What Is Google Search Console: Creating a blog and adding new content to it regularly is not enough to get your blog visible. In order to ensure that the site shows up in Search Engine Result Page (SERP). You need to monitor it. And you need to maintain its presence. To help you with this, Google has a tool which is called Google Search Console (GSC). It was previously known as Google Webmaster Tool (GWT). If you are looking for how to set up Google Search Console for your website, you are in the right place.
GSC is useful in many ways. To tell a few, it helps you to find out if your site is visible in Google, if there are any error in your site, how and for which keywords your posts are ranking. With this tool, you tell Google to crawl a particular post and remove posts that you do not want to be crawled and indexed. Basically, it helps in maintaining and controlling your site’s accessibility to Google.
So, yes. You should definitely know how to set up Google Search Console for your website.
How To Set Up Google Search Console For Your Website
The first thing that you need to do is add your site to GSC.
For that, you need to sign up in Google Search Console first. Once you have done that and logged into your GSC account, do the following:
- Click on “Add A Property”.
- Enter the URL of your site’s homepage in the field. Then click on “Continue”.
Next, you will have to verify your site, that it really belongs to you. There are several methods to do that. I prefer the HTML Tag method.
So, how do I get my site verified by Google using the HTML Tag method?
- First, go to your WordPress dashboard and install “Insert Headers and Footers” plugin. It is free. Just go to Plugins > Add New, then type in “Insert Headers and Footers” in the search field and hit Enter. When the plugin box appears on the screen, click on “Install”. Once it is installed, click on “Activate”.
- After you have selected the HTML Tag method in GSC, a meta tag will be provided to you. It will look something like this:
<meta name="google-site-verification" content="hkjhdjkg766e98296348jkasdjgf" />
- Now go to your WordPress dashboard again. Click on “Settings” and then on “Insert Headers and Footers”. Paste the HTML Tag in the box under “Scripts in Header”. Go down and click on “Save”.
- Now, go back to Google Search Console and click on “Verify”. Your site will be verified and added to Google Search Console.
So, what to do next?
Once you have verified your account, you have to set your preferred domain.
Why Is It Important To Set A Preferred Domain For Your Site?
See, a website can have two different versions – one with “www” and the other without it. This means, the sites open for both https://mysite.com and https://www.mysite.com. Now that can create a problem. If both the versions are available to Google, Google will consider them to be two different websites and this will give rise to duplicate content issue.
In order to avoid that, you need to set your preferred domain – the domain you want Google to show in the search results.
I don’t like “www”; it makes the URL long unnecessarily. It’s not like there is any advantage of having www in the URL of the website. So, my preferred domain is https://blgxpria.com. Even if you type in https://www.blgxpria.com in the address bar and hit “Enter”, you will be directed to https://blgxpria.com.
So, How To Set Your Preferred Domain In Google Search Console?
GSC has two versions – the newer version doesn’t have all the features that are there in the old one. So, you have to use both of them until all the features are added to the new version.
- First, from the bottom of the left navigation menu of GSC, click on “Go to the old version”.
- Now, click on the “Settings” icon in the top right corner and click on “Site Settings”.
You will see three options:
- Don’t set a preferred domain
- Display URLs as www.mysite.com
- Display URLs as mysite.com.
Click on the option that you want your preferred domain to be. I would suggest not to select the first option because in that case, Google will consider both the versions.
How To Set Up Target Country For Your Website In Google Search Console?
Now, you have to set the country that you want to target.
Google picks up this information from various data, like the ccTLD of your site, location of your servers, the language in which you write your content, etc. But the more you provide information, the better. So, with GSC, you can actually tell Google which country you are targeting.
- Click on “Search Traffic” from the navigation menu on the left side and then on “International Targeting”.
- Now, click on “Country” tab and check the “Target users in” box. Once checked, you can click on the default country name and select your target country from the drop-down menu.
- Click on “Save” after you are done.
I hope I have been able to explain how to set up Google Search Console for your website. If you have any question pertaining to how to set up Google Search Console for your website, drop your queries below. I will answer them at the earliest.