How to Set up Google Search Console (for Newbies)
“I don’t know anything about that stuff!” So, you know Google has helpful tools but you don’t know where to start. That’s normal! The good news: you don’t have to be an expert to use Google’s tools. Even Google’S SEO team has questions for Google! We need to build our understanding brick-by-brick, so today let’s set up Google Search Console (GSC) & just talk a little.
How do I set up Google Search Console?
- Create a Google account (or use the Google account associated with your business).
- Visit https://search.google.com/search-console/ and click “Search Console” to sign in.
- Select Property Type. Choose “URL Prefix” & enter your website URL. (If your website has subdomains like help.example.com & signup.example.com you might want to choose “Domain”)
- Verify your website-ownership with the Verification Code. Google needs a piece of code included in your website to verify ownership. Some free websites, like WordPress, have a Website Verification section in their Tools section. Read this article to learn the different ways a Google code can be uploaded.
- Click Verify in Google Search Console. (If it doesn’t work try a different method for step 4)
- Wait 24 – 48 hours to see your results!
That’s it! You did it!
Now… I want you to look at ONE report. I promise we’ll keep it simple! You can learn so much with the Performance Report.
How to View Your Performance Report in Google Search Console
- Open up https://search.google.com/searchconsole/
- Click Overview (if you have multiple accounts choose the correct one from the dropdown list)
- Under Overview /Performance click OPEN REPORT (highlighted blue)
- Look! You can now see how people found you on Google!
What does this information tell me?
From here we can now gain some insights. Did people see my web site on Google? Did they click? The Performance graph visualizes your data for your understanding. Plus you can easily change the date range to look back days, weeks, & months.
Google Search Console includes historical data from before you set up your account.
Travel back in time to gain insights!
Start with basic questions:
- What days of the week do people visit my website?
- What Queries lead people to click on my website?
- What Queries didn’t lead people to click on my website?
Not too hard right? But think about what it tells you:
- Your audience doesn’t use your website on the weekends – Maybe you should focus on releasing new content during the week.
- People did click your website when they searched “Tips for Cleaning Cars” – Cool! People must think your website can help them!
- People did not click on my website when they searched “Car Cleaning Near Me” – Oh… Maybe they were looking for a car wash. I should distinguish myself from that business type!
See what I mean? Even no info is telling you something! From there you can start to build a strategy aligned with your business goals. We’ll dive into more in the next blog, but you’re starting to see the big picture.
Did we leave anything out? Want to share your findings with like-minded professionals interested in Search Engine Optimization? Join our LinkedIn Group & Slack channel so we can share ideas! Follow us on Facebook & Twitter as well to stay up to date on our monthly SEO Brunch events & more.