Tracking your visitors, optimizing your SEO (search engine optimization), knowing your audience, target your post at the right people, it is all so important to do this the right way! Lucky for us there are a lot of free tools which we can use to do all this for us. Tools like google analytics, search console, keyword tools, SEO plugin and many more! But what is search console, what is google analytics, what are those tools? Well in this post I will explain you what the google search console is!
What is a search console?
Search console is a free service from google (maybe you know it as webmaster tools), you can look at it as something like google analytics, only more accurate and it shows a little different things.
– Search console is tracking the visibility from your website
– Search console is checking how and where your pages are ranked
– Search console is checking how people find your website
– Search console tracks your pages for things that might be a problem for google to rank it
– Search console can see which sites are linking to your website.
– Search console is checking for errors within your pages
And they can do many more things for you!
How to use search console?
Well i’m going to walk you through step by step! If you have any questions at the end of all the steps, just ask them!:)
Setting up your google account
If you are new to google search console, the first thing you need to do is set up your google account. You can do this right here; Go to upper right corner and press log in. If you don’t have a google account it will tell you to create one there. If you have created your account you can just log into the search console. Once you are logged in you will see this page;
of course, you website is going to be in English 🙂
This is going to bring us to the next step.
Adding you website and verifying it by google search console.
Since google search console is going to give you some detailed and insight information about your website, it needs to make sure this is truly your website. We wouldn’t want everyone to see this information about your website right? If you are the owner, webmaster or are authorized user for this website, the verifying part won’t be too hard.
You should be logged in by now and see the page as shown above. Enter the URL from the website which you want to add and click “add property”, just make sure you check what you URL really is, sometimes you add http://www.website.com and your website is https://website.com. If you have clicked “Add property” then your website is added to your google search account.
Next, you will be asked to verify your website. There are four ways to verify your website
– HTML Tag
– Domain name provider
– Google Analytics
– Google Tag Manager
The one I will be explaining here and which is the easiest I think is google analytics.
Verifying through google analytics
You do need a google analytics account for this one though, but you probably already have one since you are looking into the google search console. If you don’t I suggest you create your google analytic account first.
Alright so now we are going to verify your website with google analytics. You should see the following page since all we did right now is just add the website.
Now click “Alternate methods” and then you see the 4 options, click google analytics. Now since you already have a google analytics account set up with the email you use at the moment, all you got to do next is click verify!
Well, there we go, you have just verified your first website! You are going great, within minutes you added and verified your website! Now there is just 1 thing left to do so you will get optimal results from you account!
Adding a sitemap to your search console
A sitemap is something which is giving important information about your site to google. It is giving the search engines and crawlers information about how your site is organized, what kind of content you have, how many images, video’s and if you update your site regularly for example. With a sitemap you are just making it a lot easier for google to find your website.
You don’t have to add a sitemap if you don’t want to, but if you want to make google’s job a lot easier I suggest you do.
Alright, so you have added a site and should see the next page.
If you click on this site it will take you to your search console dashboard. Here you can click on the option “crawl” and then there will be an option “sitemaps”. So now you should be on the following page.
On the upper right corner you can see a button “add/test sitemap”.
The next box will pop up
what should you enter in that box is your question now? For that we are going to your wordpress site, you will have to download a plugin called “xml sitemap”.
Once you have downloaded the plugin you have to go to the settings and you see a code there, grab that code and place in the box (the picture above), you only need to grab the last part though since they already filled in your URL. Now click submit sitemap and that should do the trick! Now you can track the information about your website! This can take a while before google is done checking everything.
Adjusting the settings from the plugin
The last thing we will talk about is the xml sitemap plugin on your wordpress site. Within this you can choose which pages the google-bot should crawl, so which pages they should check for things that can go wrong or which pages they should check so they can index them. The plugin automatically already has some good settings. The only thing you should check out and maybe change is the rate which the crawl your posts (its under frequencies). But you should only do this is you post more often, for example if you post daily, you can change the crawl settings to daily so they check it every day, if you post 3 times a week you could change it to crawl weekly.
Added, verified and adjust that’s all we did today!
Your google search console is all set-up now and your website is ready for google to crawl! You can now start to use this information to your benefits and create content more specific with this information! I hope this post was useful for you and it helped you to answer the question “what is search console”. If you have any questions or suggestions just let me know in a comment and I will gladly answer.
Wish u all the best,