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Google Search Console Holds Valuable Information

by Dan Finney | Feb 2, 2021, 00:00 AM
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How to Improve Search Engine Optimization 

Many web design agencies add keywords to a site they’re building, but after the site launches, their clients are left to manage their own search engine optimization. SEO is an ongoing process – or at least it should be – but without help, businesses may not know how to monitor and improve their keyword rankings. 

BoxCrush’s Indianapolis SEO service continues beyond the site build. We monitor Google Search Console for alerts about broken links on our clients’ websites, broken backlinks from outside websites, coding errors, and other problems that could have a negative impact on our clients’ search rankings. We catch these issues in real-time, before they can do much damage. 

Investigating Alerts

Google’s algorithms prefer websites that are mobile-friendly and free of errors, so any mobile usability issues can harm a website’s search rankings. BoxCrush recently detected three Google Console alerts about the mobile usability of a client’s site, and we immediately got to work on resolving this problem.

These alerts raised alarm at BoxCrush.

BoxCrush custom-built this client’s website, so we were troubled to know that we must’ve missed something. We built the website to be mobile-friendly, so what had gone wrong? To find out, we needed to explore Google Search Console.

We noticed that the three errors were on a single page. That was a relief, but because Google doesn’t pinpoint the on-page location of an error, we had to dig deeper. 

We ran the page through Google’s own Mobile Usability test tool. The tool indicated that the page had no mobile usability errors, which conflicted with what we were seeing in Google Search Console. So we still didn’t know what was triggering the usability alerts.

Next, we used the “Inspect Elements” feature in the Google Chrome Browser to emulate a mobile web browser and see if any page elements stood out. We did side-by-side comparisons of the problem page and other error-free pages, but we saw none of the problems that Google Console had reported. Then we noticed a single sentence of disclaimer text that was unique to the flagged page.

The “Inspect Elements” feature in the Google Chrome browser can be effective in diagnosing mobile usability problems.

We increased the size of the disclaimer text and returned to Search Console to begin the validation process. We decided to attempt to validate all three errors to see if changing the font size somehow fixed them all, because we were stumped about the other two. Before long, Google sent us another message to let us know the validation was successful:

Just to be sure, we looked at Search Console again – all three errors had passed validation! 

The final step in making sure these errors were resolved was to Google the SEO search phrase that brings up this page in search results. We were pleased to see that the ominous red text was now gone.

Are You Monitoring Your Alerts?

Do you monitor your website for penalty alerts from Google? Do you need help tracking your rankings for phrases that are relevant to your business? Do you know all of the factors that could be affecting your presence in search results? Contact BoxCrush for an analysis of your website and find out if your competitors are beating you at the SEO game.