Owning a website is not a walk in the park; you need to maintain site performance regularly. One way to optimize your website to ensure high functionality and positive user experience is through Google Search Console.
This tool was created to aid website owners in monitoring and increasing their web presence and rankings in search results. With Google Search Console, you can easily track your site’s performance and learn what to improve and what to continue doing.
How to add your WordPress website
To begin, you will need to create a Google account to access Google Search Console. When you’ve signed in, visit search.google.com/search-console.
To add your website, you need to click add property which will redirect you to a page where you will be asked to enter your website’s complete URL. Google will present two methods for site verification – domain name and URL prefix. Just fill in the necessary information requested and click continue to further the process.
Next, you will be asked to verify ownership or administrative rights to access the website. The HTML tag method is preferred. When you click on the HTML option, it will expand and you can copy the code shown on the screen. To verify, you will need to highlight the Google meta code in WordPress.
To ensure that it will not be accidentally deleted, install the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. Once activated, navigate to the plugin page and paste the HTML code inside the header box and save the changes. It’s now safe to head back to Google Search Console and click verify.
This will enable the software to locate the HTML tag in your WordPress code and notify you of a successful installation.
Pro-tip: clear your WordPress cache in advance so Google can detect the updated version of your site.
With this, your installation of Google Search Console is complete! You will now be able to visit your Console dashboard to view the latest reports and rankings of your website.
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How to effectively Google-crawl your website
Search engines crawl the web to gather information to help users get the answers they need. Crawling is done when a bot or program spider “crawls” a page by following links and gathering data that is used by search engine servers. An XML sitemap can be a vital tool that will improve google crawl.
An XML sitemap contains information on your WordPress website that will help search engines discover and explore your site. This is more advisable for websites already containing the right amount of published content.
When you add an XML sitemap to your Google Search Console, it gives Google access to relevant pages of your website to improve performance and ranking. The XML sitemap will be added to your WordPress through the Yoast SEO plugin. Once you’ve installed the plugin, activate it by clicking the general button under the SEO function and switching it to the Features tab.
Click the ON button located on the XML sitemap option. Don’t forget to copy the URL of your sitemap browser to complete the process. When the sitemap is pasted, you can go back to the Console dashboard and click on the sitemaps menu. This will allow Google to streamline your sitemap URL to your Google Search Console.
Congratulations! You have now successfully improved your website. Just wait for Google to crawl for a while before coming back with sitemap statistics. There are still many things to learn about optimizing and enhancing your WordPress website; all you need is time.
You can also explore other top digital tools for business in 2020.
At Them You & Me, we assist in the digital transformation of businesses. If you would like some help with indexing your website using Google Search Console or with other website functions, do give us a call.
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