out over here. Yeah. I hope it's not. And then I want to know like all of your insights on it, because it's like, yeah, having that conversation is so fun.

[00:21:49] Brittany Herzberg: You're my number three referrer.

[00:21:52] Crystal Waddell: Ooh, there you go.

[00:21:57] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, I took us off track.

[00:22:00] Crystal Waddell: No, it's okay. It's fun. And that's why I love talking about it because it's okay, now, how can I use this to understand something new? And there we go and help others. Okay, so the number seven would be like page speed insights, and essentially, that's just the loading speed of our web pages, right?

So if you have a slow loading page, which we both run into this, as we're doing those suggest audits for people. The slower your page loads, the more likely people are to get bored and click away. So a lot of times there are things that you can do to improve that page speed. And there are actually recommendations in that page speed insights report to say, yeah.

Yeah. If you can read the computer language that it's written in,

[00:22:43] Brittany Herzberg: even before I was like really in the whole SEO techie world, I was still able to make sense of it. So there's at least. Some things that you can look at that report and go, Oh, I understand that. I know what I need to do, or, Oh, I understand the problem, but I maybe don't know what I need to do.

And then you just call us and we break it down for you or help you.

[00:23:01] Crystal Waddell: I want to look and see yeah, I just ran mine.

[00:23:04] Brittany Herzberg: I love doing

opportunities. Like one of the first things it says is property size images. I think it was Emily Reagan, right? Who told us about tiny png. com. Freaking love that site. And it, it sounds very overwhelming at first to be like, I have to go back and update the size of all of the images on my website.

Yes. And take it bit by bit. So what I've started to do is the main pages that I want people to go to I just rewrote and published the Home, About, and Services pages. So what would be really smart is if I would go and only focus on those images first, and I could take it a page per day, or a couple pages per week, and just make it a really doable, achievable goal.

Update those images, and it will make the user experience just so much better, so much faster. They will love you. They will have a positive interaction with you and it'll just make your life better.

[00:23:59] Crystal Waddell: I have, I want to say something. I have a question for you. The other thing I love about Google search console is that when you know what pages people are visiting the most, you could, take your approach from what be said, which, definitely makes sense.

Or you can say, okay, what pages are people visiting and start with those pages and then create your own checklist, for optimizing those pages first. But there's so many different ways to approach it. And it's okay, once you have that data, it's okay, what, which one makes the most sense for my business, or maybe it's a different approach, like you can really get creative with it.

But I was wondering, can you tell us how you got there? So in case somebody's coming back to this and they want to check it out on their side, like what you clicked

[00:24:42] Brittany Herzberg: on. So you could do you can get to this. Two different ways way number one is if you are scrolled to the top of that menu on the left hand side of your google Search console window you'll see overview and that's what we've been talking through if you scroll down You'll see performance indexing experience all the stuff that crystal was laying out for us And you'll see core web vitals at the bottom of that experience like window.

You can click that or Go back over to that left hand side menu, and again, you're going to see the performance report, indexing, experience, and you'll see Core Web Vitals there. Either way, whichever path you took, you just ended on Core Website Vitals, and you can click on Try Page Speed Insights. And from there, then you can actually run your analysis, and you'll type in your website, and then click Analyze, and you'll see wheels that start spinning.

Once it's run its course, you'll be able to scroll down and see It uses red, yellow, and green, like a stoplight situation for what's not so great, what's doing okay, and then what's doing wonderfully. And you'll scroll down, and I got down to the section where it said opportunities, and I was able to Take a peek at again, like the red and yellow and the green.

[00:25:52] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. I love the color coding, it's okay, just look for the green. Okay. There's green. And I even think I put that in my notes. If it's green, it's good. Oh yeah. If it's not, then that's where you have to take another look. So you just keep it moving if it's green. Yeah. Okay. And then the next thing is security issues.

Definitely if your website is running on HTTP. That's something that you'll want to fix, as soon as possible. And that's that means that you need a security certificate SSL. And so that's going to be something that core web vitals will tell you like, Hey, you don't have a secure website.

And the thing, the worst case scenario. Is it somebody clicks on your website and it gives them like some sort of warning like this website may not be safe it's

[00:26:39] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, exactly That's the worst thing that'll happen But I will make a note if you have been listening to us and you are curious about getting An seo audit with either one of us I have learned By way of someone coming my way and not having an ssl certificate if you don't have that We can't actually run the audit So you need to make sure that you have that in place, and this is a great place to go, like Crystal just said, to check and verify that you do actually have that.

Yeah

[00:27:05] Crystal Waddell: good add in there. Let's see. I lost my paper. Okay. Alright, so we're going to pop back to a couple things within that information, but now I want to talk a little bit about practical insights. From a couple of those pieces of the PISCES acronym, . Okay. Focus this on the pie . Yeah. So this is, these are the practical insights that I pay attention to.

And I definitely, I would love to know, like what you take away, be what you take away. Whoever you know, whoever. If you're listening right now, what you take away, if you use Google search console but for me under performance, that's where you can click in to compare your search results over a specific period of time and be, you asked the question earlier, said, somebody, or that, a common question is like, how often should you check Google search console?

When you are reviewing in the performance tab, you can set up. A date range, whether you do it every week, which some people are like, don't do that. It's not, not necessary, whatever. But if you're just really interested in what's going on, you can look at like the last seven days, especially if you've had a spike in traffic or sale, or you've noticed a dip, but if you want to just do it monthly, you can just set it up for 28 days.

Or if you want to do it quarterly, you can set it up for three months. The most important thing is whatever you set it up for, you always look at it at that cadence because that way you can really get the insights from, what do you call that? Why can't I think of my words? It's not even noon yet normally afternoon.

I can't think, but it's only 9.

[00:28:49] Brittany Herzberg: Just like getting a feel for what the rhythm is of yeah, which is and

[00:28:53] Crystal Waddell: yeah and then, but the other thing to note about that too, is that, what happens in Q1 as related to what happened in Q4 may not be the comparison you want to make because Q4 could have been completely different in terms of what you were promoting where your sales come from.

And so this is why it's so important to have that prior year data. So you can actually also compare what happened in Q1 of this year versus Q1 of last year. You can do

[00:29:23] Brittany Herzberg: that. And I will also say this year has 2023 has thrown myself and so many other business owners for a loop because things have just been like very interesting with the economy.

So sales and inquiries have definitely shown that. So if you're all excited to check your analytics this year, and yet you're like, I had a similar year to that. It's okay. Take it with a grain of salt. You can still notice some different patterns. But next year maybe you'll be able to have a little bit better of a year where you can actually really see the trajectory of things.

So deep breath and now that you know where to go and like what to follow, it's fun.

[00:29:59] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. Okay. So here's what I look for when I'm, clicking into that search performance tab. I want to know what keywords you're ranking for. I want to know what pages on your website are ranking like we talked about before, I want to know what devices people are using to find you I want to know where you're showing up in search, because here's a freebie, you can show up in multiple areas of search, you can show up in that traditional text search, you can show up in image search, you can show up in video search, and there's also something called Googer, There's also something called Google discover and it's, that's a whole nother episode or whatever.

Could be a good upcoming topic for SEO shorts, but it's another place that you can be found. And then I like to export the data. Again, make sure that you're adjusting the date so that you can have a frame of reference when you're making comparisons, but you can export the data and save it just in Google sheets and a spot on your drive so that you have it and you can go back and look at it later.

If you'd

[00:31:05] Brittany Herzberg: like, I would even say if this is something that you. So if you want to take the time to do and export it, just export it. You don't even necessarily need to look at it. And then whenever you do want Crystal or me or some other SEO expert to help you decipher things, it's fun for us to be able to see what the trajectory was like, what the patterns were and all that kind of stuff.

So it's fun for us to look at the data. So even if you're only like, okay, one day I'm going to call for help on this, just export the. results, the analytics, and then we can help you go back into Cypher. I did want to mention the fun thing that I go look for on the search results situation is I love seeing what weird search terms.

Yeah. Like how they find me. So it's always very interesting. And today I noticed that dating a massage therapist showed up, even though with all of my might and all of my will and all of my content, I'm like copywriting, SEO, copywriting, podcast stuff, copywriting. They're like, and

[00:32:03] Crystal Waddell: massage. That's

[00:32:05] Brittany Herzberg: funny. Oh yeah.

It's always entertaining over here. That's because your SEO was just

[00:32:10] Crystal Waddell: so good when you were doing massage therapy. It really was. Okay. So then the next, the second like practical insight that I want to share what I'm looking for is page indexing. And this is a really big one because someone, one of my clients said recently, she's what good is a website if nobody sees it?

And a lot of times. I think we create websites, recreate content for the internet. And we just assume that because we've created it, it's now visible for people to find. And so that's not true. I just want to, give you a heads up on that. And you're not alone. If you didn't know that because I know that, and even just running through this, like in preparation for this podcast, I recognize there were several pages that I had submitted that weren't indexed.

And so I needed to make sure that I indexed them again. So my favorite spot in Google search console is to inspect any pages in search. Because that's at the very top and there is a a microphone or not a microphone, a magnifying glass,

so there's a magnifying glass at the top of the page of Google search console, and it has this little grayed out text that says inspect any page in search and when you put let's say you write a new blog, the best thing is once you've hit publish on that blog is, That's it. Visit the blog from your website, grab the URL and then take it over to Google search console and paste it into that spot where it says, inspect any pages.

Because when you hit enter, it's probably going to tell you something like this page is not yet indexed by Google, which makes sense. You just wrote it, right? But that's when you need to hit, submit, submit or index or whatever. So that Google will then, No, they need to crawl that new URL.

[00:34:06] Brittany Herzberg: I I did some goofy stuff on the back end of my website and I have to go make amends with the Google gods. And it's like being reflected back at me.

[00:34:16] Crystal Waddell: Like I've got some work to do. Yeah. And anytime you update a page, it's good to update your content, especially this. The blogs that do well, update them every six months or a year, whatever it makes sense for you, and then resubmit it to Google search console.

So Google knows that page has been updated and it's just, a good practice to get in, to make sure that you're staying relevant, where you want to be relevant. Favorite hangout. Yeah. And then there's a couple other error things that are interesting. The not found 404 errors.

Some of that may be irrelevant, and it's really weird when you look in there, but it's still good to check because if you have a page that you recognize, it's important that is, having some sort of 404 error, then you want to get in there and fix that. Or redirect. Maybe you forgot that you change something and now there's no redirect to the product or blog or whatever page on your website that you want people to actually get to.

And then every once in a while, there will be these weird server errors, which are 5x errors. And. That's when there's like these weird URLs, like I've noticed sometimes like with a product listing or something, it's the product, and then it's got a bunch of weird characters after that, and I'm not sure, somebody, please let me know like why that happens.

I'm not sure why that happens, but then if it's pointing to your website, then it's like. A broken link, in a weird error. So you just want to make sure that something like that is addressed if it needs to be addressed. Yeah. And then the very last thing I want to say about this is that there is a section called discovered not currently indexed.

And this is like my new obsession because like I just said, I know that you're supposed to submit pages to Google search console, right? But imagine my shock when I go in there and I'm like, Oh my gosh, these pages have been discovered, but they're not currently indexed. What the heck, that's when you want to go in and make sure that you resubmit them and a pro tip to making sure that they're indexed.

If, for some reason they didn't get indexed the first time, tweet those pages because Google indexes Twitter. I don't have,

[00:36:31] Brittany Herzberg: I don't have that.

[00:36:32] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. And sometimes it's Oh, I don't have this one particular social media. That's the only reason I have Twitter. That's a good point. Maybe I should do

[00:36:40] Brittany Herzberg: that.

It, what's the workaround for if we don't have Twitter and someone doesn't want to get Twitter but they want to re index? The link so they go there, they see that they have some links. What do they do?

[00:36:53] Crystal Waddell: You mean, they discover that.

[00:36:55] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, they have that whole I discovered my currently

[00:36:57] Crystal Waddell: index.

Okay. Then you just repeat that process in Google search console where you copy that URL into the, that inspect any number of indexed pages and search and just resubmit it. Content, I like it. Yeah. And just some final notes here, submitting your site map is very straightforward. Okay. Just like we, we talked about the very, very beginning of the episode.

It's usually HTTPS colon forward slash yourwebsite. com forward slash sitemap. xml when you're looking at the page experience, stuff should be green. If it's any other color, take a closer look. There's some changes that are going to be happening to Google search console, which is always fun.

If things are changing, but they, you won't

[00:37:43] Brittany Herzberg: notice it at all.

[00:37:45] Crystal Waddell: Like with core web vitals they talk about something called INP, which is interaction to next paint. What this means is it just assesses the pages, overall responsive pages, overall responsiveness to. A user interacting with it.

Say they how fast the page loads. And, if I click on something, how fast that, manifests in something different. But that interaction to next paint is actually going to become. I guess more important than what is prioritized right now, which is something called F.

I. D. which is first input delay. First input delay is the time when from when a user first interacts with your page. So it's something that could be good for Google or for S. E. O. Shorts. But I. N. P. just encompasses the overall experience, whereas that first input delay was just measuring the first thing, right?

[00:38:40] Brittany Herzberg: It'll be

[00:38:41] Crystal Waddell: exciting. Yeah. Genuinely. Yeah. And then for our e commerce sellers, a note about shopping tab listings. They are managed in Google Merchant Center. So if you have an e commerce store, make sure that you list products in Google Merchant Center. It's free advertising. Again, if you have shopify, it's got a super sweet, super easy integration, that type of thing.

And let me know if you have any questions on that. It can definitely help you. And finally, what he was talking about that monthly email. Google search console insights. It gives you a quick look at some of your top performing data. It's going to be your new bestie.

[00:39:23] Brittany Herzberg: Honestly, that's my favorite thing because I am so in the doing and the going back in the checking and looking at the data is not always where I go find my happy place.

So I find that it's a really nice reminder. And like I've said earlier, like a gentle nudge of Hey, this is what's happening on your website. And then I always go click over to Google search console, but. I don't hang out there as much as I should. I haven't historically, but I have been doing more recently, and it's fun to even have you break this down and hear what you do and what

[00:39:51] Crystal Waddell: you know.

Yeah, I'm such a nerd. I love it. I love it. I love data. Yeah, definitely if it. If you have not set up Google Search Console, and you need some help with that, you can contact me, you can contact me. This is definitely something that we both can help you with and something that we can address in a site audit.

So if you need any help. We're here for you and would love to have the opportunity to work for you and with you to make sure that your website is showing up in search and that you have the visibility that your site deserves. Sometimes we just don't know that these things are at play, but once we do know, now we can address it and we're here to help you address it.

Yeah, definitely.

[00:40:36] Brittany Herzberg: And I just like another. Note because this is something I run into often with myself, but definitely with clients. Oh, I'm too late Oh, I'm embarrassed because I'm blank like Crystal and I don't this in the nicest way We don't care like we are here to help you now And we're not gonna be like judging you about any of that stuff because at one point we didn't know and honestly there's stuff that We are still learning So don't feel like you can't come to us and, you need to tuck your tail between your legs or Like we are here to help you and there's nothing to be embarrassed by or feel silly about.

Just, you heard about it now and now we just move forward from here.

[00:41:14] Crystal Waddell: Yeah, exactly. So I think. I think this wraps up. Yeah, this wraps it up. There's a lot we covered today. But remember, go back and listen to it again with your Google search console open and see if you can find some of these things that we're talking about.

And then when you have an aha, because I know you will share it with us, call

[00:41:34] Brittany Herzberg: us because we're always so curious. I love, we love knowing what the aha was, what the insight was, what the thing we said.

[00:41:41] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's. everybody gets a little something different out of it. So yeah. Okay. So I guess we'll see you next time.

We'll see you next time. Okay.

That was fun.

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