Google Search Console, formerly Webmaster Tools, was created to help webmasters get more traffic from search engines and track their site’s performance.
If you have a website and you don’t use this free tool from Google, you’re missing out on valuable information that could boost your site’s performance in search results.
This guide will walk you through setting up your account and the various features available to ensure your site is operating at its best.
Step 1: create an account on google search console
In order to use Google Search Console, you’ll need a Google account. If you already have an account, all you need to do is login and click on Add property in order to proceed.
Don’t worry if you don’t have one — signing up is easy and it only takes a few seconds. Use your name or your business name as your username and fill out a profile of who you are and what business you represent. That information will appear alongside any search data Google displays for your site. When finished, click Next Step.
Step 2: verify your site
Once you’ve set up Google Search Console, you’ll need to verify your site with Google. To do so, just copy your Google Webmaster Tools code (instructions here), paste it into a file and upload it via GSC. With that in place, you’ll be able to use all of Google’s insights for your site and other sites as well; monitor indexing: With GSC properly installed, you should start seeing inbound links getting indexed almost immediately—which means it’s time to start monitoring them!
Step 3: add rich snippets
Rich snippets enhance your search listing and make it easier for users to find you in a sea of other results. Rich snippets are different from standard meta tags because they look more like regular search results than traditional meta data.
They include things like stars, which indicate an official rating from popular review sites, or price estimates and sales figures that show up directly in your search listing instead of on your site itself. Think of them as a sort of badge showing off some extra information about you in your listing.
Step 4: add social profiles
Setting up social profiles is a no-brainer if you’re hoping to generate organic search traffic, but that’s not all. Social signals are one of the few ranking factors where it pays off to be proactive, so you should always be making sure your brand is popping up on major social networks.
Whether or not you want your profiles public or private is your call, but there are clear benefits either way. Public profiles will help get more eyes on your brand, which means more exposure for whatever content you’re sharing. Private profiles will ensure that what (and who) shows up in search results matches exactly what’s on your site can lead directly to SEO success.
Step 5: set up XML sitemap
There are three methods of submitting XML sitemaps to Google. You can use a URL on your existing website, send an email submission, or use a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server.
Whichever method you choose, make sure that your XML sitemap is updated regularly and submit it as soon as possible—the sooner you get your site’s information into Google, the sooner you’ll start receiving traffic from it. A lot of SEO-geeks will advise you not to worry about creating a sitemap until you have hundreds or thousands of pages on your site.
I’m here to tell you that those guys are wrong—I’ve started getting great results by submitting my sitemap immediately upon launch.
Step 6: add other data
Finally, click on Crawl in order to make sure that it’s working and your site is ready for indexing. For now, everything looks good and you can continue by clicking on submit, which will take you back to Google Search Console.
Click on Crawl again just so we can make sure all your pages have been added, then go back one more time to Index Status. If things are looking okay here too then let’s continue: add other data (add at least two results from different locations) and submit again.