A Beginner’s Guide to Google Search Console

April 3, 2024 A Beginner’s Guide to Google Search Console By Gaurav Madan

Google Search Console is an excellent tool whether you are a digital marketing professional or a business owner. This is a free tool that comes in handy to track the performance of a website, engagement, and areas of improvement.

You can also search your website’s ranking and technical errors using this tool. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll learn about how to use the Google Search Console for SEO, steps to set up, and many more, So, let’s get started.

How to Set Up Google Search Console

  • Sign in to Google Search Console. A pop-up window will then appear, asking you to select the property type.
  • You’ll have two options here:
    URL prefix
  • Domain property offers complete website information. S, you can have a look at information from all the URLs under the domain name.
    However, you will be required to verify using your domain name system (DNS) provider. Here’s how you can do it:
  • Adding a URL prefix property type if you want data for just a particular section of your website, such as blogs.
    Just enter your URL under the URL prefix section and click on the “Continue” button (https://www.yoursite.com/blog/)
  • You can verify a URL prefix using different verification methods like HTML file (most recommended), HTML tag, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and domain name provider.

Setting Up Owners, Users, and Permissions

You can choose to have either an owner or user role in Google Search Console. Your choice affects permissions and accessibility.


Choosing an owner role in Google Search Console offers complete control of the property. It gives authority to remove or add users, configure settings, view data, and access all Search Console tools.

There are also two types of owners: Verified and Delegated.

  • People who have done verification using an HTML file or tag or any other verification token are Verified Owners.
  • Delegated owners get GSC access from verified owners.


Users have GSC access, but it has more limited permissions than owners.

There are three types of users: Full users, Restricted users, and associates.

  • People with full authority to view all data for a property and take required steps are Fuller Users.
  • People with partial access to data and may not have rights to view some particular data in a Google Search Console account are Restricted Users.
  • People with no rights to open or view a Search Console account or data are Associate. However, please note that they have access to perform work on the basis of association type.

How Can You Add a New User to Your Google Search Console Account

Owners can follow the steps mentioned below to add users and grant permissions:

  • Go to “Settings” and then click on “Users and permissions.”
  • Click on “ Add User
  • Enter the user’s email ID, select the access type, and then click on “Add.”

How to Add a Sitemap

A sitemap file has all the URLs of a website that you want Google to rank. The search engine giant will ultimately crawl and index your website. However, adding an XML sitemap can speed up this process.

You can follow the steps mentioned below to add a sitemap:

  • Check the sidebar and click on “Sitemaps.”
  • Enter the URL of the sitemap and click “Submit.”

You will see a pop-up of “Sitemap submitted successfully” once it is done.

How to Use Google Search Console For Different Reports

Page Indexing Report

This report helps you see which page Google can find for indexations and whether there are any issues related to it. Page indexation is crucial to rank in search engine results.

To track page indexing, click on “Indexing” under Page indexing and then go to “Pages.” Two tabs will appear there, one showing the data of indexed pages and the other having information about the pages that aren’t indexed.

Your pages may have issues with indexation in Google for different reasons, such as adding the “noindex” tag mistakenly. This report will identify the underlying issue, and you will need to check the impacted pages for troubleshooting.

Don’t forget to click on “Validate Fix” after you’re done with troubleshooting.

Page Experience Report

This report measures the user experience of a website using the following data:

  • Mobile-optimization: Whether you have a mobile-friendly website.
  • Core Web Metrics measures various crucial aspects of webpage content, such as loading speed, uniqueness, visual hierarchy, and interactivity.
  • HTTPS: Check whether you have a secure site connection.

To view this report, click on “Page Experience” under the experience section on the sidebar. The report will then be split between mobile and desktop.

If you see any issues in core web vitals, reach out to your developer to fix this issue. Once you’re done with it, click on “Validate Fix” to let Google know about the changes you have made.

URL Inspection Tool

This tool allows you to check the index stage of your website’s page. It also informs you about issues that may be hindering a page’s indexation in Google so you can troubleshoot them in a timely manner.

  • To use it, click on “URL Inspection Tool.
  • Enter the URL of each page in the inspect any URL section and check the indexation of each page.

This tool allows you to track index status, last crawl date, mobile friendliness, whether the page has structured data and any underlying issues related to it.

This tool can also analyze Live URLs. To do so, go to the top right of the page and click on “Test Live URL.” Then click on “View Tested Page” and then “Screenshot.

You can further use the URL Inspection Tool to request indexation of new pages of your website. Just enter the page URL in the inspect section and click “Request Indexing.”

Performance Report

It gives an overview of your site’s performance with four crucial metrics:

  • Total Clicks: This metric shows the number of times users visited your website from the search results.
  • Total Impressions: It is the number of times your website appeared in the SERPs.
  • Average CTR: CTR is the click-through rate, which shows you the percentage of impressions that led to a click.
  • Average Position: Your website’s ranking position in the SERPs.

How To Track These Data

Go to the “Search Results: section on the sidebar menu. You’ll see Queries, Pages, Countries, and Devices bringing you more online visitors. You can also track the performance of your site date-wise with a Performance report.

You need to pay attention to two main metrics:

  • Missing Keywords: If you do not see a ranking for your primary keywords, it may suggest that your content isn’t useful enough for users. In such a case, analyze and upgrade your content strategy and work on developing some unique and useful content targeting those primary keywords.
  • Low CTR: It means your page is ranking quite well on search engines but fails to attract visitors to your website. Work on writing relevant meta descriptions and title tags to make your page more appealing and attract users.

Sitemaps Report

This report will help you check your sitemap submission history and identify any sitemap-related issues.

To see a sitemap report, go to sitemaps, and you’ll have the following data URL, type of sitemap submitted, date of submission, last crawling date, crawling status, and no. of pages discovered in the sitemap.

You must also check the status column highlighting “Success” to ensure successful processing of the sitemap without issues.

If there are any errors in your sitemap, you can check Google’s guide to troubleshoot them.

Please note that you will need to perform a live URL test by visiting the “URL Inspection Tool” if GSC isn’t able to fetch your sitemap.

You need to click on “See Page Indexing” to view the page indexing report of your sitemap.

Enhancements Report

You need this report if you want to know about structured data Google identified on your site and whether there are any underlying errors. Structured data helps Google have additional information about an individual page of your site.

The search engine then uses it for indexation and ranking purposes, eventually increasing your page’s click-through rate (CTR).

You need to click on “Enhancements” on the sidebar to view structured data. If you click on “Breadcrumbs,” check whether your “Invalid” section shows “0,” which means there are no critical issues. If you see any issues in this section, that page will not appear in the SERP.

Links Report

This report monitors backlinks or external links which are one of the most important ranking factors. To see this report, click on “Links” on the sidebar and it will then show the number of backlinks your site has. It also lets you see the top linked pages that are earning more backlinks.

This report also offers information regarding internal links, which are an important factor in helping visitors effortlessly explore your site pages.

Manual Actions Report

If your website violates any of Google’s spam policies, it may receive manual actions or penalties, which can eventually affect your site’s ranking in the search engine—or even cause it to not rank at all. This can significantly affect your site’s traffic.

To check this report, go to “Manual actions: in your Google Search Console Account”. If the report mentioned no issues found, it’s good to go. However, if “Issues detected” pops up, check Google’s guide to address the same.

Shopping Report

If you are involved in a business of online stores or product review websites, then this is an important report for you. It shows you a combination of the three reports, which depends on your site’s structured data.

First is Product snippets, which identify whether there are any structured data errors for product snippets in the SERPs.
Second is Merchant listing, which finds structured data problems for a free listing on Google.
Last is Shopping tab listings, which check for structured data errors for items in the Shopping section in the SERPs.

To view this report, go to the “Shopping” section on the sidebar and click on each of these reports. Check whether the Invalid section shows “0.” If any Invalid items show, fix them using Google’s Rich Results test and check the problem. It will help you understand whether the code is working properly.

AMP Report

This report ensures optimized website loading speed. Errors in this section may cause issues with Google indexation.

To view this report, Click on “AMP ” and you’ll have a summarized report specifying valid and invalid pages.

Check for any existing issues and fix them so that your AMP pages become eligible to appear in search results. Click on “Validate Fix” once you troubleshoot the errors.

Google Search Console has so much to offer if you know how to use it correctly. This guide will help you get acquainted with this extremely powerful tool. You can also trust Autus Digital Agency to accelerate your business growth with the right digital marketing solutions. Get in touch with us today or check our website for more information.


Gaurav Madan

About Author

Gaurav is working on various verticals like IT & Software Solutions | Digital Marketing | E-Commerce | BPO | Outsourcing | Offshoring | Global Deliveries | Exports | Education. Gaurav believes in CHANGE, which is constant throughout the LIFE so be with the CHANGE Gaurav is having, In-depth experience in IT Solutions, Offshoring, Internet Branding, Sales & Marketing, Managing New Projects & Processes, Solution Designing and Transitioning of New International and Domestic business engagements. Proficient at managing & leading teams to run successful operations & experienced in developing procedures, service standards, client satisfaction using standard frameworks for business excellence.

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