There are many different tools out there that can help webmasters get the results they want from their SEO campaigns, but it is amazing how often some of the most valuable tools out there are overlooked because they are free. One prime example of this is the Google Search Console (formerly called Google Webmaster Tools). These tools are freely available and yet essential if you want to get ahead in ranking your website.

Using the Google Search Console is also just a common sense move. After all, if you are trying to rank higher in Google, don’t you want to know how Google analyzes and sees your website? You can view what they don’t like about your site and what is keeping it down. This can include issues like negative SEO, and bad backlinks you didn’t even know were linking to your website.

Knowledge Is Power

In the world of SEO, knowledge is power. This knowledge includes everything you can do to improve your website’s rankings as well as avoiding the landmines that can sink it.

Just a few of the things you can see with the Search Console include:

  • Your bounce rate (high is bad, low is good)
  • Does your website have any malware or harmful software detected on it?
  • 404 and other re-direct errors (Google hates these)
  • Unnatural backlink structures or low-quality backlinks
  • Your overall site performance in the eyes of Google

The Search Console is a treasure trove of high-quality information! You can:

  • Find and fix all the broken links within your website
  • Figure out if you need to move things around to keep visitors on the site longer
  • Find out if your site is getting hacked from international forums or
  • Can see if the competition is intentionally hurting your rankings by using negative SEO, which is flooding your website with spammy backlinks.

If that last situation occurs, you have the ability with Google’s Search Console is to “disavow” those spammy backlinks, so they don’t hurt your ranking. The Search Console is an incredibly powerful tool, and anytime your website is showing up in random forums in Russia or Japan, it’s time to change all your website and hosting passwords to something entirely different and complicated. Having these tools allows you to head off those disasters at the pass before they happen.

Taking Action

You will also find that fixing broken links is a critical part of any SEO campaign. Not only does Google not like seeing broken links, but they have penalized a website’s rankings for every single one that they find. Even a small number of misdirects or broken links can suddenly become a huge deal. Taking care of these early may be enough in and of itself to get a good website jumping up through the results.

Use the Tools!

There are so many quality premium tools out there that cost money, so this brings up a great point: why not use a powerful tool that’s free? It’s available to everyone and if you want to know how Google sees your website, why not see their data and even take advantage of their knowledge to solve problems you didn’t even know you had? Use the tools Google gives you and you won’t be sorry!