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Google Search Console Webinar

Google Search Console Webinar


Hey, everybody this is John Sammon from
Sixth City Marketing. Welcome to our November webinar. This is about the
Google Search Console, so when everybody gets together in a room and talking
about things to do to improve your website, especially now at the end of the
year, the first thing that doesn’t necessarily come up is, “Hey, we should
look at our Google Search Console information.” And so, what we found is that
it’s commonly, no necessarily overlooked, but not necessarily the first thing that
comes up. So we’re gonna put together a little bit of a webinar here to give you
some insights on what you should be looking at and what you should set up
and focus on with the Search Console and the importance of it. So without further
ado, let me get into the presentation today, so I’m gonna hit my PowerPoint
slides and I’ll be jumping back and forth between, you know, my presentation
here and then actually showing you some of the interface. So what would we start
out with? A recent breathtaking client tale, right? So let me get into a tale
that we’ve recently experienced with one of our clients and how the Search
Console really helped them improve their website traffic. But naturally when
you’re talking about the Google Search Console and webinars and internet
marketing you think about the New Bomb Turkey Sandwich from a local restaurant
chain called Melt, Cleveland/Columbus, highly recommend trying it out. They
specialize in grilled cheese sandwiches and what I would call, as you can see
from the picture, epic grilled cheese sandwiches. So this is one of their
features for November and I enjoy the sandwich and you can see there’s a
variety of different ingredients and things that go into it, but my wife looks
at the sandwich and says, “No that’s not necessarily a good combination of
ingredients,” and how that relates to our presentation today is that for this
specific client story the Google Search Console was, we
went in and have evaluated a lot of different elements or ingredients to
identify certain issues that they had with their website and help them remedy
those issues. And essentially those issues came down to identifying poor
backlinks to the website, which the Google Search Console has a section of,
which I’ll show you shortly, and then actually this client had a
section of their blog, quite a bit of it, dedicated to syndicated content. So,
syndicated content is great, right, it allows you to get a lot of different
content for cheap and you know very, very quickly. The problem is when it comes to
search engines it’s not necessarily a good thing because if the content is
good and it’s available via syndication it’s often the case where other people
are using it and a lot of other people are using it. And how
that relates to your website in search engine optimization is that it puts you
in the category of “duplicate content” which can hurt your overall
website performance, especially if you have a lot of syndicated content versus
original content on your website. So the Search Console allowed us to identify
both of these things in remedy both of these things and as a result within a
30-day period of time we were able to increase the website traffic, organic
traffic by 30%, and that hadn’t necessarily happened in a long time for
this client and that was part of some of the what we call a technical assessment
when a client comes on board is identifying those issues and remedying
those issues as part of the first month’s work. But it’s something you
should keep in mind. So let’s get into what we’re going to talk about today.
Presentation should last about 20 minutes if I don’t share any more fun
and exciting stories. What is the Google Search Console? We’ll talk about
installation, so there’s a few things to know about that, and then things to pay
attention to, I like to, I’ve had some experience teaching, I’d like to say if
you want to get a grade, a B grade, things to pay attention to to focus on
initially and then other things to pay attention to to
receive that A grade if your want to go above and beyond or if you’ve mastered
the basics of the things that I’ll show you here shortly, and then I’ll have a
slide or two for people to reach out and ask questions via email or via phone
afterwards, or at your leisure, right? So, what exactly is the Google Search
Console? Some of you may know it as the Google Webmaster Tools, which if I refer
to it as Google Webmaster Tools that was something it was well-known for up until
a few years ago, it’s actually a free tool that’s available to you much
like Google Analytics, but the good, the cool thing about it is that it shows you
a variety of other data besides what Google Analytics shows you. So the data
is very different. It allows you to communicate with Google to help improve
your presence in search engines, so one of the things as I mentioned before was
letting Google know that we had syndicated content on our website and we
didn’t want them to index or show that in their listings so that we wouldn’t
get hit with a duplicate content penalty. All right, and then what why you should
pay attention to it, right? It can dramatically improve your website
traffic, in it, like I said before, with this client, these were issues that the
client wasn’t necessarily even aware of. It was actually a lot of the work that
we remedied was done by vendors, work that vendors had done all the way back
to ten years ago when speaking of the the backlinks, so if you’ve worked with
multiple vendors in the past and you’ve been diligent about doing any kind of
internet marketing especially SEO this is something to definitely keep an eye
on. And then view critical alerts such as security issues for those of you who
have experienced any kind of malware attacks, I’m sorry, we’ve certainly helped
our clients through those situations in a variety of ways over the years. This
can be a way to get a heads-up before actually seeing the full effect of those
penalties, so I’ll show you where you can look for that too. In some cases
they’ll email you these issue notifications ahead of time as well
before your website is kind of penalized or
along those lines in Google and the search engines, and again those are good
things to know ahead of time if you don’t have any third-party sites that
are kind of keeping a close eye on your website. And assessing enhance your
website as well. Okay, things to know when setting it up – again, I will jump into the
interface really quickly. But you want to make sure that you use the exact URL for
your website ,so a lot of people have been switching from HTTP to HTTPS or you
may be showing your website, you know, if you go to your website it may default to
the non www version of it. You want to make sure to
put the exact URL of your website in there otherwise you may not get all the
data that you’re looking for. And then, when you go to install it, there are
multiple ways to install it. One of the ways, if you guys have set up Google
Analytics you’ll have either yourself if you’re technical or a web person help
you with it by inserting a piece of code on your website or uploading a file to
the main web server. They’ve tried to make it easy that if you have Google
Analytics installed, or a version of Google Analytics installed, you can click a
button to have it verified through Google Analytics so that certainly is
the easiest route to go, but hopefully you have that available to you. And
something else to know is that once you have it verified and it starts
populating they’ve done a better job of this lately by telling you, hey, this data
will take a few days to populate, but it will take a few days to populate – it’s
not instantaneous, so you know, I would say 24 to 48 hours before the data
populates. So if you install it the next day you check it and there’s nothing
there, that’s why. They try to give you a little bit more of a
notice now, I think more blatantly or abruptly, like hey, it we’re working on it.
So okay, orientation, so let’s go into the two in the Google Search Console
interface and the great thing about this, you know, for those of you who are in
internet marketing and been in internet marketing for a while or even learning
internet marketing, Google always keeps us on our toes right? So right now
Google is integrating a new version of the Google search console and there also
is at your disposal an old version of it, and when I say new and old it refers to
the interfaces. So if I pull up the interface now once you install it it
actually defaults to the Google Search Console new interface, and this is the
overview dashboard. If you scroll down you’ll see a link to go to the old
version, so I actually have the new version up on my website and then an old
version up, so dramatically different interface but you’ll actually have to
use both at your disposal depending upon what you are trying to accomplish. So I’m
gonna start with the old version of the interface ,they haven’t, and the reason
why they have the two is, if I haven’t mentioned it or haven’t mentioned it at
length, you know, they’re still incorporating features over to the new
interface so that’s why we have both. Anyways, so one of the first
things that I want to show you is that when you go into the
old interface, and again, not to be redundant, but you can click on the left-hand, both interfaces have a left-hand navigation that you can use to search in
different areas, but I would start with going to the old version of the
interface. And I have a website up here called Robot Butt. One of our staff
members, Steve DiMatteo is part of this, it’s a satire site like The Onion, so I
wanted to be sensitive about showing client data within here, so Steve was
great about giving me access to it. Feel free to check it out, a lot of fun, zany
stuff on there. But one of the first things that you want to do is go into
the old version of the interface. It gives you a whole array of different
things to look at. One of the first things that I’ll draw your attention to
is the crawl errors. So if you click to go over to the crawl errors section, you
can see something called site errors and that’s where people start getting
worried, and essentially the things that we pay, one of the things that we pay
the most attention to in this area, are “not found errors.” So this refers to, these
aren’t actually, these are errors that Google has detected in that if you’ve had a preview, if you’ve published a page, and it no longer exists
on the site and you haven’t necessarily told Google what you’ve done with it,
they’re gonna show you a 404 crawl error. So if I click scroll down here and click
on not found and scroll down, you can see that it shows about 26 different crawl
errors on your website and there’s some fun ones in there, thank you, Steven. And most of the time what these are are pages that have existed at one time and
no longer exist and it shows you kind of a chart of how those crawl errors
have either increased or decreased over the last, I don’t know, I see two to three
months there. And what you can do is is the biggest thing with this section is
Google looks at this as an indication of whether your website health is good or
bad. If you have a lot of different crawl errors compared to the number of pages
you have published live, they can take that as a sign that you have your website is
in poor health and they’ll hold that against you to some extent when they’re
ranking you. So the easiest thing to do is look at these crawl errors and look
and see if, you know, you can look and see it, was like okay, that’s a page that you
know, if I was creating a test page and it no longer exists, you know, it probably
wouldn’t have a lot of value. So you can do kind of one or two things as you’re
trying to remedy these issues. You can either do something called “no index” it
or ask Google to not list it anymore, or you can do something called 301
redirecting it. A lot of you may have heard of that – that’s a little bit more
technical and you essentially go in and use put a little piece of code in an HT
access file that says, okay, here’s the old URL, I want to redirect you to either the
URL that’s most relevant or just the homepage, but just so they they don’t
have these errors hanging out there. If you decide that the page isn’t actually
worth redirecting, which it may not be, there’s an area, again as I mentioned
before, that you can go to within the Google Search Console under Google index
and you can click on remove URLs. And you can actually ask
Google through this interface to temporarily hide these URLs, so say for
instance, you’ve the test URL that you’ve created is long gone, you’ve deleted it,
and you just want to ask Google to know to not list it anymore, you can copy the URL,
paste it within and hit continue, and then Google now knows that they
shouldn’t index that page anymore. So that’s, that’s something to keep an
eye on and take a look at, and then another area that you want to look at is
under crawl you can click on sitemaps. So some of you may have heard of having
an XML sitemap for your website. You can see that the website robotbutt.com has
generated a sitemap, an XML sitemap, and what that is is it’s
a file that says to Google, hey, listen, here are all of the pages on our website.
And Google may not necessarily through their algorithm detect all of the pages
on your website, so you may have, you know, it may, it’ll tell you how many it’s
indexed. So you can see that through this file we’ve submitted just under 9,000
URLs and Google has indexed 5,000 pages. So initially, they may have just indexed
3,000 and we know that we have a lot of different pages on our website. One way
to get the number of pages indexed or listed higher is to generate a sitemap
and submit that to Google through the Search Console so that, you know, it kind
of covers all the bases and if you can get more URLs listed it
improves the probability of getting people to your website. So, something to
keep in mind. If you if you don’t have a website like WordPress that you can add
a plug-in to to easily generate an XML sitemap there, you can just Google “free
XML sitemap” and there are websites out there that will generate an XML sitemap
for you. You’ll need to upload that file to the
main directory of your website so you may need a technical resource to do that,
but it’s something that I would highly recommend. In terms of, let’s see here, oh,
security, that’s a big thing, so, obviously, right? I mentioned it earlier. You can see,
I’ll minimize the crawl, security issues. So if I click on security issues,
“Currently we haven’t detected any security issues with your site’s content.”
That’s fantastic. This is what we want to see all the time,
but in some instances you, if your site is compromised with a malware attack or
there’s some unusual activity on it, you will get heads-up on that through the
Google Search Console. Some people go out and utilize third-party websites as I
mentioned to keep an eye on their website and to kind of take the next
step, but if you haven’t done that this is the first step to do that. Great, so
those are the things that will help you, you know, look at to start to earn a B.
You know, which is still a solid grade, right? But if you’re looking for other
things, there’s certainly other things that Google shares and I’m gonna go back
over into the new portal to show you a few different things within here to, you
know, once you graduate to checking out, if you want that A grade, you know these
are things to look at. So if I go within here, this is the dashboard and
the page you will be taken to initially, you can go into the performance tab and so
we can see within here total clicks, total impressions, average click-through
rate, and average position of your overall website presence in Google. And
so this is interesting when you break it down into, you know, for those of you who
are doing traditional marketing you can get it, you know, and they’re talking to
you about impressions. Well, this is a way to get your impressions versus clicks on
Google, and not only from an overall perspective but also, I’ll get into the
queries in a second, but you know, if you get into the pages tab you can see we
have a post that ranks really well for conferences, higher education
conferences. You can see that it’s gotten 42,000 impressions, but the click-through
rate, you know, the impression to clicks ratio, I would say, you know, if
that was a really, really big focus on what we’re doing, you know, there’s an
opportunity to improve the click-through rate on that. I’ll scroll up a little bit
because I know I’m hogging the lower right-hand corner on my screen, but you
know, so if you wanted to, you know, if you got that information you could play
around with the copy on the page, perhaps the page title, and a meta description to
create alternative messaging to see if you could get the click-through rate up.
It’s kind of like what you do when you’re running a Google AdWords campaign
is you see that data and you make adjustments based off of the title and
the messaging to see what generates a better response and this is one way of
doing that. It’s another way to see, you know, how people are coming to your
website and the queries is through this queries tab under performance, so you can
see some keyword phrases drawing people to our website. A lot of them are centered
around blog posts that we’ve written, so that’s kind of a fun thing to look at.
Yeah, so kind of some fun other things to kind of keep an eye on. We talked about
the Google index when, you see, I’m cheating here in my notes, oh,
links. Okay, so one of the things I mentioned earlier in helping out our
client is if we go into,and I just lost my–here, links, here we go. It’s the new
interface, right? So if you click, if you go down and look at a section called
links, you can see that they’re showing you external links and internal links to
your website. So external links you can see if I go in to learn more about that,
you know, how many incoming links are coming to your specific pages right? So,
you know, if you’re trying to rank a specific blog post, or if you’re putting
blog posts out there and you’re trying to see what type of link activity that
people have, it’s a good way to know how people are linking to your site and the
specific pages that are linking to specific blog posts. So that’s
interesting to know. Internal links are important as well.
So, you know, one of the biggest factors in getting your pages linked as I kind
of mentioned is not only the number of external pages coming to it but also the
number of internal links pointing to it. So, you know, you can look and see and say,
you know, if my page isn’t ranking very well how am i linking to it internally
versus other pages. You can make some adjustments to improve mentions of links
to that page in your website and you should see some good activity in terms
of improving your SEO position for that page. The other thing, too, is if you go
into top linking sites you can see in terms of how many different URLs are
linking to you external URLs and that helps to because that helps Google
understand your authority on a specific subject is, you know, it not only comes
down ranking in search engines and that only comes down to content on your
website, but it also comes down to who is linking to you. Check my notes to
see… you know, I think that’s kind of a summary of the different things that you
can look at in the Search Console. It’s a well-winded explanation for that,
“long-winded” is the term I’m looking for. Right after this is my next cup of
coffee, right? So I have this, I have a summary of what I’ve covered here in the
presentation, between let’s take the tour and then also bonus things to check out,
so I’ve summarized those so you can kind of refer back to them. If you want a
copy the PowerPoint presentation I can certainly send that over to you. How to
reach me with questions – please email me your questions at [email protected], or call me. It’s 440-821-1425. Again,
I’m covering a lot of different things here, you know, it’s not just the
Search Console. It leads into other concepts that relate to SEO, technical
things with your website, and there’s a whole lot more in the Google Search
Console that you can explore, but these are the things that I would encourage
you to pay attention to first and foremost. So I really appreciate you
watching the video and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks a lot.

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