Google Search Console Configuration
Installing Google Search Console (ex Webmaster Tools) is one of the best SEO tools, and I always prefer to do it. It is also FREE. Google Search Console allows you to submit your XML sitemap that gets created using the XML-Sitemap widget that I configured in the last step and it allows you to ‘see what Google sees’, giving you valuable information about your site.
First, we’ll go to our Google Search Console account and add our new site to our Dashboard. Please consult Google’s help pages for more information if you need help doing this. Then we’ll need to verify ownership of the site by downloading an HTML file from Google to our desktop, and then uploading that file to the root folder for our website the same way we uploaded our favicon.ico file to our root folder earlier.
Take a look at this gallery, for the visual steps:
To verify your site, you have 2 options: Using the domain name or using the full URL.
GSC verify domain
After Google sees that we have done this correctly, we can submit our XML sitemap. First, you’ll need to click on ‘Sitemaps’ in the left navigation of your Webmaster Tools account. The default location for the XML sitemap that we create with the XML-Sitemap widget is always sitename/sitemap.xml. So for our site, the XML sitemap would be located at /sitemap.xml
If you are using Yoast SEO, the sitemap location should be here: yoursite.com/sitemap/index.xml
If you are using Yoast SEO, index all the sitemaps, not only the index.xml.
Type ‘sitemap.xml’ into the field and click ‘Submit Sitemap’. If you don’t get a “Success” message, don’t worry about it. This is because you haven’t created any content on the site yet. The XML-Sitemap widget will create a new XML sitemap every time you submit a page of content. So this will be taken care of on its own. We recommend just moving on and letting the auto-generation do its work. The XML Sitemaps plugin will also generate your Robots.txt file, so no need to worry about that either.
How do I use Google Search Console?
Google Search Console helps you monitor, maintain and optimize your website’s organic search presence. Most primarily use Google Search Console to view clicks and impressions.
It also offers:
- Find keywords (search queries) that drive traffic to your website – You can see what pages convert the best and what to optimize more, in order to boost the traffic.
- Find new backlinks or count the existing ones.
- Monitor your Core Web Vitals and see what pages have errors.
- Talking about errors, help you to identify the issues that need fixing.
- Make sure your site has eligible rich snippets and schema
…and many more.