It's always fun when you get to open a piece of writing with a bit of a shocker, and I've got one that will set you back on your heels - I think... So guess what? In 2016 Google reported having indexed over 130 trillion web pages. Needless to say, no matter how unique your business might be to you and your customers, to Google crawlers it's just another page to gather information from. This information tells Google's programs how to rank your website in a search, or not. In Google's own words the free tool "helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site's presence in Google Search results," and so, whether you are a digital wiz or not, you should try to learn a thing or two about Google Search Console.
To help, I've compiled a list of the very basics for you:
1 - Google Search Console is a free service. 2 - Once an account is set up Google will offer you a meta tag to install into your website, with simple instructions on how and where to place it.
3 - Once the tag is installed you've got confirmation that Google actually can and will search and crawl your site. 4 - After some time you will be able to see reports of indexing problems.
5- You will also be able to view *** drumroll please*** (my favourite part) Google Search traffic data for your site! With this tool you're going to have access to information on: how often your site appears in Google Search, which search terms people are using to find your site, how often searchers click through with those search terms, and much more. Essentially learning how and where people are finding us online brings us one step closer to understand where we actually NEED to be on the internet. Google Search Console is the tool that is going to get you there, and if getting it going seems a challenge, don't hesitate to ask. ;)