Configuring Google Search Console
– [Instructor] Whether or not you’re planning on putting effort into SEO, you should absolutely have Google Search Console set up. Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google search results. It gives you all kinds of useful information such as what pages of your site has errors, how people are searching for your content, and more. Now, you don’t have to sign up for Search Console for your site to be included in Google search results, but doing so can help you understand how Google views your site and give you insights in how to optimize your site’s performance in search results.
Let me quickly show you how to set it up and then I’ll pull up an example of how it looksand how valuable this is once there’s data in here. You’ll start by going to google.com/webmasters and then select the Search Console button in the center of the screen. Once you’re in here for the first time, you’ll need to add the website that you want to configure in the box that’s provided. I’ll go ahead and enter hplussport.com. And then we’ll select Add a Property.
From here, we need to verify that we have ownership or the ability to look at the data for H+ Sport. Google’s going to offer you some ways to do this. The first is their recommended method, and you’ll need to download an HTML verification file. You’ll select this link to do that. You’ll then need to upload the file right into the root directory of your site and confirm that you can see the file by selecting the link in step three. If that page loads, you’ll then select Verify below. Now there are some alternate methods.
I’ll select the tab at the top labeled Alternate methods and you’ll see which are available to you. You could instead add an HTML tag into the meta section. You can also log into your domain name provider, use your Google Analytics account, and use Google Tag Manager.Select the option that makes sense to you, follow the instructions, and then choose Verifyto get this set up. Now I’m going to switch over to an account that I’ve already been usingand show you how valuable this is. Now, once you’re in Search Console, you’ll have a quick overview on the performance of your site.
This is showing you all of the clicks over time that are coming directly from Google search results. You also can see any issues with your index coverage. You’ll see if you have any errors right away as well as how many pages are valid. You’ll also see if you’re using any enhancements. In this example, this site is using AMP, and we can see that we have 4,442 valid pages and two with errors, and I can select them there to see what the errors are. Here on the left hand side, I can choose Performance, and what this will do is show us all of the total clicks, total impressions, our click through rate, and our average position.
And you can interact with this data using filters at the top of the screen, so I can toggle in different date ranges, different search types, and I can even use the comparison feature to compare various items. Let’s say, for example, I click New, I can choose Device, and now I can compare Mobile versus Desktop. So here we can see that the average position on Mobile is 8, which is far better than our Desktop site. We see that the click through rate is about the same, and we can also look at the traffic and impressions between the two.
Now, if you scroll down, you’ll have the ability to see the queries that people are using to arrive at your site, and you can compare that using the same filters up above. You can also look at pages, countries, devices, and more. On the left hand side, I can also choose Index coverage. And this is where we can interact with any errors that are happening on the site.Now Google is still rolling out their new Search Console. There are many other features that exist in the old version of Search Console, which you’ll get to by selecting Go to the old version in the bottom left hand corner.
Here’s where you can see even more important details about your site. Here on the left hand side, under Search Appearance, you can drill into all of these sections to identify any errors within your site. You can look at HTML Improvements, Structured Data Improvements, and so on. If I select in the HTML Improvements, we can see that Google’s complaining about pages that have Duplicate meta descriptions, Short meta descriptions, Duplicate title tags, and so on. If you select into any of these blue hyperlinks, Google wilL tell you all of the pages with those problems.
You can also view your Index Status, any Crawl Errors and Crawl Stats. Here we can see how many pages Google crawls a day, how much data is being downloaded, and the time they’re spending downloading this content. As you can see, there are tremendous resources within Search Console, so I recommend that you get it set up and that you look at it from day to day to see if you notice anything that you can improve.