In the following article we’re going to explain the benefits of using Google Search Console for photographers. We will cover details on how it can benefit your website, how Google Search Console works, and some of the important data available for your business.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (Previously Google Webmaster Tools) is another free amazing tool from Google. It will help you understand more about your site and how it’s performing in Google organic search.
Google Search Console will provide you with a whole array of information, including details on pages that are indexed, site issues, indexing issues and crawl errors. You can find out more about your linking profile (internal and external links), find out how people find your site, what devices they are using, mobile usability issues, fix website errors and much, much more.
How to Set Up Google Search Console
If you haven’t already signed up for Google Search Console, let’s get started.
If you have, and are using Google Search Console great, skip this section.
Video Overview (Old Interface)
Setting Up Google Search Console
To sign up for Google Search Console do the following:
- Go to Google Search Console
- Sign in with your Google Account – use the same account you are using for Google Analytics (it will make verification easier)
- Open the drop down menu from your top left corner and click on +Add Property
Then select your property type and add your website address. You have 2 options here:
- Domain – this requires DNS record verification to prove that you are the owner of this domain. You will only need to add one version of your site and it will match all your subdomains (www.example.com, m.example.com) and protocols (https://example.com, http://example.com)
- URL prefix – if you choose this option, you will need to add every version of your site as a new property (https://www.example.com and https://example.com would be 2 separate properties)
Here is a detailed tutorial on how to add your website property in Search Console and the difference between these options.
If you go for the 2nd options (URL prefix), you will have to verify the site as yours.
If you already have Google Analytics, you can verify your site by connecting Search Console to Google Analytics.
To do so, select the – choose the verification method “Google Analytics” and click “verify”.
Once verified, the next step will be to add your sitemap to ask Google to start indexing your site quicker.
10 Reasons to use Google Search Console for Photographers
1. It’s free. Thats right it’s 100% free to use. All this information right here are your finger tips and you won’t spend a dime. If that’s not enough, keep reading.
2. Understand how your content ranks with Google. By using the search traffic section of Google Search Console you can easily see how well your sites content is ranking for specific keywords. You can see how many times content is showing up in results, the number of times someone clicks on your content and its position for a specific term (or set of terms, depending on how you filter data, by page or by search term).
3. Understand what content is indexed. After you submit your sitemap with Google, using the crawl report you can see what pages / posts / images are indexed for your site and if there are any issues with crawling them.
4. Understand backlink profile. Backlinks are an important part of any website. The more quality backlinks you have the higher your sites authority on the web. This will mean your content can potentially rank higher as Google trusts your website more if you have a good backlink profile.
5. Find out what keywords you rank for. As we mentioned in point 2 you can see how much traffic your site gets for specific keywords. You also have a section below showing all the queries for your site. Here you can uncover any search terms for your site, including specific terms for specific pages. This will allow you to improve your content further and target those specific keywords and to boost your overall position for those queries.
6. Get notified of any site issues. If you have your Google Search Console set up correctly, Google will be able to notify you of any issues on the site with the messenger section. This is a great way to stay informed about any potential site issues, including details on 404 errors, server connection issues, and any malware or spam problems which can negatively affect your site.
7. Improve your SEO. Google Webmaster tools will give you insights on how to improve your site’s HTML including details on page meta titles, meta descriptions, if you are missing titles on your pages, or even if you have duplicate content which is bad for SEO. You can also find details about structured data and use the data mark up helper tool to improve how your content is seen by Google. Denoting structured data gives you more chances to get rich snippets which can help with improving your clickthrough rates (the % of people that actually click your result on search result pages).
8. Submit your sitemap and get your content crawled quicker. You have the option to submit your sitemap to Google. Your sitemap is basically a map of how your site is structured, it will tell Google what pages / posts and other media content is available on your site. With that information, they are then able to notify the Google bots to crawl the site, allowing your content to potentially be indexed and shown in search results.
9. Submit new content for crawling and remove content from search results. If you’ve just created some new content and would like it to be indexed and found in search results quicker, there is a URL Inspection Tool that does exactly that.
10. Mobile usability and issues. Find out if your site is mobile friendly and be notified if any content isn’t, you can also use their Google Mobile-Friendly testing tool. Google will also then tell you what isn’t working, and provide some ways in which you can fix this content. With mobile traffic increasing year on year, this is going to be super important for your website.
There you have it folks, 10 good reasons as to why you need Google Search Console to help improve your website, your SEO and hopefully your business overall. As a photographer, your website is one of your most important tools for lead generation. Having a highly optimized site with a good SEO presence will greatly improve your chance of business growth. The more visibility your website gets on the web, the more chance you have of finding the right clients for your business.