Google Search Console is one of the most valuable tools out there when it comes to your website.
It can help you get insights, alert you to technical problems and notify you of errors on your website. This article will show you how to set up Google Search Console easily and start using it today!
Creating a Google Search Console account has several benefits for website owners and online marketers. Here are some reasons why you should create a Google Search Console account:
Access to website data
Google Search Console provides valuable data about your website’s performance in Google search results, including information about search queries, impressions, clicks, and backlinks.
By analyzing this data, you can identify the keywords that are driving traffic to your site and optimize your content to improve your search engine rankings.
Google Search Console allows you to submit your website’s sitemap and individual URLs for indexing.
This can help ensure that your website is crawled and indexed by Google’s search engine, which can improve your visibility in search results.
Google Search Console can alert you to security issues on your website, such as malware or hacking attempts. This can help you take proactive steps to protect your website and your visitors.
Google Search Console provides a mobile usability report, which can help you identify issues that could be impacting your website’s mobile performance. This is important because Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in search results.
Improve user experience
By using Google Search Console, you can gain insights into how users are interacting with your website in search results. This can help you improve the user experience on your site and ensure that visitors are finding the information they need.
Creating a Google Search Console account can provide you with valuable data about your website’s performance in search results, indexing control, security alerts, mobile usability, and user experience.
By using this tool, you can gain insights into how your website is performing and take steps to optimize your content for better search engine rankings and user engagement.
All this for free? Yes!
I use Google Search Console consistently. It helps me track my website growth, and click-through rate (CTR) and gives me plenty of free keyword research ideas which enables me to write content that ranks.
How to set up Google Search Console
You’ll need to have a Google account to start, and you probably already have one. If you are connected to Google Analytics (and if you’re not, erm hello?
This is one of the first things you should set up when creating a website), and have a Gmail or Adwords account, you can use the same login.
Then follow these steps:
1. Go to Google Search Console by either searching for it in Google or going to the URL: https://search.google.com/search-console
2. Log into Google Search Console using your Google account and select “Add Property” from the top left-hand corner drop-down menu.
3. In the new window, you will be prompted to select the property type. There are 2 different ways to set up a property –
- A Google Search Console Domain Property
- A Google Search Console URL Prefix Property
A Google Search Console Domain Property is a property defined without the protocol (the http:// or https:// prefix) and without any path string (/some/path/). It can include subdomains.
Setting up a Domain property will give you access to tools and reports for all the versions of your site. Setting up a domain property for besocialwithmedia.com would include >>>
- Any pages that follow the domain name – https://besocialwithmedia.com/social-media/
A Google Search Console URL Prefix Property includes the protocol (http or https) and can include a path string when you created the property.
Setting up a URL prefix property will give you access to tools and reports only for the specific protocol, sub-domain, or path that is specified.
Setting up a URL prefix property for https://besocialwithmedia.com would only give me access to the tools for https://besocialwithmedia.com. The following protocols and sub-domains would not be able to be accessed >>>
It is best to add a Domain, to begin with, but Google recommends adding all of your URL variations for your site.
Selecting Domain, type your website address (without the www.) into the text box and press continue
4. Once you have done this, you need to verify that you are the owner of your website. There are several ways to do this, depending on which property type you chose in the step before.
However, as most people will be selecting a domain, by default, Search Console will provide domain verification instructions that match your DNS provider. Your DNS provider will be whoever you registered your domain name with – GoDaddy or SiteGround to name a few.
You will need to log into your DNS provider and add either a TXT or CNAME record, pointing to the value provided in the box (see below).
The majority of DNS providers will have documentation to show you how to do this and will assist you if you need help.
5. Once you have entered the value provided in the Search Console dialogue box into your DNS provider, wait a few minutes and select Verify.
You might have to keep trying until you get a success message! Some DNS records can take up to 72 hours to verify!
Verifying Google Search Console via a WordPress SEO Plugin
Another (easier) way to verify your domain with Google Search Console is using a WordPress SEO Plugin like Yoast or Rank Math.
I use Rank Math (which I highly recommend) and it is quite straightforward to do –
1. After installing the Rank Math plugin, go to the Rank Math section on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard.
2. Find the Analytics box and enable the Analytics mode
3. Click on settings and select Connect Google Services (you may be prompted to connect your website with a Google account if you haven’t done so already).
4. If you haven’t already created a free Rank Math account, you will be prompted to do so here.
5. You will then be asked to select what Rank Math SEO can do. Make sure you tick Create a new Google Analytics account and all the relevant information below. Then click continue.
6. Once your website is connected to a Google account, you will be directed back to the analytics settings. Rank Math will create a property for your website and the default country will be set to Worldwide.
7. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.
And that’s it! No backend knowledge is required.
You should now be connected to Google Search Console with a huge amount of free data at your disposal!
What can you use Google Search Console for?
- Search Console provides information on how Google crawls, indexes and serves your website
- Monitor and optimise your Search performance by seeing what keywords are driving traffic to your website and how much traffic you are getting from Google Search.
- Check your data including Total Impressions, Average Position on Google, CTR and Total Clicks
- A breakdown of the top queries for your site, your pages and demographics. You can use these queries as a basis for all your Keyword Research!
- Check that your URLs have been crawled and ask Google to crawl them if they haven’t
- Submitting a sitemap to speed up your website discovery on Google.
There is so much more you can do with Google Search Console. If you are serious about your website and growing your traffic to monetise your site, you NEED Google Search Console for SEO!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I need to have Google Search Console to be found on Google?
A. You don’t have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site. This tool is invaluable for your website, it helps you track data, inform you of errors and can be an amazing free keyword research tool!
Q. Do I need a Google account to set up Search Console?
A. Yes, you need to set up a Google account to access Search Console, but that is the only requirement. Setting up a Google account is free and can also give you access to Analytics, YouTube and AdSense!
Q. How often is Google Search Console updated?
Google updates the Search Console with a two-day delay. The data appears automatically, you do not have to do anything other than connect your website
Q. What is the easiest way to set up Google Search Console?
A. The easiest way is to select a Domain property which connects your website and all its subdomains and pages. You can set up google search console with a Domain property, to begin with, and go back and add URL prefixes at a later date.