Google Search Console: A Guide To Get Started
New Google Search Console: How To Login, Verify, and Index Your Website
So you’ve just completed your fancy new website and you’re super proud. Congratulations. If I had to guess, you probably ticked all the right boxes of a modern website. Material flat design? Check. Plenty of neat widgets and icons? Check. Responsive? (Please, what is this, 2001?) Check. In fact, I’m sure your site is skyrocketing to page #1 of Google as we speak. Or is it? If you fail to submit your site to Google, it’s not going to happen. In this article, we’ll cover how to login, verify, and index your website using the new Google Search Console (GSC).
Before I get into the detailed instructions to help your website rank, let me relate a quick story. Four months ago, I had a client that recently contracted me to build a new website. It was a fairly straight-forward build and of course, it looked amazing because we used Avada. The one caveat, this person declined any extra basic services i.e. On-page SEO, Google local listing, and of course, submission to GSC. He felt it unnecessary despite my advice.
Fast forward to the present, I get a phone call. It was the same client concerned that his site wasn’t getting the traffic he had hoped for. No surprise there. Unfortunately, you simply cannot create a beautiful website and expect it to show up in the SERPs.
So, if you want to stand a chance of getting found, start with these 3 things.
#1: Submit Your Website to Google Search
Whether you’re doing it yourself or paying someone else to do it for you, creating a new website is like bringing a child into the world. It can be exciting, but mostly overwhelming. Take Google’s algorithm to rank websites. It’s believed that they use over 200 metrics to rank your site alone! It can be overwhelming. But at the end of the day, you wouldn’t endeavor to create a site if it wasn’t going to get found. Would you?
To submit your website to Google, navigate and login to Google Search Console. In the top left corner, click the “search property” menu and “add property”.
From the “select property type” menu, add your web page’s URL address and continue.
You will then need to verify ownership of your website. There are several different ways to accomplish this. I personally like the option to add a HTML code to the Head of my homepage. With the Avada theme, there’s a super easy way to do it. More on that in a minute. You can do it any way that you prefer, however.
Click the HTML Tag tab. Select and copy the given code. Do NOT click “VERIFY” quite yet.
Open a new tab in your browser and navigate to your WordPress dashboard. Under the Avada Theme Options, you’ll be able to paste your code into the website.
Go back to the Google HTML tag page and NOW click “VERIFY”. If you did everything correctly, you’ll get a confirmation notice. Great job! You’re now one step closer to getting your website listed on Google.
#2 Google Search Console: Website Indexing
What is website indexing? In short, indexing is the means Google uses to add your site to their search engine. When you direct Google to your site for indexing, your site is crawled and cataloged by content. It’s an important yet simple step to getting your website found.
Assuming you already submitted your website to GSC, initiating indexing is easy. From the Search Console, simply add your URL, click TEST LIVE URL, and then REQUEST INDEXING. If there are no errors, you’ll have green checks all around.
Added note: Indexing can take hours to days to happen. Be Patient. I’d check back in a couple days to verify that your site is being crawled.
Every time you either make a change to your website or add new content, have that page indexed. It assures that your site is always up to date and that Google serves your most recent content.
Troubleshooting: If you’re using WordPress, by default your web pages should allow indexing. However, if you find that your pages are not, be sure this one setting is unchecked. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings, Reading, and make sure the Search Engine Visibility box is left blank.
#3 Submitting a Sitemap to Google Search Console
The third and final step is to upload your Sitemap to GSC. This is the final step to guarantee Google finds your website. Before you do anything else, add Yoast SEO to your list of WordPress plugins.
Once activated, from the WP dashboard, go to SEO. From the General settings, click the Features tab. The 5th option down says XML Sitemaps. Click the little question mark next to the name and you’ll see a link to See the XML Sitemap. If you follow that link, Yoast will show you all of your sitemaps.
From there, you’ll copy and paste the URL extensions. Navaigate back to Google Search Console. Click Sitemaps on the left column and then paste that URL extension next to your websites address. Submit and you’re done!
From start until completion, this entire process will only take you about 30 minutes. But trust me, you’ll want to make sure it gets done. It’s the best way to make sure you’re found online. Leaving it up to chance that maybe you get listed is a huge mistake.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Check out my Google Search Console video for more. Please, add to the conversation. What tips have made getting found online helpful for you? Comment below.