2.7.2019

Google Search Console how to get started

Google Search Console is one of the most important tools for every website owner and builder. Especially for search engine optimisation, this tool is very useful. With Google Search Console, you can track which search terms are used to show your page in Google search results and how many times your page has been reached through these search terms. With this tool, you can easily find out what you could do to make your website rank better in Google search results. So through Google Search Console, you can see what your website looks like to Google's search engine. In this Google Search Console tutorial, we'll walk you through how to set it up on your own website.

Preparations

You'll need a valid Google Account (@gmail.com or G Suite credentials) to activate Google Search Console. You will also need access to your website's file manager, for example via FTP or from the file browser in your web hosting provider's management palette, as we will be adding one small HTML file to the root of your site. Alternatively, you can also use DNS validation, in which case you will need access to manage DNS records for your domain. This can also normally be found in your provider's control panel.

1 - Add a new domain name

First of all, open the Google Search Console and if you have more than one Google account, select which account you want to manage this tool on. If you use more than one subdomain e.g. "www.esimerkki.fi", "kauppa.esimerkki.fi", "blogi.esimerkki.fi" (also known as URL prefixes) then select"Domain". If you use only one address such as: "example.fi" or "www.esimerkki.fi", then select"URL prefix".

TheDomain section requires you to access the DNS records for your domain name.
The URL prefix option uses a single html file for domain validation, which is moved to the file root of the home page.

Enter the domain name and press"Continue".

2 - Validate your domain name with an HTML file

If you selected"Domain name", proceed to step #3.

Download the HTML file by clicking on the button that appears and upload this file to the root of your website. The HTML file should be available when you open the address of your website and enter the name of the HTML file. (example: https://www.esimerkki.fi/google773d4c4e38cca8b5.html)

Once the HTML file is at the root of your website, click on the"Confirm" button.

Go to step #4

3 - Verify your domain name using your DNS record

Open the admin panel for editing DNS records for your domain. This control panel is commonly found in a control panel such as cPanel found through your provider's client account. Insert a new TXT record and copy the "google-site-verification" text snippet in Google Search Console as the value. DNS records can take several hours to update, so you can take a break at this point!

Once the DNS records have been updated, press"Confirm".

4 - Google Search Console is now activated

At this point, you won't notice anything very useful in the Google Search Console dashboard. This is where the system starts to collect information about the development of your website. So you have to wait for traffic and changes to happen on your site before you see any actual data from your website. Of course, at this point you can already add a sitemap of your website to Google Search Console to help Google's search engine robots browse your website content more efficiently.

How does a modern search engine robot work?

The search engine robot will visit your website, read all the texts, click on all the links and draw its own conclusions. If the page is easy for the robot to read and it gets all the information it needs, it will be rewarded with better search results. So it's important that you build your page logically from the start. Think carefully about how your pages link to each other and which page contains which information. The front page should be the nerve centre where both the potential customer and the search engine robot can find the right and necessary information immediately. So draw a good page map on paper and build your pages on that basis.

Google Search Console Help

Different features and functions in Google Search Console.

Development

In this section you can see how your website's search engine traffic has evolved over time. You'll also see a list of all the terms and keywords your site has appeared with in Google search results and how many times these results have been clicked on. The Development tab also lists all the pages that Google has indexed from your website.

Coverage

The most important section of this page is the "Error" notes. The page tells you which pages Google has indexed, but also warns you if it finds anything on your pages that could potentially prevent Google from indexing your pages. Indexing errors are a really big minus for search engine optimisation, as they prevent Google from adding the page to the search results.

Read on to find out how to set up Google Analytics.

Written by Tuomas
Yrittäjä @ Tuonetti
Strong Finnish Internet Partner
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