Google Webmaster Tools , originally Tools Webmaster (Webmaster Tools) is one of the essential tools to get information on our site directly from Google.
What is Google Search Console?
It is a tool for Webmasters, blog and website owners made available by Google that allows you to understand “how Google sees our blog / website”, this tool allows us to control, analyze and optimize performance of our site on the Google SERP (i.e. within the search results).
Thanks to the Search Console it is in fact possible to know:
- If Google can successfully access our website
- If there are errors within the site that we should correct (pages that no longer exist, structure problems, …)
- What are the keywords for which Google gives us more visibility
- If the site has been penalized, if a manual action has been taken by Google or if it is the victim of Malware Attacks
- What is the positioning of certain pages within the Google search results (Serp)
How to configure Google Search Console: Installation and Verification
Having made this brief introduction on what the Google Search Console is, in this guide to the search console I will first explain how to enter your website on the Google Search Console and verify it to start obtaining data and information.
The first thing to do is to click on Google webmaster tool , log in with your Google Account and then click on the ” Add A Property” button at the top : at this point you can enter the address of your site web / blog.
Once you have entered your blog / website address you will be asked to verify ownership , i.e. whether you are the administrator, manager or owner of the website, you can follow the method recommended by Google to verify the website , or:
- Download the HTML verification file
- Upload it to the website via FTP
- Confirm that you have uploaded and clicking on the verify button
Google also offers alternative verification methods : if you use WordPress, for example, you can choose to verify your site by uploading an HTML Tag on your site (the other alternative methods are accessing the domain name of the provider , the use of your Google Analytics Account or the use of Google Tag Manager ).
To insert the HTML tag on your site enter the WordPress control panel then on Appearance >> Editor and search here for the “Theme Header” file (header.php), use the browser search function (Ctrl + F) to find the closing section of the “head” file, that is </head> and, at this point, paste the TAG you copied from the Google Search Console, then click on the update button below to apply the changes.
At this point we will have to click on the verification button of the search console and the site will be verified correctly.
Note: if you are inexperienced or are afraid of making a mistake it is better not to use this method as it involves overwriting / modifying the header.php file of the original template and, consequently, if you update the template you will have to enter the verification code again. For this reason I recommend always using verification by uploading the HTML file via FTP.
How does Google Search Console work?
Once the site has been verified, we will have access to the Google Search Console Dashboard , where we are immediately shown:
- The announcements and communications under “New and Important” (this is where Google notifies if there is an increase in 404 errors, penalties or manual actions in progress on the site and the progress of the reconsideration request), we can have more information by clicking on the menu on the left “Messages”;
- The Current Status of the website with a quick overview of crawl errors and page not found errors;
- The progress of the research analysis ;
- The Status of the Sitemap (how many URLs have been sent, how many indexed, how many alerts)
Once the site has been verified, we will then have to Send the Sitemap of our site / blog to Google, and doing so is very simple: just click on the left under Scan , then on Sitemap and then at the top on Add Sitemap .
At this point you will need to enter the Sitemap URL and wait a few minutes to see the crawl status of our site, how many pages have been sent to Google and how many of these are indexed.
The Appearance section in the search allows us to obtain a series of information on how to improve our website: from HTML improvements , for example, we can see if there are problems in the titles (Titles) and in the Descriptions of our articles.
Google shows us if there are:
- Missing Title Tags
- Duplicate Title Tags
- Long Title Tag
- Short Title Tag
- Non-informative Title Tag
The Research Analysis section is one of the most used tools by long-standing SEOs and by those who deal with positioning on search engines: through this tool it is in fact possible to obtain a series of very important information to optimize our site / blog :
- Number of clicks received for each keyword
- Number of Impressions per keyword (i.e. how many times our article or site / blog page is viewed on Google)
- CTR , i.e. the number of people who click on the result of our site / blog: a low CTR indicates that we will probably have to change the title or meta description of the article (simplifying)
- Position shows the average position of our site within the search results: thanks to this information we can work to improve the positioning and implement effective SEO strategies
There are also a series of filters available that will allow you to filter the results and information by devices used or to search for the results of specific keywords.
The Links that refer to your site section, on the other hand, gives you an overview of the main sites that are linking to you and that in some way refer to your site.
The Indexing Status section shows you how many URLs your site has been indexed by Google.
Always under the section “Search traffic” do not underestimate the item ” Usability on mobile devices “: in fact, here Google shows you if there are pages that are not displayed correctly from mobile and in this way you can solve any display / usability problems of the site from mobile.
Good work and good money online,