Understanding Google Search Console: A Comprehensive Guide

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Google Search Console or GSC, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results. It doesn’t require you to sign up for Search Console for your site to be included in Google’s search results, but it can help you understand and improve how Google sees your site.
An illustration of a laptop and a lamp using Google Analytics.

What Does Google Search Console Do?

Google Search Console is a free tool provided by google that offers tools and reports for performing on google, and includes: 

Submitting sitemaps

GSC allows you to submit XML sitemaps of your website to inform Google about the structure and content of your site, helping it index your pages more effectively.

Monitoring website performance

You can use google search console to track various metrics related to your website’s search performance, including impressions, clicks, average position, and click-through rates (CTR). This helps you understand how your website is performing and identify areas for improvement.

Analyzing search traffic

GSC provides data on the search queries that are driving traffic to your website. You can see which keywords users are using to find your site and how often your site appears in search results for those queries.

Identifying indexing issues

GSC alerts you to any issues that may prevent Google from indexing your website correctly. It notifies you about crawl errors, missing pages, and other problems that may affect the visibility of your site in search results.

Testing and improving mobile usability

GSC offers a mobile usability report that shows any issues affecting the user experience of visitors using mobile devices. You can identify and fix issues like mobile-unfriendly pages or slow loading times to provide a better experience for mobile users.

Enhancing structured data

You can use Search Console to test and validate structured data on your website, such as schema.org markup. This helps Google understand the content on your site better, which may lead to enhanced search results with rich snippets.

Providing URL removal requests

In case you need to tell google to temporarily remove a page or URL from Google’s indexes, Search Console allows you to submit URL removal requests.

Viewing and exploring search analytics data

You can access detailed data about how your website is performing in search results, including information about impressions, clicks, CTR, and average position. This data can be filtered by various dimensions like pages, queries, countries, devices, and more, providing valuable insights for SEO optimization. 

Google Analytics, how does it fit in?

Google Analytics and Google Search Console are both tools provided by Google that help you understand different aspects of your website’s performance. Each has its own set of features and functions, and they complement each other to give a comprehensive view of your website’s performance.

Here’s how they fit together:

Google Analytics

This tool focuses on the behavior of your website visitors. It tracks and reports website traffic, providing detailed statistics about a website’s traffic, traffic sources, conversions, and sales. It can show you how users interact with your site, which pages they visit, how long they stay on those pages, what devices they are using, and much more.

Google Search Console

This tool focuses on the search engine side of things. It helps you understand how Google views your site and optimize its performance in search results. It provides information on which keywords are leading users to your site, shows if Google is having any crawl issues with your site, and lets you see which sites are linking to yours.

Both tools are meant to work together

  • Google Search Console data can be integrated into Google Analytics, allowing you to see your organic search data alongside the rest of your site data.
  • Google Analytics can help you understand what users do once they’ve arrived at your site through search, while Google Search Console can give you insight into why users are arriving through search in the first place.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console fit together by providing different perspectives on your website’s performance. By using both tools, you can get a well-rounded view of how users find your site and what they do once they’re there.

Metrics in Google Search Console

The Performance report of Google Search Console gives you important metrics about how your website performs in Google Search results. Here are some key metrics you should pay attention to:

Total Clicks

Total clicks refers to the overall number of times that users have clicked on a website’s link or listing in search engine results pages (SERPs). It represents the total amount of traffic coming from search engine referrals. Each click indicates a user’s engagement with the website and their interest in its content or offerings. Monitoring total clicks can help website owners evaluate the visibility and search performance of their site, as well as assess the effectiveness of their SEO strategies. 

Total Impressions

Total Impressions is a metric that measures the number of times any URL from your website appeared in search results and was viewed by a user. It includes both organic search impressions and paid search impressions. This metric helps you understand the visibility of your website in search results and can indicate how often users have the opportunity to click on your website link. It does not measure the actual number of clicks on your website, but rather the number of times it was seen in search results. 

Average CTR (Click Through Rate)

The average CTR (Click Through Rate) is a metric that measures the effectiveness of an online advertising campaign by determining the percentage of impressions (ad views) that resulted in a user clicking on the ad. It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks an ad receives by the number of impressions it generates and multiplying the result by 100 to get the percentage.
CTR = (Clicks / Impressions) * 100
For example, if an ad received 100 clicks and generated 10,000 impressions, the CTR would be:
CTR = (100 / 10,000) * 100 = 1%
Therefore, in this example, the average CTR for that specific ad campaign would be 1%. 

Average Position

The average position is a metric that indicates where your website typically ranks in search engine results when it appears in a search query. It considers all instances of your website appearing in search results and calculates the average position across these instances. For example, if your website appears as the first search result in one search and the third search result in another, the average position would be 2. 

How Can Business Owners Use This Information?

Improve SEO

Google Search Console can help you understand which pages have been indexed by Google, and how they are performing. If you find that certain pages are not being indexed, you can submit them directly through the console, helping to improve your SEO.

Identify and Repair Site Errors

The Coverage report shows the indexing state of all URLs that Google has visited, or tried to visit, in your site. This report helps you identify and fix technical errors on your website, ensuring that users and Google can access all pages.

Optimize Content with Search Analytics

Google Search Console provides insights into the queries that bring users to your site. You can use this information to create more content around these keywords, and optimize existing content to better answer these queries.

Enhance Site’s Usability

The Core Web Vitals report helps you measure user experience across the web. It gives you information on loading performance, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads. By optimizing these aspects, you can enhance the usability of your website.


Google Search Console is an invaluable tool for business owners looking to improve their website’s performance in Google Search results. By understanding its metrics and using its reports, you can ensure that your website is easily discoverable, user-friendly, and content-rich – all critical aspects for enhancing online visibility and driving business growth.

Still Confused?

Reach out to EDG.tech and find out how we can help turn technical mumbo-jumbo into website traffic.

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Duane Epperly

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