It’s true. Google Search Console has just introduced 3 new reports to the platform on 2 May 2019.
If you know anything about Google Search Console at all, you will know that it is a free tool initiated by Google to help brands stay informed on their website – monitoring their search traffic, click-through rates and other valuable, actionable insights on the otherwise dry and technical aspect of handling a site.
Not to be confused with Google Analytics, which essentially helps you focus on the traffic that your site is attracting, such as the number of visitors you have on your website, where exactly the traffic is coming from and the most searched keywords on your site – the key to Google Search Console on the other hand, is USER EXPERIENCE.
To recap, structured data, otherwise known as rich snippets or schema markup, are lines of code that embedded in your web pages to tell Google how you want certain elements (e.g. recipes, reviews and events) of your website to appear in SERP. Structured data is growing to be a quintessential way for brands to improve the overall user experience on their website and increase their visibility, and remember: Google loves anything helpful and relevant to users.
This is why Google has decided to roll out these 3 new reports, dedicated to help brands and their corresponding Digital Marketing Agencies to understand their structured data performance and more importantly – fix any errors the moment they occur.
Let’s now take a closer look into each tool, namely:
- Unparsable Structured Data Report;
- Enhancement Reports:
a) Logo Enhancement Report
b) Sitelink Search Box
1. Unparsable Structured Data Report
Structured data is basically a language to help Google better understand your website. Speaking the wrong language could cause errors in the way your site looks on SERP, making this new report essential in helping to aggregate all of your structured data syntax errors that Google is having problems analysing.
Simply check the data to see if Google was not able to accurately read any of the schema markups that you have painstakingly prepared for your site – with clear instructions on how to rectify the issues.
After making the necessary adjustments, be sure to use the URL Inspection Tool to validate and clarify to Google that you have indeed resolved the issue – and tadah! Your rich snippet should be up and visible on SERP in no time!
The items in the report will show you all the errors, automatically sorted by severity according to the most affected pages and several other factors. Click on each error row for more details, using the Structured Data Testing Tool to then fix and test the syntax of your structured data after.
Once done, click “Validate Fix” in the error details page to lock it all in.
2. Enhancement Reports
Enhancement reports serve to reveal any existing errors for specific structured data elements on your website in real time, and can be found under the enhancements section in Google Search Console. While previously the reports did not allow you to view any errors or valid snippets by type – it is now possible with the new enhancement reports, allowing website owners to really zero in and pinpoint the source of error per individual page. This is especially helpful if you have a website that contains multiple pages.
Google has since added 2 new structured data types to the enhancement reports: Logo and Sitelink Search Box.
Sounds confusing yet? Let’s break it down:
a) Logo Enhancement Report
If your company has a logo, which most do, it would be great to start utilizing the Logo Enhancement Report, which can aid you in identifying the trends in mistakes, alerts, as well as valid items in your logo markup. You can even view each status separately by clicking on the coloured boxes above the bar chart, or click on specific rows for a closer look into example pages.
b) Sitelink Search Box
This fun and new tool allows site owners to add a search box under their SERP listing in Google so that users can search the website’s pages WITHOUT having to leave the page at all.
Similar to how you would use the Logo Enhancement Report, simply follow the same steps to gain a fuller understanding into the status of this practical and handy snippet.
If all this sounds intimidating, engaging a top Digital Marketing Agency offering SEO services can help you stay on track of the latest updates and tools – taking away the stress of having to learn everything from scratch.
Actions To Take
As Google starts to completely wipe out older reports and replacing it with new ones throughout the course of 2019 – we can definitely expect even more snippets to be featured and tracked very soon. We strongly advise brands to start getting accustomed to these new tools as soon as they can, using the insights gained to drive their marketing campaigns.
While the transparency from Google’s end on reporting and analytics is all good news for brands, SEO practitioners and Digital Marketing Agencies – several steps still need to be taken on our end as best practice.
If you frequently make changes your website, be sure to log in to your Google Search Console after every update to monitor performance and check for problems. Otherwise, we recommend going in every month or so just to be safe.