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HOW TO SET UP GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE AND 9 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD

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I did not know I had to set up Google Search Console for my first blog to help get it found on Google when I started blogging.

Being a complete newbie in the blogging sphere, I thought my site was going to be found instantly when I made my blog live.

Boyyy was I wrong.

After a month of searching for my site on Google with no success, I researched on how to get my site found on google and BOOM! there it was.

I only had to verify my site with the Search Console for faster indexing and that was all.

Such a teeny tiny task and I was stressing myself about it. (Sighs)

Nevertheless, verifying my site with Google worked wonders for me in terms of steady flow of organic traffic.

I believe most newbies often make this blogging mistake.

In this blog post, I will show you how to set up and verify your site with the Google Search Console plus share with you reasons why you shouldn’t skip this proven SEO method.

The basic features of Search Console will also be explained to you towards the end of this post so make sure to stick to the end.

Alright! Let’s get started

Set up Google search console

What is Google Search Console in SEO?

Google Search Console is a free tool from Google that helps webmasters (that is you) to gain SEO insights on their websites. 

Search Console provides detailed Search Engine Optimization insights of your site to help you optimize your site for organic traffic clicks and improve your Google search rankings.

Google search console has dozens of features that can help you improve your site’s SEO. When you use it correctly and implement their suggestions for site improvement, you will see massive organic traffic improvement and clicks.

What is the search console used for?

Search console is used for indexing and crawling websites easily by Google.

However, Search Console is not a prerequisite for your site to get indexed by Google. 

Setting up a search console account speeds up the process of getting your site indexed and seen by Google search users.

 Again, Search Console is used for getting first-hand information on how you can improve your site for search engines especially Google search users.

So, you may be asking yourself this question:

Why should you verify your site with Google?

You should verify your site with Google because of the following reasons

  1.  It is the largest search engine where the majority of your search engine traffic may come.
  2. Most people tend to use Google search to find information more than other search engines.
  3. Google is also 10x used to search for information more than social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest.
  4. Again, verifying your site proves to Google you are the owner of the website.
  5. You can discover the keywords people search to land on your blog in the performance page on Search Console.
  1. To help improve your site appearance on Google
  2. Discover sites linking to your page
  3. Discover errors that are preventing you from appearing on SERPS
  4. You can discover devices people use most to find your site and optimize your site to suit those devices

All these and more which I will be outlining in this post are great and important reasons why you should set up Google Search Console account to verify your site with Google.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOGLE ANALYTICS AND SEARCH CONSOLE? 

Google Analytics tracks your site visitors’ behaviors such as the pages they visit, how long they stay on your blog pages, and other beneficial analytics metrics that you can use to optimize your website. 

Whereas, search console is used for indexing, crawling, submitting, and sitemaps for your site to get it easily found on Google Search engine.

Again, Search console provides in-depth organic search keywords traffic results and analysis whereas Analytics provides all the source of traffic streams for your site. 

RELATED POST: 3 Different Types Of Keywords Every Blogger Must Use

Whichever platform your blog Link was clicked on, Google analytics will tell you but search console will not be able to tell you since it was not done on Google search.  

In the search console, you can discover

  1. Your Average position on Google search in several countries 
  2. Top location visitors 
  3. Queries visitors make to land on your blog post
  4. Pages users visit through the search queries they make
  5. How often your link gets clicked on search engines 
  6. Indexed URLs
  7. Site errors
  8. Coverage issues and lots more

All these can help you optimize your blog posts for search engines as well as your site users.

You need not worry your head trying to figure out everything on Search Console at once. 

As a new blogger, the only metrics I will suggest for you to focus on when you set up Google Search Console apart from the errors are the queries, pages, search traffic, and countries.

RELATED: 25+ Free Keywords Research Tools

How Do I Setup Google Search Console?

There are 7 ways you can use to verify your site with Search Console. 

You can verify your site with Search Console through 

  1.  DNS server ( Domain Name System)
  2. HTML file upload 
  3. HTML Tag
  4. Google Analytics Tracking code 
  5. Blogger
  6. Google Tag Manager container
  7. Google sites 

But I will touch on 1-5 as they are the ones I have had experience with. 

So Let’s get started.

Verify Google search console through DNS

This will require you to associate your domain name with Google. To do that, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Google.com/webmasters
  2. Click on start now button
  3. Enter your domain URL in the domain prefix
  4. Click on continue
  5. Select your DNS provider from the drop-down list by clicking on any provider. Click on start verification. 
  6. Login to your Domain provider account. Click on authorize and you will be redirected to your search console dashboard. Click on verify.
how to setup google search console using DNS verification method

It could be that your DNS Provider may not be on the list provided.

If that happens, you will need to copy and paste the code provided in the DNS Provider option to your DNS account. 

To do that search for “how to verify search console with (insert your DNS Provider here) on Google. For instance,  if Namecheap is your DNS Provider,  search for “how to verify search console with Namecheap”.

Follow the instructions there to help you go through the process.

Honestly, this form of verification has not worked for me on this site. But I had instant success with it on my other niche site.

You should, however, note that DNS verification takes time, therefore, your site may not be immediately verified.

 Check back in an hour or a day to see if it’s been verified by clicking on the domain  name under unverified properties

Verifying your site with Search Console via HTML File upload

Verifying your site with Search Console through the HTML file method requires you to download and upload an HTML Code to your hosting Cpanel. 

This process worked best for me fast.

  Here is how to do it.

  1. Go to Google.com/webmasters. 
  2. Click on the search console button
  3. Click on add property
  4. Enter your URL in the URL prefix and click on continue
  5. Expand the HTML file option
  6. Click on the download button to download the HTML code
google search console HTML FILE UPLOAD VERIFICATION METHOD

         If you use Namecheap, this may help.

  1. Login to your  domain account and navigate to your C-Panel
namecheap login dashboard
  1. In your Cpanel, locate your file manager option and click on it
  2. Click on +public_html
  3. Click on upload and upload the HTML code you downloaded from Search Console
namecheap cpanel
  1. Go back to the Search Console dashboard and click on verify

If everything is done correctly, the search console will tell you your verification was successful.

 But, if you find the process quite intimidating, you can reach out to your DNS provider to help you go through with it. 

But honestly, It’s not that difficult.

How To Verify your website with search Console using Google Analytics.

Another way you can verify your site with the Search Console is by Verifying your site via Google analytics. 

To do this, you must ensure that the email account you used to set u both analytics and search console are the same.

 Again, you should have your analytics tracking code properly implemented in the <head> section of your website.

If these requirements are not followed, your verification process will be unsuccessful. 

If you don’t have analytics set up then read this post on how to add Google analytics to a website.

To verify your site with Search Console via Google analytics, follow the steps below. 

  1. Login to your Search console account
  2. Click on add property
  3. Enter your URL in the URL prefix
  4. Click on Google Analytics to expand
  5. Click on verify 

If all the steps were followed through rightly, your domain verification will be successful.

Remember to make sure you have the tracking code for Google analytics in the <head> section of your site.

Verify domain with Search console using HTML Tag

To Verify your domain with Search Console using an HTML Tag,  you will just have to copy and paste a code in the head section of your site. 

I know you are sick and tired of the head section nonsense but it’s the only way search console will be able to work properly and give you the data you want.

Before you proceed on using this method, install the free headers and footers plugin by WP Beginner to make pasting of codes in the head section not too overwhelming

Here is how to verify your domain with search console using an HTML Tag

  1. Log in to search console
  2. Click on add property
  3. Enter your URL in the URL prefix and click on continue 
  4. Click on HTML Tag option to expand
  5. Copy the code there
  6. Login to your WordPress dashboard 
  7. Go to settings>insert headers and footers
  8. Paste the code you copied in the <head> section 
  9. Go back to your Search Console dashboard and click on verify 
Wordpres dash board that shows how to paste a code in the head section

This should be able to give you a successful green light.

How to verify your Blogger site with search console

Your blogger site account email must be the same as your search console account email. 

Here is how to verify your blogger account with search console 

  1. Log in to search console
  2. Click on add property
  3. Enter your URL in the URL prefix and click on continue 
  4. Your site will be automatically verified.

Search Console Dashboard Features.

Now that you have your site all verified and good to go, it’s now time for you to explore the features of the Search Console dashboard. Here is a screenshot of the menu list below.

search console menu

I will explain how to use each function below.

Overview

The overview displays the basic data for you about your site. It’s the first thing that is displayed when you log in to the Search console. 

The overview tab displays the performance tab, the coverage tab, and the enhancements tab.

This helps you to see at a glance all that is going on for your website 

 overview of google search console dashboard

PERFORMANCE 

This is where you will see an in-depth performance analysis of your blog posts on Google.  

This is where you will need to pay attention to most to help you optimize your blog posts for search engines.

google search console performance  dashboard
  • Search type: You can check the type of search queries people make to land on your blog. There are 3 forms of search type of search types you will see when you click on the search type button.  Web, Images, and videos. You can click on any search type to see the impressions and clicks you get from the web,  your post images and videos.
  • Date: This where you can change the date ranges. You can change it to the last 7 days or the last 16 months. You can also input a custom date range to see how your keywords have been performing in that time range.
  • Total clicks: The clicks you have had for the date range you select
  • Total Impressions: People who saw your posts without clicking on your posts
  • Average CTR(Click Through Rate): How often people click on your post when they see it.
  • Average Position: Your position on the search engine results page for your niche site for a keyword.
  • New: This is where you can view your performance on your search type and date range for a query, page, countries, and devices. For instance, you can click on add new and select query and enter the keyword you want to see your performance for that keyword word.
performance details on search console
  • Queries: Find the search term people use to click to your site or to get an impression on your blog post. 
  • Pages: The keyword Post pages that people click on. By clicking on the pages, you will see links to your most clicked post links as well as the number of clicks, impressions, and your average Position for a particular post.
  • Countries: Top users from countries who click on your posts. You can use this to see countries where you get your most clicks from.
  • Devices: Devices Users use for making queries
  • Search appearance: The search appearance shows how people find your page. Either through your FAQs, web light or videos

URL INSPECTION 

The URL inspection in Search Console is used for mainly two things.

  1. Submitting new posts for fast indexing
  2. Finding out if certain URLs are indexed.

Use the URL inspection to find pages that have not been indexed by entering the URLs in the search bar

Coverage

The Coverage tab on Search Console shows Errors found on your site pages and how to fix them. It also shows valid pages and pages excluded from your site.

search console coverage dashboard

Fixes for the Errors will be displayed in the details table. Click on the error type to see the affected pages.

Sitemaps 

A sitemap is the whole architecture of your blog. Your sitemap will

Include your all post pages, pages, categories, and tags on your site. Submitting a sitemap helps Google to understand what your blog is about.

How to submit a sitemap to Google

If you use Yoast, it is way easier to get your sitemap and submit to Search Console. Follow these steps to submit your sitemap.

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard 
  2. Click on YSEO (Yoast SEO)
  3. Click on features in the Yoast dashboard.
  4. Locate the sitemap option and switch it on. 
  5. Click on the question mark beside XML sitemap to reveal the link to your site map
yoast seo plugin dashboard
  1. Click on the “see the XML sitemap” link to reveal your sitemap generated by Yoast.
  2. Copy only the “posts-sitemap.xml.”
  3. Paste the link in Google search console and click on the submit button.
  4. Do the same for your pages, categories, and tag pages sitemaps URLs. 
xml site map and search console sitemap dashboard

Woot woot!  you have submitted your sitemap and Google can start crawling and indexing your page faster.

Remember to only paste “posts-sitemap.xml” in the Search Console without adding your blog URL. 

Search Console kept on saying my sitemap had errors and I really cussed at Yoast for giving me burnt toast sitemap.

Not knowing all that while I have been adding my blog URL to it.  (smacks forehead)

Removals

Google Search console Removals is where you request for URLs to be temporarily removed from search engines or outdated contents.

Click on the new request tab to add a URL you want to be removed from the search engine results page

Speed Experimental

The speed experimental reports your mobile and desktop speed errors. It will report URLs that are slow, moderately fast, and fast for these devices.

Mobile Usability 

Mobile usability menu reports errors and valid pages that crawlers encounter on your site. The error report is normally given in the details table.

Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs show users where they are on your site. For instance, if they are reading a post in a category or tag it will show the category or tag title together with your post title. 

 When you scroll to the top of this page, you will see this breadcrumb trail Home>Blogging for beginners>How to set up Google Search Console

If there are errors on your Breadcrumbs you will see it in the Google Search Console Breadcrumbs dashboard with details on how to fix the errors in the details table.

Site links checkbox

Site links are other page links that are listed under a page on search engines.

The site links checkbox also shows errors and valid site links.

Security and Manual Actions

Security and Manual Actions report threat issues on your site.

Legacy tools and Reports

The legacy tools and reports show tools you can use to make language settings with the international targeting settings

Again you can check the activity of Google bots using the crawl stats option. 

Read search console messages to you for your site in the messages option. Define how Google should crawl your site using the URL parameter settings. Find other tools for search console in the web tools options

Links

Find external links(number links from other sites to your site) and internal links (links from your own post to other posts of your own on your blog)

Settings 

Google’s search console settings feature allows you to make admin changes to your search console settings. It has the following features. 

  • Ownership Verification: The other forms of site verifications are listed here. 
  • Users and Permissions: Add new users to your search console admin page.
  • Change address: Alert Google of your changed domain name here.
  • Indexing crawler: Learn more about how Google crawlers index your site.
  • Property added to account: click on Remove property to delete a property from search console 

Conclusion 

Verifying your site with Google through your set up of Google search console is one of the many right directions to take when it comes to blogging. 

It will provide you with the necessary data you can use to optimize your blog for more search traffic clicks.

Thanks for reading.

I hope this post has been helpful to you in more ways than one.

Did I miss anything? Do let me know in the comments section. 

If you found this post helpful, kindly share and pin. I will appreciate it loads.

How to set up Google search console
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