Online tools like Core Web Vitals or Google Search Console play a vital role in your digital journey. But besides providing you with useful insights into your rankings, Google Search Console can help you detect issues that might prevent your site from reaching the top of SERPs and make sure you resolve them before it’s too late.
Google Search Console is a free tool that every website owner should implement right after going live. And while the entire process seems tricky, connecting GSC with your website is a piece of cake. But if you’re new to this, it might seem like a pretty overwhelming task for you.
This article is intended for all those who would like to learn more about the Google Search Console implementation and all the benefits this essential tool brings.
Let’s dive into this step-by-step guide to learn how to get the best out of Google Search Console!
Before stepping into the online world, it is vital to understand the importance of a well-planned-out search engine optimization (SEO). Not all websites achieve great results on search engines, and the reasons for that can be different – low load speed, bad performance, poorly written content, lack of security, and non-unique images.
Originality has always been one of the SEO ranking factors, which is why it’s essential to enrich your site with high-quality, unique visual content. That way, both users and search engine bots will come to you.
If you are not ready to invest in professional photo designers and editors, you can always rely on talented freelancers who provide their services at an affordable price. There are many freelancers that can design and edit photos like professionals, following the guidelines of your brand and helping you get in front of your online audience more easily and efficiently.
Besides content, the technical aspects of a website are something that should not be taken for granted. And that’s where Google Search Console comes into play. Once linked to your website, GSC can provide you with useful insights into your webpage’s technical performance and allow you to correct errors that might prevent you from accomplishing your goals.
Now, let us get you through the 5 simple steps for setting up Google Search Console.
Step 1: Sign in with Your Google Business Account
The first step is signing in with your Google business account. Keep in mind that personal accounts are not allowed when it comes to setting properties on GSC for your business website.
Step 2: Go to Google Search Console and Add a Property
Go to Google Search Console and click “Add property” to add your website. Next, select “Website” from the dropdown menu and enter the exact URL of your website (the one that appears in the browser bar). Then, click “Continue” to proceed.
Step 3: Verify Your Website
Website verification is an essential step because Google Search Console gets access to all the most important information regarding your website, its owners, and similar. It means that you must have at least one verified owner per property.
Website verification can be done in different ways. For example:
- HTML file: You can complete website verification by uploading a verification HTML file to a particular location of your website.
- Domain verification: You can log in to your domain registrar and verify your site either directly from GSC, or by adding a DNS TXT or CNAME record.
- Adding HTML tag: You can choose to insert a specific tag into the section of your website HTML code.
- Google Tag Manager: Another way to verify your site on GSC is by implementing the Google Tag Manager snippet code that’s associated with your site. However, you will need View, Edit, and Manage permissions in Google Tag Manager.
Step 4: Pay Attention to Domain(s)
Many webmasters forget this step due to confusion caused by the following:
- HTTP vs. HTTPS: If your website supports versions with an SSL certificate (HTTPS) and without it (HTTP), you must ensure that both versions are added separately to GSC.
- WWW vs. non-WWW: Although they might look the same, domains example.com and www.example.com are not the same. At least from the technical point of view. If you want your example.com to appear as www.example.com in search and other places, you will need to choose it as a preferred (canonical) domain. That way, you will tell Google to consider that version of the URL when counting views, backlinks, etc. If you don’t tell it, GSC will observe the two URLs separately and split the information into two. At this point, don’t forget to set a 301 redirection from a non-preferred to a preferred URL.
Step 5: Set the Necessary Permissions
If there are various users on your Google Search Console account, it’s necessary to set various roles. That way, you will assign different permissions to different people who have access to your GSC property.
Right now, there are four roles in GSC:
- Owner: The owner has full control over the GSC property. They can add or remove other users, manage settings and data, and use all the tools available in the system. Each property must have at least one verified owner.
- Full user: Full users can view all the data regarding the website and have certain permissions that allow them to take some actions.
- Restricted user: Unlike full users, restricted users have only view rights, and they are limited to certain data.
- Associate: Associates are all the people or accounts that can act on behalf of your website. For example, they cannot open or view your GSC account but are allowed to complete other tasks on the platform. The permissions they have and actions they can take depend on the type of association you have.
You’re All Set
Once you’ve completed the 5 steps for setting up your Google Search Console account, you’re good to go. GSC offers a broad range of features you can configure later and get a more complete insight into your website performance on the web. And keep digging – Google Search Console has a lot of hidden gems you should discover!