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How To Setup Google Search Console & Why

**updated October 2nd, 2017

Learn How To Get Started with Google Search Console For SEO

One of the best things you can do for your website is invest in SEO. Once you resolve to do that, the most logical course of action would be to hire an SEO expert. But what if you’re strapped for cash, like most businesses starting out are? Do you say “forget it” and carry on, hoping your website will find traffic from another source? Negative, ghostrider!

Let’s Get One Of The Most Essential Tools For SEO

Instead of deciding to forego SEO altogether because you can’t afford to hire a professional, take it upon yourself to get the most foundational tool out there for SEO, Google Search Console! It might seem intimidating at first, but we’ll go over a few simple steps to get you started. There is some great information you can get out of Search Console and you don’t need to be an SEO expert to understand it!

How To Setup Google Search Console

There are 2 things you need, a website and a Gmail account. For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume you have both. If you don’t have a website, feel free to reach out to us about designing one for you, and if you don’t have a Gmail account, just sign up for one here.
 

Step 1: Hop on over to good ole’ Google Webmaster Tools.

 

Step 2: Sign Into Google.

Select the green button in the middle of the page that says “Search Console” and continue to sign into your Google account with your email and password.
 

Step 3: Add Your Website.

Once you get to the “Welcome to Search Console” screen, enter your website and select “Add A Property”.

step 3 to setup google search console
 

Step 4: Verify Your Property.

You need to verify ownership of your website before Search Console will start working. This is a security precaution to make sure that someone doesn’t wrongfully get access to pertinent information about your site and use it maliciously. Depending on the platform or CMS you are using, the verification process is going to vary slightly. But don’t fret because, regardless of the platform, it’s a relatively easy process.
 
VERIFICATION FOR WORDPRESS
Some themes, like Divi, have a field built into the theme options for verifying Google Search Console. If your theme doesn’t have it, we are going to need a simple plugin. You can either download the Yoast SEO plugin or the All-In-One SEO Plugin. Once the plugin is installed, we are going to verify our domain through Google’s “Alternative methods”.
 
1) In Google Search Console, select the “Alternative Methods” tab.
2) Select the first radio button for “HTML tag”.
3) Copy everything Google provides in the white box.

step 6 to setup google search console

4) Enter your meta tag verification info into Yoast
step 7 to setup google search console

Or All-in-One SEO.

5) Go back to Search Console, select “Verify”, and wait for the confirmation message to appear. Once you get the green check from Google, select “Continue”. You’ll be taken to your dashboard for the newly added site!

step 8 to setup google search console
 
VERIFICATION FOR SQUARESPACE
1) In Google Search Console, select the “Alternative Methods” tab.
2) Select the first radio button for “HTML tag”.
3) Copy everything Google provides in the white box.
4) Log into your Squarespace site.
5) In the Main Menu, select “Settings”.
6) Scroll down to the “Website” section and select “Advanced”.
7) Scroll down to “Code Injection”.

8) In the “Header” field, paste your code and Save it.

9) Go back to Search Console, select “Verify”, and wait for the confirmation message to appear. Once you get the green check from Google, select “Continue”. You’ll be taken to your dashboard for the newly added site!
step 8 to setup google search console

 
VERIFICATION FOR WIX
1) In Google Search Console, select the “Alternative Methods” tab.
2) Select the first radio button for “HTML tag”.
3) Copy everything Google provides in the white box.
4) Log into your Wix account.
5) Go to your Site Manager and select “SEO”.
6) Scroll down to the “More SEO Settings” section.
7) Copy and paste your code into the “Header Code – Meta Tags”.

8) Select “Publish” to save your changes.
9) Go back to Search Console, select “Verify”, and wait for the confirmation message to appear. Once you get the green check from Google, select “Continue”. You’ll be taken to your dashboard for the newly added site!
step 8 to setup google search console

Getting Started with Google Search Console!

Now that you have Google Search Console setup, the best place to get started is in the Search Traffic section. From your dashboard, click on “Search Traffic” and then “Search Analytics”.

step 9 to setup google search console

It takes a while before you’ll see anything because Google doesn’t retroactively look for data. Going forward, however, Google will monitor and track the keywords and pages you rank for!

Some quick tips on understanding Search Analytics data.

Once data has been collected, head back over to the Search Analytics page and select all of the options in the first row (Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Position). By default, the “Queries” section is selected. Select a date range using the “Date” option.

step 10 to setup google search console

What you’re looking at is a table that shows you a list of keywords that were searched and led to your website being shown in the results. The Impressions column shows you the total number of times your website was shown in the search results, while the Clicks column shows you how many times someone actually clicked on your result. The CTR column is a percentage of Clicks divided by Impressions. And Rankings gives you your average rank for that keyword.

step 10-2 to setup google search console

 

There’s a wealth of knowledge that you can find in Google Search Console. You may not understand everything within the tool, but that’s ok. You can begin to become familiar with your site and the keywords you rank for. That’s pretty invaluable, no matter your level of SEO knowledge. This is just the start of a deeper understanding of your website.

 

Do you need help getting Search Console setup? Do you want us to go over another verification route for you? Feel free to email us at services@thehiveandco.com and we’ll setup a time and date so we can walk you through the process!

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