What Is Search Console: Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

When you starting a blog or creating a website, one of the most important things is to add it to Google’s Search Console. It’s one of the best free tools you can find.

Some beginners don’t understand what it is and many times it’s mixed up with Google Analytics. Although there are some similarities, both are very different tools and do different things.

In this tutorial, I will explain what it is, how it works, and why it’s important in a beginner-friendly way.

What Is Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool that crawls your website, indexes pages, and allows it to appear on SERP. In simple words, your website will appear in Google search.

This means that if you don’t add your website to Google, it won’t be on SERP and nobody will find it through Google search.

And that’s bad. This way you won’t have traffic and your online business will fail. Because organic traffic from Google is the most important for any kind of website.

How Important Is Search Console

When you are a beginner and not fully understand all these works, you may think that it’s not so important. But believe me, it is. And for understanding the importance, an example is the best way.

There are few search engines other than Google but none of them can beat Google when it comes to market share.

According to Stat Counter, Google’s market share is more than 90% which means that most people search in Google.

Google market share

But what about traffic? How much traffic does a website gets from search?

For that, I picked three very popular websites that accumulate millions of visitors per month and more than 60% of that traffic comes from organic search.

traffic source

As you can see, search traffic is very important for every website, whether it’s new or already established. And in search battle, Google is the winner.

How Google Search Console Works

The way Search Console works is very easy. First, you connect a website to it, upload your website’s Sitemap, which is a special file that contains pages of a website.

Then Google starts the process of crawling and indexing web pages. After a page is indexed, it will appear on Google search.

Also Read: Best SEO Tools

So, when you upload a Sitemap, make sure to include every page you want to appear on Google search. Because Google uses Sitemaps to crawl your website.

Google records everything about your website and pages and displays the data on the dashboard. It gives you valuable information and you can see how your website performs in search.

Some of the data you can see and things you can do in Search Console are:

  • Impressions – Number of times a page appeared on Google after search.
  • Clicks – Number of times a link in SERP was clicked by users.
  • Coverage – List of indexed pages and pages with different problems that need solving.
  • Removals – Remove specific pages from search.
  • Core Web Vitals – Analysis of how well optimized a page is for Google’s Core Web Vitals.
  • Mobile Usability – List of mobile-friendly pages and pages with errors.

So, Google shows you very important information about your website and pages performance and you can analyze it, find issues, and solve them.

How To Connect Websites To Search Console

Now, as long as you know what it is, how it works, and how important it is, it’s a good time to learn how to connect a website to it and how to add Sitemaps.

First of all, you need to create a Search Console account. Today almost everybody has a Google account. So, if you have it, go to the page and add your website’s URL.

In the URL prefix add your domain with https and press the Continue button.

add website to search console

Now Google needs verification of your website. The easiest way is to verify with an HTML script.

HTML script in the head tag

It should be inserted in the <head> tag. If your website uses WordPress then the best way for verification is with a plugin.

But if you use RankMath as your SEO plugin, then you can read the guide and verify your website this way.

How To Add Sitemap

Next important thing is to add your Sitemap. You can do it in two ways – manually or with a WordPress plugin.

Submit Sitemaps Mannualy: If you choose the manual way, then in the address bar type your domain and add sitemap.xml at the end.

Like this – mysite.com/sitemap.xml. You will see the sitemap name and also all the pages it includes.

Then you can go to the Sitemap section in Search Console and submit yours.

add sitemaps manually

Submit Sitemaps With A Plugin: But there is a better and easier way. And that is with an SEO plugin if you are a WordPress user.

Every SEO WordPress plugin can do it and here is the guide for RankMath. Also, it allows you to configure Sitemaps.

Important Data To Check

After you successfully connect your website and submit a sitemap, Google will start crawling and indexing your website. After some data is collected, you can check and analyze it.

Although there will be many data and information, here are some of the most important ones.

Performance: Here you are able to see how your website performs in the search. You can see impressions, clicks, average position, and CTR. Also, you can filter them by query, pages, countries, devices, etc.

Search console performance

Coverage: Here you are able to see valid pages, indexed pages, and also errors. You can see what problems pages have and solve them. Sometimes some pages are not indexed and you can do it manually.

valid and excluded pages

Sitemaps: You will see the list of all submitted sitemaps and you can submit as many sitemaps as you wish. Also, it shows when the sitemap was added and when it was updated.

sitemaps

Mobile Usability: Your pages must be mobile-friendly and this is the place to see if there are any problems with it. You can see all the valid pages and also any errors that can be solved easily.

mobile usability

Also, you can remove specific pages from Google, you can see the most popular pages of your website, top linking sites, top linked pages, etc.

Conclusion

Google’s Search Console is an amazing free tool that is mandatory for every website. Without it, people won’t find your website and you won’t accumulate traffic. So, as soon as you build and publish your website, connect it to Google and submit the sitemap.

As your website grows, you will see more data, impressions, clicks, top pages, and more. And with more data analyzing your website and solving issues will become easier.

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