One of the most useful programs developed by Google is Google Search Console.
This is a crucial tool for website owners to efficiently manage their site and pages.
Specifically, this will give them access to the following data:
- Clicks and Click-Through Rate
- Impressions month on month
- Impressions per page
- Position of pages
- Average position of pages
It is important to know how your website is performing, especially on the metrics I mentioned above.
If you know what is happening on your website, you will understand both your website and your audience.
You can also level up your SEO game using the tool.
Today, we’re going to discuss about GSC and how to set it up.
By the end of this tutorial, you should learn how to integrate Google Search Console with your website.
What is Google Search Console?
First, let us first talk about Google Search Console as a whole.
This tool is designed to help users enhance their website’s performance in Google’s search engine.
With this, they will know how their website is perceived and evaluated by Google itself.
You see, you may think that you published a good blog.
But if your page is a duplicate of something else and you did not know that, Google will tell you.
Google Search Console will also tell you if your pages are canonical or not.
This is also used for optimizing a site’s content, and formulate the content in a way that is sure to attract traffic and generate conversions.
This can be accessed for free, so a lot of users have the opportunity to make the most out of its functions.
Google Search Console tells you how Google sees your website.
Google Search Console will also tell you were your backlinks are coming from.
It tells you whether your pages are indexed or not, or if your pages have a problem like mobile usability issues.
In the next sections of this article, we will move on to discussing the steps on how you can start using Google Search Console for your own.
Step 1: Sign Up and/or Add Your Account
To start off, navigate to Google’s search engine page, the go to https://search.google.com/search-console.
If you use Android, then you surely already have a Google account that you can use.
If you don’t have one yet or if you want to use another account, you can sign up for a new one in Gmail.
If you, however, already have an existing account, you can go on to Google Search Console’s homepage directly and then sign in.
Note that the same account is to be used on all Google platforms so if you are currently signed into another account, you must log out of them first to be able to use the new one.
It is up to you if you want to have two Google accounts—one for personal use and another one for your business.
Once your account is all set and the tab is opened, navigate to the main menu by clicking the button on the upper left.
This will allow you to view all your current properties.
There, you will also have an option to add a property. This can be done through the drop-down arrow as seen below:
The picture is just an example, thus, yours probably don’t have any property listed yet.
Because of this, the thing that you should do is to click the Add Property button.
A new window will open, and the next step is to add your property.
Step 2: Add Property
To continue where we finished in the last step regarding the Add Property button, let us first define what a property is.
This term refers to a website or address, an application, a page, or anything accessible online that you want to measure and monitor.
Now that you understand what it means, you can now click Add Property. This is what you will see:
You can choose between two property types. This will depend on your preference and purpose. But how are the two different?
If you choose to add a domain, all the pages of your website will be analyzed by the system.
As you can see, the link that you will enter does not involve the URL prefix.
This should be used if you are aiming to monitor your website, itself.
On the other hand, if you select URL Prefix, Google Search Console will only evaluate the specific page under the given address.
This will be helpful if you want to focus on only one page of the website.
To compare the two in a simpler sense, let us use an example website, which is https://backlinksociety.com.
For Domain property, you should simply type in backlinksociety.com.
In contrast, for URL Prefix, type it as it is: https://backlinksociety.com. Notice that placement of https:// to differentiate the two.
It is recommended, however, that you continue with a domain property so you can come up with more accurate statistical data regarding the whole website.
Step 3: Ownership Verification
After adding a property, may it be domain or URL prefix, you will be asked to do ownership verification.
This means that you need to verify that you really own the website. The process depends on the type of property that you chose.
Here are the things involved in verification:
There is only one method of verification here — DNS Verification. Look at the image below for the instructions.
This may look simple and complex at the same time, but this is not difficult. Specifically, here are the things that you need to do:
- Before anything else, copy the TXT record provided by the system. Paste in on a notepad or any textual platform and save it for later.
- Head to your domain registrar. This refers to the platform where you bought and registered your domain. Some examples are GoDaddy, BlueHost, NameCheap, and the likes.
- Next, go back to the first step. Enter the code you previously copied to a new TXT record of your domain. If you do not have access to this, reach out to your registrar through their customer support to help you with the process.
There may also be a situation wherein you are working with two different providers.
This happens when you bought your domain from a service provider other than your web host.
If this is the case, use your web host and navigate to the domain editor.
This will give you an option to create a TXT file where you can input the code.
- Once the code is in the TXT records, you can now click the Verify button.
The process may or may not take some time. This will depend on the time that the system will take to track the records.
- URL Prefix
Unlike its counterpart, there is more than one way to verify your domain here. See the image below for the possible choices:
Each of the method stated has their own instructions.
They can be accessed by clicking the drop-down arrow on their right.
This is what you will see if the process is successful:
If you land on a result regarding wrong verifications, consider repeating the process or double checking the code you pasted.
You cannot skip verifying your ownership because you won’t be given access to its data and metrics unless Google ensures that it is your website.
How to Monitor Site Performance with Google Search Console
Now that you’re all set and you are able to log in on your account, you can now view the statistical data gathered by your website. See below for an example:
With this, the data that you can make out are:
- Time Range: Last 3 months
- Total Clicks: 78
- Total Impressions: 6.59K
- Average Click-Through Rate: 1.2%
- Average Position: 46.7 or Page 4
If you are looking for data with a broader range, you can filter the search type and time range. This will help you come up with more accurate results.
Unfortunately, if you want a monthly view it is not possible to do this through Google Search Console. You have to use third-party data tracking programs.
One example of a third-party program is Microsoft Excel. You can organize all of the data according to your preference here.
However, it may consume a lot of time and effort as you have to do everything manually.
If you want a more efficient way, you can opt for Blogfilliate Tracker.
With this, you can keep all your data in one place and monitor their real-time standings. You can also use this to determine how effective your action plans are.
Google’s index is similar to a library index where a complete list of information can be found.
You can also think of it as a directory. Simply speaking, this is the one responsible for collecting and saving all websites and its pages.
Taking this into account, it is evident that your website should be a part of the online library for it to be visible to users.
This is also the key to make your website eligible for search results ranking.
So how do you make your site a part of Google’s index?
In contrast to popular belief, waiting is not the only way to achieve this.
You can actually make a request to them by using Google Search Console.
Here are the things that you should do:
Check if your URL is already on Google. Do this by copying your URL and pasting it on the search bar on top of the page.
If it is, it will show a text box similar to the one below:
If it is not, however, it will show you the flaws of your website. It will look something like this:
As you can see, it noticed that your website is not optimized for mobile use.
You should, therefore, optimize your pages to remove this error.
If you want to see more details about the error, click on it.
You will be able to see a screenshot of your website that Google took.
From there, you will be able to see how Google perceives your site.
If it thinks that it is not mobile-friendly, it will not show your site to mobile users.
If the page of your website is not indexed, it will not be shown to anybody.
Do this repeatedly until there are no more errors.
By then, you can have access to the Request Indexing link.
This will help your site’s indexing process be prioritized.
Summary: how to integrate Google Search Console with your website
Google Search Console is a handy tool for website owners.
This can help in a lot of things like optimizing their website’s functions, monitoring its data, and even in avoiding possible issues.
This is worth exploring and mastering because when used right, this can be your holy grail in making your website rank the highest.