At first, you’re probably thinking “what is Google Search Console?” This article will teach you what Google Search Console is and how to set up a new Google Search Console in order to understand how Google views your site. This will allow you to know how to optimize your sites performance in search results.
What is Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you to monitor and maintain your site’s presence within search results. It gives you the ability to create and monitor content that delivers by engaging in search results.
Why Every Website Needs to Use Google Search Console
By using Google Search Console you can submit new content for crawling and remove content you don’t want shown in search results, as well as, monitor and resolve any malware or spam issues that you may run into, that way your site stays clean and runs smoothly.
Adding and Verifying Your Website
Start by going to Google Search Console and logging into your Google Account.
Once logged in, click the “Add A Property” button at the top of the page, enter the URL of your website, and click continue.
The next step is the actual verification of your site. You have six different options.
Through an HTML Tag
Click Alternative Methods and find HTML Tag. With this method, you will copy the meta tag and paste in your website’s header section. This is typically done by going to your websites settings, advances, html code, and header.
Using Yoast (Only in WordPress)
Install the Yoast plug-in tool and activate the plug-in. Then you can verify the same way as mentioned above with an HTML tag. The difference of course is that you will be posting the meta tag into the Yoast plug-in as opposed to your website header.
Uploading an HTML file
If the root of your website is accessible then you can upload an html file. Google provides a file you need to upload to your site. You’ll then confirm the upload and verify your ownership.
Verifying Through Your Domain Provider
If you are unable to upload an HTML file or don’t want to copy and paste the meta tag then you can select your domain provider and Google will walk you through the steps to Google Search Console verification.
Verifying With Google Analytics
If you have a Google Analytics Tracking ID set up, then you can easily verify your Google Search Console Account You will need to have your tracking code in the right location and click “Edit” permissions for this to work. Once that’s completed just click verify and your Analytics and Console accounts will be linked.
Verifying Through Tag Manager
If you have Google Tag Manager you can verify through Google Tags. You will have to have “Manage” permissions in Google Tag Manager but this should be one of the easiest options to verify
Claiming All the Versions of Your Website
Websites can be accessed with or without “www.” in front of them. For instance www.google.com and google.com go to the same place. In order to specify and claim what version you would like search bars to display click on Search Console and then “Add A Site” and enter the alternative version of your website. You will not need to re-verify by adding the html code again to the site. To set the preferred domain, navigate to your site, then click the gear icon followed by “site settings”. From here you will be able to set the prefered domain.
Linking Your Google Analytics and Search Console Accounts
Go to your Google Analytics account
Go to Acquisition (left sidebar) > Search Console
Click the Set up Search Console data sharing button
Choose your Search Console account
Your Google Analytics and Search Console Accounts are now linked!