How to Set Up Google Search Console - A Free SEO Tool For Your Website
Google Search Console is a free, indispensable service that helps site owners monitor and maintain their site's presence in Google Search results. You don't have to be a webmaster to reap the benefits of this free tool. In this post, I'll walk you step-by-step through the Google Search Console setup process.
With the help of Google Search Console, you can:
- monitor your site’s performance
- identify issues such as broken links
- submit content for crawling
- remove content you don’t want indexed
- view the search queries that brought visitors to your site
- monitor backlinks
In addition to the features above, you can use Search Console to see how many users are clicking on your site in Google results.
Basically, if you care at all about search engine optimization, Google Search Console is a no brainer!
1. Create an Account
Make sure you're signed in to your Google account, then sign up for Google Search Console.
You'll be brought to this welcome screen where you will be asked to add a property.
2. Verify Site Ownership
There are several ways to verify your ownership of a site. Multiple verification methods will make your ownership more resilient, but the two easiest ways are:
- Domain provider - This is the quickest way to verify your site ownership. If you choose to verify via this method, a popup will appear asking you for your domain provider credentials and it will verify in a snap.
- HTML Tag - Copy the meta tag and add it to the <head> section of your site.
If you're a Squarespace user, navigate to Settings --> Advanced --> Code Injection
3. Build & Submit a Sitemap
A sitemap tells Google which pages on your site should be crawled and indexed.
For Squarespace users
Great news! Squarespace provides an XML sitemap for you! Just add /sitemap.xml to the end of your URL. For example:
From the Search Console Dashboard, click on Sitemaps. From there you can add your sitemap URL
For Wordpress users
There are plenty of third party plugins that will generate a site map for you. I believe Yoast includes an XML sitemap or you can try this Google Sitemap Plugin or do your own research to determine which plugin works best for you.
You may not see any data for a few days but try to familiarize yourself with Search Console.
This post is part of my Intro to SEO mini course.