Google Search Console is a powerful, free tool that can help online store owners have a healthy, search-engine-friendly website.
It is designed to assist you in monitoring and maintaining your site’s visibility in Google search results. Search Console is the only way to directly get information from Google about search engine optimization (SEO).
It can be difficult to master it. We have compiled a list of key elements to improve the visibility of your online store.
To take full advantage of Google Search Console you will need to sign up for a free account. Navigate to the Google Search Console Website and click on the blue ” Get Started” button.
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Sign in to your Google/Gmail account, or create one. Next, choose the property type that you want to use and then enter your website’s URL. These are the types of property available:
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- All versions of your URL covered (http ://,http http://www., https://www., subdomains., etc.).
- Modifying the DNS settings for your domain name is required to verify.
- Only covers a prefix. It would, for example, only cover https://example.com and not http://example.com. If you decide to go this route, you may need to create separate accounts for each prefix.
- A variety of simple verification methods are available.
Once you have chosen an option, you can proceed with the verification of website ownership. You can find detailed instructions from Google to verify your domain here.
Click Settings to confirm that your URL has been verified. You will see a green checkmark and the text “You are an owner verified” beside Ownership Verification.
You will need to add each person to your account if you are working with a team, or hiring someone to assist you with SEO and marketing.
Select the Permissions tab, then click the blue User button at the top right corner.
Note that the user must have a valid Google account.
You can choose the permission level of their email address after you have entered their email address. You can change their access level or delete them completely.
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Adding an XML Sitemap
An XML sitemap shows search engines which pages are found on your website. It also tells them how related they are to each other, when they were last updated and how important each page is relative to others.
Although it doesn’t boost your search rankings, adding an XML sitemap can help search engine robots crawl your website and index the content more efficiently.
XML sitemaps can’t be created automatically by WordPress. All you have to do is activate the no-cost Jetpack plugin, and enable Sitemaps. This will automatically generate an XML sitemap to your website. However, you can modify it with additional post types if desired.
To verify this, go to example.com/sitemap.xml. You can also replace example.com by your own URL. If everything is correct, you will see a page with title XML sitemap as well as a list of information.
Next, tell Google Search Console where your sitemap is located.
Click on Sitemaps in the left-hand menu and copy the URL sitemap.xml into the box. Click the blue Submit link.
Your sitemap should appear in the lower section of Submitted Sitemaps.
Google Search Console will inspect your sitemap and use it for improving their indexing process.
Google Search Console offers the benefit of receiving notifications about indexing issues that may affect your search engine rankings.
Click Coverage to see if there are any errors. This report will tell you which pages of your website have been indexed by Google. It also shows which pages are showing an error or warning. Scroll down to view a list with specific errors. Click each one to get more information.
Navigate back to the error details, and then click Validate fix. Google will then crawl the page and inform you if the issue has been resolved.
It’s important to remember that errors don’t all come out of the same place. While some errors can be ignored, others require immediate attention.
These are some of the most common mistakes:
Server Error (5xx). This is a message that Google could not load the page (URL) because of a problem with their server. This could be caused by heavy traffic, server maintenance or any number of other reasons. Double-check the URL to confirm that it is still working. It could have been fixed by itself if it didn’t. You may need to contact your host company if it does.
Redirect Error. This means that the redirect you have created is not working. This is often due to entering the URL/domain incorrectly.
Submitted URL Block by Robots.txt. The robots.txt setting means that Google can’t crawl this page. Although there are many reasons why you might want to block certain pages, it is possible to manually remove the block so it appears in search results.
Submitted URL marked ‘Noindex’. You have submitted the page to Google for indexing but it has been labeled “noindex” either in a HTTP response or in a meta tag. Double-check your SEO settings if you are using .
Submitted URL not found (404). This indicates that the page you submitted does not exist on your website. This section contains more information about how to fix it.
Fixing 404 Errors:
Google Search Console’s most frequent error, 404, is when you link to an inexistent page.
You could experience this if your WordPress permalink structure is changed, the page slug after a post has been published, or if you delete a post, page, or product.
You can fix this error by redirecting the URL to another page. Either create a 301 redirect within your.htaccess file or use Redirection , a free WordPress plugin.
After that, click on the error in Google Search console and choose Validate fix.
Send a crawl request:
Google Search Console has a very useful feature called crawling. You can send it to Google to index/reindex the URL of a page that has been updated or retrieved.
Why is important?
Let’s suppose you have updated a popular blog post to make it better. However, the Google snippet that appears in search results highlights outdated information. To have Google crawl the page and index the new information, you can submit a crawl request.
This is also useful when you need to change SEO titles and descriptions, add new content, landing pages, or products to your online shop.
How can you submit a crawl request.
In the box at top of every page, paste the URL you would like to be crawled or rerawled.
After Google Search Console has examined the URL, you may click Request indexing to inform Google search engines that the page’s content has been changed and must be recrawled again.
Google Search Console: Get started on improving your search results
You should have a Google Search Console account, no matter how big or small your online shop is. It is completely free and was designed by Google to assist you, your website traffic and ultimately your customers.