Google Search Console is an advanced utility that allows you to track your site's performance in Google Search results. Formerly known as Google Webmaster tools, it is not required for Rocketspark websites, but advanced users can find its extra layer of information and control useful for search engine optimisation.
Some key reasons you may like to use it.
- Set a geo-target country for a global TLD (.com etc.)
- Re-Index your website after major content and SEO changes have been made.
- Set preferred domain to display, either with www. or without at the start.
- View search analytics. What keywords are people searching that results in them seeing your listing? You can also get click reports.
- See who links to you; external link reports.
- Crawl errors, 404 error reports & alerts.
- Sitemap setup.
Learn more about Google Search console here:
Click here to sign in with a Google Account or Sign up.
Adding your website to Search Console
- Click Add Property up the top left.
- Select URL prefix as your property type, and input your URL (e.g. www.example.com). It's important to make sure you have www at the front of the URL and that this is your actual domain name that Google is indexing and not your short-name address (mywebsite.rocketspark.co.nz). You can also use Domain Verification, but this will require you to add a DNS record, which can take a bit longer to verify - we won't go through this method in this help guide.
- You now need to verify your ownership. By default Search Console recommends downloading and installing a file. This is not possible on Rocketspark's system. Underneath Other verification methods there will be an HTML tag option. Click on this one.
- Copy the meta tag information by clicking COPY. Every meta tag is unique.
- Once you have copied the meta tag, open a new tab or browser window and go to your Rocketspark website's dashboard. From here, select Get Found (SEO) from the menu on the left.
- Scroll to the bottom of this page and paste this meta tag into the Custom <head> tracking code area.
- Click Save.
- Go back to the Search Console site and click VERIFY. Google will check for the tag - if it's there your site will be added to Search Console. If verification fails, check that you've copied the entire meta tag and saved the Custom <head> tracking code.
- Congratulations, you have now added your site to Google Search Console!
What to do next?
- Submit your sitemap to Google. This is a list of all the pages on your website so that Google can quickly and easily index your site.
Once you're in Google Search Console, select Sitemaps from the left-hand side:
- Where it says Add a new sitemap, type in "sitemap.xml" and click submit:
Your sitemap will be submitted.