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After you have your website up and running, it’s a good time to start tracking how people are finding it.
You do this by signing up for services like Google Search Console.
Side note: Bing also has a similar service called Bing Webmaster Tools if you are interested. But we are going to cover Google today.
It’s easy to set up, and you want to accomplish it sooner than later.
If you are interested in diving deeper into your site analytics, Google has you covered as well. A few years ago, I wrote about Google Analytics, but there have been many changes. Leave a comment below if you want me to update that post.
It’s good to have all the information possible when you have a website.
Google Search Console is just one more piece of the puzzle. This will help search engines find you and provide a TON of information so you can help the visitors to your site.
As always, let me know if you have questions in the comments below. I will do my best to answer everything, and if I don’t know, we will both learn something together!
Google Search Console: An Overview
First off, what is Google Search Console (referred to as GSC)?
It’s a free tool from Google that will help you learn how you are doing with Google search. You will monitor your site and see what people are looking for.
It is one thing that will help improve your search results in Google. To do this, GSC does a few things:
- Measuring your website’s search traffic.
- Monitoring the performance of your sight.
- It will inform you of site issues and suggest possible fixes.
You can also see how often your website shows up in searches, impressions, and clicks.
Using GSC is an excellent way to bring structure to your site and make it easy for search engine crawlers. It’s easily accomplished by submitting your sitemap.
Setting Up Your Account
Again, GSC is FREE!
So why wouldn’t you use this powerful tool? Not only that, but setting it up is a breeze.
You are ready to go if you already have a Google account (such as a Gmail). Otherwise, you will need to create a Google account.
This account will be the main login for everything (email, Drive, GSC, and Analytics).
After signing in, follow the below steps to get started.
- Sign in with your Google account.
- Go to the Google Search Console website.
- Click on the “Start Now.”
- Click on the Add Property.
- Choose the URL Prefix (one on the right), and it is easier to set up.
- Enter your website’s entire URL.
- There will be different ways to verify that you own the website (choose one of them).
- For example, the second option has you add a meta tag to the homepage of your site.
- Next, click Verify.
IMPORTANT: Remember is to select your entire “URL Prefix” when setting up your account.
As an example, grabbing the whole URL for your site looks like this: https://WildeAdvantage.com/ NOT just “WildeAdvantage.com.”
It’s very straightforward, but you know me, I’m a visual guy. So, click the image below to watch a video from Wealthy Affiliate for more information on how to set up your GSC.
How easy was that?
You are doing great! And after you have verified your account, we have one more step to do: submit your website’s sitemap.
It’s easy so don’t worry.
Submitting Your Sitemap
Now that was pretty easy. Next, we are going to add your sitemap to GSC.
You can think of sitemaps as a layout of all the pages and posts on your site. Similar to a road map, it just makes things easier to find.
First, inside GSC, you will see a menu on the left-hand side of the screen. About halfway down, under Index, you will see Sitemaps.
We will be getting a tool that will help us with this. In the backend of your website, you can create a sitemap. For me, I have a plugin called “All in One SEO,” and it’s the easiest way to get one. I’ll show you here.
- Open “All in One SEO” (you will see it on the left-hand admin menu)
- Click on the Feature Manager
- And you will see the XML Sitemaps. Click on the “Activate” blue button.
- After it is installed, you can click on the XML Sitemap that shows up now.
- Click Update Site Map
- Now you click on View Your XML Sitemap, which will provide you with the URL (it will look like YourSite.com/sitemap.xml)
Go back to the GSC window or tab that you already have open.
You remember the one that says Google Search Console at the top, under Index you clicked on Sitemaps.
Okay, now all you need to do is add the URL’s end (which is sitemap.xml).
Quick Note: Always copy this text. It’s too easy to make a mistake.
After you have the text entered, click Submit!
Just know that after you see the SUCCESS screen, you will see no websites searched yet. This is normal and will take a few days to update.
Something else that is worth knowing, you can have multiple websites or properties that you can monitor under your account.
I do this with my websites as well as a friend that I assist with. Using tools such as GSC is a great way to monitor how your website is performing.
Want more help? How about watching a video!
If you want a quick overview, feel free to click on the image above or here for more info!
If you start watching around the 12-minute mark, you can get a few ideas on what GSC can do for you.
If you watch the entire video, I have found it helpful to follow along while clicking on your own GSC. Kyle does a great job of providing an overview of what the side menu can do.
Give it a try, and let me know how it goes!
Have Any Questions?
I hope this has helped you out.
Setting up Google Search Console is one of the easiest ways to ensure that search engines find you.
More importantly, providing you with the information you need to make your website better and ensure you are on the right track with your readers.
Please remember that there is a lot to learn about GSC.
Today we were taking the first step, getting your account set up and running.
You need to have GSC running for a few days to understand what is going on. If you are interested, we can go into more specifics on what you can do with GSC later.
As always, leave me a comment below if you have questions or if this post helped you out.