What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (GSC) is an interface created by Google to give webmasters, feedback on their Site performance.
Note: A Webmaster is the term used to refer to the person who oversees the maintenance of a website. So, it could be an individual like me, who creates and operates their own site, or employees in a company who are responsible for various sites.
In the Google Search Console dashboard, you will find various useful stats and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Information, such as, the average rankings of your website on Google Search, traffic levels over different periods of time, the pages that have been crawled and indexed by Google etc.
Google also uses the Search Console Dashboard to communicate directly with Website Owners, especially on your site’s SEO performance.
You might find messages pop up on your GSC dashboard when there are any issues with your site. For example, when a page is not responsive on mobile, or when buttons are too small, or the dreaded ‘Your Site has been given a Manual Penalty’ message.
GSC is also the place where you submit your site map. This helps Google understand your website structure.
Why is this important? Well, it makes it easier for Google to crawl your site’s Pages and index them for users to find in its Search Engine.
Create google search console account
So, as a new Web Master you will need to create an account on Google Search Console and link your website to it.
I will now show you how to do this.
- Go to https://search.google.com/search-console/welcome
- Enter URL of website under ‘DOMAIN’ section and click ‘CONTINUE’
- Copy the TXT record that pops up
- Log in to SiteGround and go to Site Tools
- Go to ‘DOMAIN’ and click on ‘DNS ZONE EDITOR’.
- Under ‘Create New Record’ heading select the TXT section and paste the TXT record you copied.
- Next adjust the TTL value to 5 minutes and click ‘CREATE’ button. Wait 5 minutes
- Go back to Google Search Console and click on the ‘VERIFY’ button
- Now Click on ‘GO TO PROPERTY’..
The first step is to go to https://search.google.com/search-console/welcome
Once in here you will log into your Google Account and enter the URL of your website under the ‘Domain’ option. Now press CONTINUE.
The next step will require us to verify our domain so that Google can be certain that this website actually belongs to us.
A pop-up box like the one below should have come up for you by now.
This box includes a TXT record (as shown in point 2 of the picture above). This query can be copied (Click on COPY).
How to set up google search console
We will not be using the process shown by Google above to set up Google Search Console for our site. This can be a bit complicated for newbies.
Instead, we will be doing this through our Siteground Dashboard, in Website Tools.
So now log back into your Siteground dashboard, click on WEBSITES and find your site. Now click on SITE TOOLS and on the left menu go to DOMAIN and click on DNS ZONE EDITOR from the drop-down menu.
Websites > Site Tools > Domain > DNS Zone Editor
Under the ‘Create New Record’ heading select the TXT section and paste the TXT record you copied from your google search console box into the Value box that Siteground provides.
Next adjust the TTL value to 5 minutes or the lowest available so that it goes live fast. Now go ahead and press the CREATE button.
You should now receive a notification that says ‘TXT Record is Created’
At this stage you will need to wait 5 to 10 minutes for the DNS to be updated. Then go back to the Google Search Console Page and click on the VERIFY button.
A pop-up box should come up with the ‘Ownership Verified’ notification as the one shown below.
Now click on the GO TO PROPERTY BUTTON
This is where you get access to your website information from Google.
In Google Search Console, Property refers to your website. If this is your first website, the Search Console will be empty however go ahead and browse through the features just to get familiar with the GSC Dashboard.
Now that we have set up Google Search Console, we’re on the right track to get the SEO data we need for our site. In the next guide I will show you how to install an SEO plugin directly on your WordPress Dashboard.
We will connect this to our GSC account so that it gives us KPIs and Stats directly on our WP dashboard.
For a Full List of all my WordPress Guides please click here.