Google Search Console Tutorial
Google offers lots of free tools to help you manage and monitor your website’s performance. One of these tools is Google Search Console, a free application that helps you troubleshoot your website’s presence in Google search results. This article will cover who should use Google Search Console and what you can monitor, as well as how to sign up, add your website, and continually monitor your data.
Signing up for Google Search Console
These three steps will help you set up your Google Search Console:
- Create your Google account: You can skip this step if you already have an account with Google! If not, take the time to set up your Google account.
- Sign in to Google Search Console: Navigate to the Google Search Console page and sign in using your Google login credentials. You may be signed in automatically.
- Add a new property: You can add up to 1,000 properties on Google Search Console.
Adding a new property to your Google Search Console
Next, let’s cover the five broad steps for adding your new property:
1. Open the property selector dropdown on any Search Console page.
2. Select “Add Property.”
3. Choose which type of property you wish to add.
4. Verify your ownership over the property.
5. Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console to help your website rank better, faster.
Types of Google Search Console properties
There are three types of properties you can add to your Google Search Console:
If you want to enter multiple pages of your website into Google Search Console, this is the option for you. Just specify the start of your URL to include any URL beginning with that prefix in your property. For example, if we paste in https://www.webfx.com, Google will also include URLs like https://www.webfx.com/blog/ in the property.
Google recommends including https:// or http:// in your URL prefix. If you want to track and compare domains, you should enter a separate property for each domain or subpath.
Domain properties aggregate data for all subdomains, protocols, and subpaths of a property. You can create a domain property by specifying the root domain of your site, excluding the www. prefix. For example, webfx.example.com is an example of a domain property. This property would include URLs such as:
Google has its own set of web hosting services, including Google Sites. You can choose to add a URL-prefix property or a domain property, and Google will automatically verify your site if the two Google accounts match.
How to verify your Google Search Console property
After you choose which type of property is right for your business, you’ll need to confirm that you own your site. You can pick between the following options to verify site ownership:
- HTML file upload
- HTML tag
- Google Analytics tracking code
- Google Tag Manager
- Domain name provider
Google provides information on each of these methods.
Monitoring your Google Search Console data
Even though Google Search Console is a beneficial tool, there’s no need to log on and look at the data every day. You’ll receive alerts from Google if they detect an issue, so you can let Google work in the background as you handle other company business.
Many users prefer to check their Console data once a month or when they make changes to a site’s content. You can experiment with how often you and your team check Google Search Console to see what will work best for you.
Google Search Console metrics
One of the biggest advantages of Google Search Console is confirming that Google can locate, crawl, and index your site. With Google Search Console, you can also:
- View which search engine results drive traffic to your site.
- Resolve crawling issues.
- Discover which websites link to your site.
- Review security issues.
- Request that Google crawls and re-indexes your site.
- Review alerts regarding indexing and spam.
More Google Search Console tools
Google Search Console also lets you take advantage of these specific tools:
- Index coverage reports: These reports tell you which pages Google found on your site and which pages they have indexed. You’ll also get alerts about any indexing problems.
- Mobile usability reports: The mobile usability report shows you if any of your pages have issues when they display on a mobile device.
- Performance reports: The performance reports let you view your performance metrics, including how your search traffic changes over time, which queries come from mobile devices, and the click-through rates of various pages.
Who should use Google Search Console?
Any company that has a website should use Google Search Console! While your level of expertise will impact your Google Search Console experience, you should have some knowledge of the software regardless.
No matter your web expertise, you’ll find value in using Google Search Console. For example, if you are an SEO specialist or site administrator, your role may require you to check Google Search Console regularly. Business owners may want to know how the Console works but won’t necessarily use it frequently.
WebFX can help you make the most of your Google Search Console data
Google Search Console data can show you areas of improvement for your website, search engine optimization and web design. Knowing how to make those changes or even where to start can be daunting. But don’t worry! WebFX is here to help.
Our team of marketing experts can help you make improvements to your website with our insights on SEO, content creation, and web design. For more information, contact us online or call 888-601-5359!
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