In short: it's free, and it gives you tons of valuable insights and helps you measure your site's Search traffic, performance and shows certain issues.
What can you do with it?
Google Search Console was created to easily track the performance of your website.
Total clicks: The number of people that go to your website after typing in a search query in Google
Total impressions: Every time you pop up when people do a search in Google. They didn't necessarily had to scroll down to see your link.
Average CTR: Your click through rate is calculated as follows: (impressions / clicks) * 100
Average position: Your average position in Google: it can be that your service page ranks really good for a certain keyword (e.g. place 5 for career counselling), but that a blog post doesn't rank well (e.g. 35 for career change). All your webpages have an influence on this number (e.g. (5+35)/2 = 20)
You can also get a nice overview of
Which queries people give in before visiting your website
Your top pages
The countries people come from
The devices they use
Coverage: This helps you to easily identify the status of every page Google has tried to index. Keep an eye on the errors and try to fix them ASAP. Normally, you also get an email from Search Console when there's something wrong, like a server or redirect error.
Sitemaps: Search engines like Google read this file to more intelligently crawl your site. You can upload it in Search Console can improve the crawling of larger or more complex sites, or more specialised files.
Core Web Vitals: Google defined a set of factors to rate the overall user experience. It is made up of 3 specific page speed and user interaction measurements:
Largest contentful paint: How long it takes a page to load for a user. In other words: how long it takes for the user to see something after they clicked on a result in Google.Good = 0 - 2 secondsNeeds improvement = 2 - 4 secondsPoor = > 4 seconds
First input delay: How long it takes for a user to actually interact with your page. E.g. clicking on a button on your website.Good = 0 - 100 MSNeeds improvement = 100 - 300 MSPoor = > 300 MS
Cumulative layout shift: How stable a page is as it loads. It's not good when the layout changes while the page is being loaded, e.g. they can click on something by mistake.Good = 0 - 0.1Needs improvement = 0.1 - 0.25Poor = > 0.25
2. Mobile Usability
Google uses mobile first indexation, which means that your mobile website is the first thing Google looks at. In Google Search Console you can easily spot errors such as 'text too small to read' or when clickable elements (e.g. buttons and links) are too close together.