Once you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into setting up a website, the next step is to optimize it for leads and conversions. This is where Google Search Console comes in!
What Is Google Search Console And Why Do You Need It?
Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console is a free tool that helps webmasters, website owners and SEO professionals monitor their website performance in Google Search.
Google Search Console ensures that Google has access to your content, helping you monitor spam issues, keep your site clean, remove old content, and submit new content to crawl.
Additionally, it allows you to:
- Understand how searchers view your site in search results
- Find out how your site is performing Google SERPs by analyzing clicks, impressions, and keyword data
- Assess your site’s health by keeping track of referring domains, errors, security issues, indexing issues, and other technical data
- Gain insight into queries and keywords that bring traffic, and discover highest-traffic pages and queries
- View your mobile site performance and rich search results
If you’re serious about growing your site, then you need to utilize Google Search Console from day one. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can add Search Console to your website to target prospects accurately.
The Step-By-Step Process of Setting Up Google Search Console
By connecting your website to Search Console, you can fully benefit from all the insights it has to offer and address what your site is lacking. Simply put, it helps you diagnose—and fix—your site’s problems from Google’s point of view.
Google Search Console (GSC) came out with a new version in January 2019. Amidst the fears of Google’s algorithm updates and excess AMP errors, Search Console can be an excellent tool that helps webmasters stay on top of site performance.
Step 1: Add a Property on Google Search Console
Go to Google Search Console and sign in with your Google Account.
On the welcome page, you’ll see the option of adding two types of website properties.
If you enter a domain property URL, you’ll be able to view all the data that Google Search Console has to offer under the domain name that you have entered. This includes data for all the subdomains, protocols (e.g. ftp, http, https), and paths.
Here are the valid domain properties that you can enter:
Note that www is ignored when you enter the property name.
Domain property is perfect if you want a complete view of your site’s performance in Search Console. However, if you want to restrict the insights to a specific URL path, opt for the URL-prefix property.
For example, if you want to analyze the data for just your blog page, you can enter a URL-specific property: example.com/blog
- Be sure to specify the URL exactly as it appears in the address bar, including the final ‘/’ marks.
- In case your site supports multiple subdomains (like example.com, m.example.com) and/or multiple protocols, add them as separate properties.
- Make sure to inform Google about canonical URLs.
- Create separate properties if you want to track data against specific locations.
Step 2: Verify Ownership of Your Property
Since GSC is used to access confidential information about your property—including how Google crawls your site—it only makes sense that you’re required to verify you own the property in the first place.
Verifying your property in GSC means to verify that you’re either the owner, or the professional that the owner hired, who is approved and qualified to view the data Search Console provides.
Verification gives the user control over the specified property, and for every GSC property, there must be at least one verified owner.
Google starts tracking your site’s data as soon as you add it to GSC—even you’re not verified as the site’s owner yet.
There are a few common misconceptions we should clear here:
- Your website will show up in SERPs regardless of whether or not it’s verified
- Verifying your site doesn’t affect its performance and PageRank in Google Search; it just gives you the information on how to optimize your site. Therefore, simply adding GSC to your website won’t boost your rankings.
The verification process differs according to the type of property added.
For A Domain Property
You’ll notice the following dialogue box once you start the verification process for your domain property. Click on the drop down arrow to check if your domain is registered any of the providers listed.
Upon selecting a provider, click on ‘Start Verification.’
You’ll then be redirected to the selected provider’s domain, where you will sign in to your registrar account.
For A URL Prefix Property
Google offers different ways to verify your URL prefix property; however, Google’s recommended method is to upload an HTML file to your site.
HTML file upload
Verify ownership by uploading an HTML file to your site that’s tied to a specific user. Follow the instructions on the verification details page.
This includes adding a <meta> tag to the <head> section of the specific page’s HTML code.
This can only work if you already have Google Analytics set up. In this case, you need to copy the Google Analytics tracking code for your site.
Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to add tracking and analytics tags for sites that use multiple analytics from different campaigns.
If you use Google Tag Manager (GTM) in Google Analytics, copy the GTM snipped code associated with your site.
Domain name provider
To verify your site directly from Google Search Console, sign in to your domain registrar and add the DNS TEXT record.
Google-hosted sites may be verified automatically.
Add a Sitemap Using Google Search Console
A sitemap is a file that provides information about your website to search engines like Google. It acts as a roadmap, leading Google to all your important pages, informing how a page is updated or when it was last updated, and also the alternate language versions of a particular web page.
Sitemaps allow Google to crawl your site more intelligently and find your essential web pages quicker—even if your internal linking isn’t great.
Here are some situations where a site map can improve crawlability:
- If your site is really extensive. The more web pages, the greater the chances for bots to miss updates or additions.
- If you have a lot of ‘isolated’ pages that only have a few internal links
- If your site is relatively new, it may not have as many backlinks, making it less discoverable
- If your site uses rich media content or if it shows up in Google News.
Once you’ve built your sitemap, submit it to Google via the Search Console. After Google processes and indexes your sitemap, you’ll be able to view the Site maps report, which shows you the number of URLs indexed.
Drive Conversions In Organic Results With Google Search Console And Rank Genie
Google Search Console offers actionable ways to improve SEO, including improving rankings, optimizing low-traffic pages, and seeing how visitors interact with your content.
You can use GSC in combination with Rank Genie to turn rank tracking into valuable insights. For instance, you can:
- Use Rank Genie’s keyword rank tracker tool to analyze keyword performance across different devices and get personalized results against geographical locations.
- Use Rank Genie’s backlink tracker to monitor your backlink profile with an in-depth backlink analysis and identify link building opportunities.
- Use Rank Genie’s website SEO audit tool to identify areas that need improvement, and take immediate action.
Get in touch with us at (888) 838-2691 to find out more about how Rank Genie can help you monitor SEO progress and improve your bottom line. Start your 7-day free trial for Rank Genie today!