Has anyone ever told you that Google Search Console is very powerful tool for Wemasters? Well, that is the problem with some of these bloggers. They will tell you how critical this resource is but not necessarily explain why you actually need it. Today, you are lucky. We are going to enlighten you on what Google Search Console is and why Webmasters need it and how it can be integrated into your WordPress site.
Google search Console, what is it?
This is a tool that helps web owners understands how Google views their site. It allows webmasters to have a deeper look of the site and determine whether there are any problems with it that could prove dangerous as far as listing in search results is concerned. Some of the problems include whether there are any errors crawling the site, if there are bad linking and the security of the site among others.
Why do you need it?
Good provides some of these tools for free. These tools are also used to help webmasters determine whether their sites are seen properly. The advantages of these tools are the fact they come with resources which help in:
1. Finding out whether your site contains crawl errors.
Crawl errors are often responsible for sending visitors to pages without any content. This is not what you expect. Visitors are supposed to find your contents with ease and faster. Therefore, when you know that you have crawl errors, fixing can be easy and you can also properly redirect your visitors. You can also inform Google that it has been permanently deleted.
2. Optimize your site for speed
Your site should be able to load at the speed of at least 1 second. The analysis tool helps you understand how you can speed your site.
3. Tells you whether there is malware in your site
When you website has been attacked by a malware, you will receive a message via email and in Google Search Console informing you of the problem. Under normal circumstances, when Google finds a problem with your site, visitors are usually given a warning to protect them until when you have got rid of the malware or the virus.
4. Notifies you who is linking to you
It is very important you know who is linking to you. If it happens that you get so many irrelevant links to your site, you are likely to be penalized by Google for unnatural linking. When you have that list, you can easily ask your link to be removed.
5. Informs you whether Google can render your site properly
In short, Google Search Console has a lot of features but the ones mentioned above are the most critical for now.
How to Integrate Google Search Console with your WordPress site
In order for you to be able to integrate Google Search Console with your WordPress site, you will need to add your site as well as its sitemap. This is because the sitemap which happens to be the generated list of all the contents on your site will allow Google to crawl and index your website faster. This is even faster than just submitting the website’s URL alone.
In this tutorial, you will not only be submitting the website URL but you will also be submitting the sitemap URL so that you get a head-start on being crawled by Google. Apart from that, you will also make use of a plugin called Yoast SEO which will help you verify your website and produce a legitimate sitemap for Google.
Submitting and verifying your WordPress Website with Google Search Console
Step 1: Go to Google Search Console
In order to use this free tool, you will need to have a goggle account or a sign up. The only emails you are likely to receive from this are to notify you whether you have any crawl issues with your website.
Step 2: Submit your website
The second step is adding your preferred domain with or without the www in the URL.
Step 3: Verify your website
You can do this by using the HTML tag method. Copy the code onto a notepad or a plain text editor. After that, copy only the long sequence of letters or numbers. This code will go into your Yoast SEO general settings under the Webmaster tab in the WordPress admin. Once you are done adding the code and saved it, go back to your Google search Console tab and click on verify button.
Note: Just in case after adding the code into Yoast SEO doesn’t work which sometimes happens, you can make use of the headers and the footers plugin so that you do not have to mess with opening up your theme. Copy the entire line under the HTML tag method and paste it into the header script area.
Congratulations! If you were successful in getting the Success message in Google Search Console, you can proceed to the next steps.
Improve the search presence of your site
Step 4: Go to your Google Search Console messages
Google will immediately send you a message giving you a checklist on what to do similar to the image below. Follow each of the messages as they are. You will be asked to add all URL variations of your site and set your preferred URL whether it is www or non-www or even HTTP OR HTTPS if you have SSL set up. You will also be expected to set a target country and a default language for your site.
Step 5: Fid your sitemap URL
If you are making use f the Yoast SEO plugin, you can find the URL for your sitemap by going to your WordPress admin panel then to SEO then to XML sitemaps and then find the button called Sitemap. Click on the button or use the mouse button to right click and copy the link to the sitemap. Under most circumstances, the YOAST SEO sitemap URL ends with the sitemap_index.xml
Step 6: Submit your sitemap to Google search Console
In order to submit your sitemap to Google search control, go to the section under crawl, then Sitemaps. Compare this with the URL you copied earlier and make sure you add the exact URL path in. mostly, you are only expected to type in sitemap_index.xml into the field and save that.
Once you are done, your WordPress site should now be well incorporated with Google Search Console. Also depending with the dimension of your site, Google could take a number of days to weeks to effectively crawl your website.