We’ve recently written about that how to get started with Google Analytics statistics on your website. Today we’ll deal with another important issue that is a verification of our website by using Google Search Console (it was earlier called webmaster tool) . This tool will help you get to know your users better. Why is it so important and why do you have to have it on your website? You’ll find out it, reading our article.
Let’s start from the very beginning. How does Search Console work?
It’s free Google tool, mainly designed for websites owners, SEOs or webmasters. First of all the tool informs us about the potential errors and threats connected with the website that we manage. Additionally we can find out how many people are visiting our website using Google Search and get some suggestions of changes, which will help us to optimize our website better. After verification of our site we can also synchronize it with Google Analytics.
How to add your site to Search Console?
The same as in the case of Google Analytics it’s good to have gmail account. To add your site, go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=pl and log in. Then click “Add a property”.
Then enter the URL of your site.
After that you have to verify your ownership. The best way to do it, is by uploading HTML file to your site (it’s recommended method). Then, click “I’m not a robot” and “Verify ”. If you can’t or don’t know how to do it, you can use alternate methods, such as: HTML tag, domain name provider, Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager.
It’s worth emphasizing that you can of course use Google help. However if you read everything step by step you deal with it yourself. When your site is verified your service is running. Once you have verified your site, you’ll get a message with 5 tips:
- Adding all your website versions. Make sure you add both “www” and “non-www” versions for your site (for example http://www.startupfreak.net and http://startupfreak.pl) . Also, if you use the HTTPS protocol, add those variations as well. (for example https://startupfreak.net).
- Selecting your preferred version. Choose whether you want your site to appear with or without “www” in Google Search. It’s recommended to display it without “www”.
- Selecting target country. Set your geographic preference if your website targets users in a specific country.
- Sharing access with co-workers. If you want other people to access your reports, you can add different access levels.
- Submitting a sitemap file. This helps Google understand better how to crawl your site. So it’s also worth using this tip.
What can be improved on your website?
You can find out from Search Console about many important issues, which have influence on your website visibility in Google (depending on website complexity and website engine). First of all you’ll find here site errors section. Secondly, suggestions regarding HTML improvement or accelerating mobile pages in AMP standard. You’ll also test robots.txt files and get index errors. Thanks to that you can reduce the number of 404 pages on your website – in most cases, this problem refers to older pages or those, whose website structure was changed. Unfortunately, there are sometimes many of such errors and we don’t even realise that we lose a lot of website traffic. So it’s worth devoting some time and looking through all tabs, that this device gives us.
Was my website penalized by Google?
Google is quite restrictive about obeying its algorithms. So if use forbidden SEO techniques, which are contrary to Google’s Terms of Service, your website may be penalized. If it happens you’ll be informed about that. Here you’ll need help from SEO specialist, who will tell you what to do. What messages can we see?
- unatural links from your website
- user-generated spam
- pure SPAM
All issues connected with spam, you’ll find in Search traffic > Manual actions. The whole list of messages which you can see, you’ll find here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/topic/4591246?hl=en&ref_topic=4589099
How do users get to your website from Google?
Here is the essence of this tool. When you click “Search Analysis report” you’ll get full data about that: what search queries are most likely to show your website, click count, average CTR and the average position of our website. Additionally you can filter you data.
If we integrate these services (Search Console and Google Analytics) we’ll be able to see these data in Google Analytics without logging into Search Console. To synchronize these tools, you need to go into GA tab Acquisition > Search Console and follow the instruction. So go ahead 😉