Google Search Console is a valuable tool for tracking how your website is performing on Google and what keywords are drawing visitors to you. That’s why we’ve put together this Google Search Console tutorial for you.
Not only can you fix website errors but you can also find out more about the profile of your website visitors (country, interests, desktop/mobile user, how they found your website etc), which pages they visit most and where they tend to drop off. This is all essential information which will help you analyse, grow and develop your business.
So how can you get started with tracking your search engine performance in Google Search Console?
Check out our Google Search Console tutorial below!
How to: Google Search Console Tutorial
1. Create an account
Head over to Google Search Console and sign in, using the same login credentials as your Google account.
Once you’re in you’ll want to create a property inside Google Search Console.
Sign into Google Analytics or create an account if you have not already done so.
Enter your website URL on the right-hand menu. Entering the website address on the right-hand side will allow you to select the option to verify your website using Google Analytics
2. Website verification
Using Google Search Console gives you access to a vast amount of information so naturally concerning website performance, Google needs to ensure that you are the authorised owner of your website.
You can verify that you are the owner of your website in four different ways by using the URL prefix option:
- through Google Analytics
- using Google Tag Manager
- via HTML tag
- Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress
- or DNS configuration
The most straightforward ways to do this are by using Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager or the Yoast Plugin (if you’re using WordPress). The steps to follow for these are outlined below.
Using Google Analytics:
Sign into Google Analytics using the same credentials as your Google account.
Once you’re in Google Analytics. Head back to Google Search Console and “Google Analytics” as your verification method.
If it doesn’t work, make sure you have sufficient admin rights in Google Analytics to verify your website. You can check this in the admin of your Google Analytics account by going to your Admin panel
Access “User Management”
You need access to all four permissions above to verify your website. If you do not, please contact your IT administrator to ensure you get access.
Using Google Tag Manager:
Log in to your Google Tag Manager account or create one using the easy-to-follow Marketing Unicorn guidelines here
Head over to Google Search Console and follow the same steps as above for adding your website. The only difference is that you should select Google Tag Manager when all verification methods appear as below.
If you haven’t set up Google Tag Manager, be sure to take a look at our handy guide: Google Tag Manager Tutorial For Beginners
HTML Tag or the Yoast SEO plugin:
Another easy way to verify your site is by adding a small piece of code into the section of your “index.html” file.
<html> <head> <meta charset="utf-8"> < ADD SEARCH CONSOLE META TAG HERE > <title></title> </head> <body> </body> </html>
However, if you’re using WordPress, you may want to install the Yoast plugin for SEO. To do so, simply go to “Plugins” on the sidebar menu and then search for Yoast.
Head over to Google Search Console and enter the URL of your website as mentioned in the steps above. Select the “HTML tag” option for verification.
Go to your Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress site and click on “General” and go to “Webmaster Tools.” Under “Google Search Console” copy and paste the meta tag that appears in the “HTML tag” section from before. When pasting the piece of code, you only need what is at the end after “content” and between quotation marks. Delete the quotation marks before clicking “Save changes.”
Go back to Google Search Console and click “Verify” and that’s it!
3. Adding your sitemap to Google Search Console:
Once you have verified your website with Google Search Console, you should also submit the sitemap for your website. This will make sure your website is crawled more easily by web crawlers and has a better chance of showing up in Google search results. To do this, simply:
Click on “Sitemaps” in Google Search Console and “Add a new sitemap.” Then enter your website with URL pointing to your sitemap which usually has “/sitemap.xml” or “/sitemap_index.xml” at the end:
Done! Now you’re ready to get started on figuring out what can increase visits, why people are dropping off, getting more clicks and conversion rates on your website.