Monitoring webpage performance for a retail website is key for a number of reasons, the main one being that when analysed and implemented well, SEO can help to meet many of your business objectives, including business growth. Monitoring search engine optimisation is critical to success, because, ultimately, if you don’t measure it, then you can’t improve it and if it isn’t improved, your website is unlikely to be going anywhere. Keeping an eye on your SEO by monitoring traffic, rankings and links enables appropriate road mapping to be put in place for progress, which is vital if you’re reporting on this to stakeholders. In reality, understanding how your SEO efforts are doing can sometimes be a minefield, requiring tools to break it down and help you find the results that are meaningful in relation to your objectives. This is where Google Search Console (GSC) comes in and here are a few ways to use it to ensure that your retail website has effective SEO performance.
GSC usefully holds up to 16 months of data so that a particular period of performance during the year can be directly compared to the same period, exactly a year previously – which is a really great way of assessing performance over the space of a longer period of time (GSC used to only hold data for 90 days which meant not as much could be analysed). The GSC performance tab will not only let you look at web searches but also image searches, which could be useful if you are using product images to create a positive experience for website visitors. If you are receiving a lot of results via image search, you might want to consider putting more than one image per product on your site (if you haven’t already) because this will increase the opportunity for search traffic.
Google Search Console allows you to filter the timescale of your data so you can view anything up to the full sixteen months to as short as seven days. Viewing data from different timescales is beneficial for a number of reasons when it comes to assessing the performance of a retail website. You may want to look at a short window of time if you have published an SEO-related update and would like to see the effect it has had and by the same token you might want to track progress over a year or more.
Gaining an understanding of the keywords that are helping your retail website progress in the SERPs, will in turn help you to assess whether or not your SEO strategy is targeting the keywords that are most relevant to what you are selling on your website. One of the reasons that using GSC will help you to grow your business is because it allows you to check the progress of specific keywords over time which will then contribute to your project plan, going forward.
Using GSC can help ensure that the keywords that you are targeting are relevant to your products. If your products are ranking for the wrong thing or wrong meaning, you’re going to have a very low click-through rate. Without Google Search Console, this can be difficult to determine, but thankfully, this tool will allow you to not only see what you’re ranking for, but also allows you to come up with a solution moving forward and help you to determine where to best focus your efforts. Of course, no matter what, it’s important to use relevant keywords within your content but, depending on the type of products that your retail website is selling, GSC will determine whether you’re better off using short tail keywords (three words or less) which will drive a lot of traffic to your site but have high competition and a fairly low focus or whether you want to utilise long-tail keywords. The latter may not drive as much traffic but are a lot more specific, targeted and allow you to cater to your specific customer. They also come with a lot less competition. GSC will help you determine which type are best for the SEO performance of your website, at any one time.
Optimising a page is essentially the action of adjusting several elements, some visible to users and some not, to help search engines see the page’s value to searchers and thus start offering it in search result or relevant terms.. Creating an organic search performance report with Google Search Console can help you determine which of the pages on your retail website will benefit from being optimised. Your webpage may benefit from some optimisation work for a number of reasons such as if it is appearing in people’s search results, but for whatever reason, people aren’t clicking on it. A low click-through rate can be determined with Google Search Console. If you do have a low click-through rate, there are a number of resolutions that can be looked into, such as changing your meta description to draw in customers with a fuss-free yet intriguing call to action.
SEO Performance for retail websites is important on both desktop and mobile and Google Search Console is a handy tool to compare both, as it features a performance indicator that allows you to monitor data such as number of impressions and clicks per device – this is useful to identifying any potential performance issues, not just over desktop but over mobile as well, flagging up the areas that will need more of your focus so you know exactly what needs work.
When a crawl error occurs, the search engine bot cannot access either part or all of your website, which can lead to an impact on its ranking. Unfortunately, this type of fault is particularly common on retail websites because many retailers will set their site up to allow the product page to completely disappear from view if a product is out of stock. If you suspect that your site is experiencing crawl errors, you can check on Google Search Console which of your pages Google can index and those that it can’t. Once this has been identified, you can work towards resolving the issue. By using Google Search Console, you are able to take a close look into which pages of your site are being indexed - you may have previously been unaware of some of your important pages having low visibility in the SERPs.
A well ranking website is essential to any retail business and Google Search Console is a simple and useful way of ensuring that your website is doing everything it should be when it comes to SEO performance.
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