After creating your blog, I recommend setting up a Google Search Console account right away. It’s a free tool by Google that tells you how your website is ranking on search results.
Think of Google search console as a performance tool for SEO. You’ll learn important things about your website like:
- How much traffic is my website getting from Google?
- What are my top ranking keywords and their avg. ranking position on search results?
- Which keyword queries are people using to find my site on Google?
- Which keyword queries drive the most clicks?
- Which keyword queries drive the most impressions?
- Has Google detected any errors on my site? Are they severe?
These are all SEO insights you can find in Google Search Console. All we have to do is create an account and link up your blog to the console. The earlier you set this up, the more data search console can collect and the better you can optimize your site for SEO.
1. Create a free Google Search Console Account
Head over to Google Webmaster Tools and create a free account. Then, add your website property.
Make sure you add the right version of your site to the console (http or https, www or non-www) version of your site.
Next, click on add.
2. Verify ownership
Now, at the verification page, you have a few options to verify. The recommended method is to upload an HTML file to your server. This means you have to upload the HTML verification file to the root folder of your website, in the cpanel of your web hosting account.
This might be a little intimidating for those not familiar with code. Thankfully, there are other verification methods that are way simpler.
Click on ‘Alternate methods‘.
3. Alternate Methods to Verify Your Google Search Console Property
I recommend using the first option as it is the easiest. All we have to do is copy and paste the meta tag in the <head> section of our site. Easy peasy.
Add the meta tag to your website and verify Google Search Console
Simply copy the entire line of code there and paste it in the <head> section of your site.
If you’re on WordPress, you can install the Insert Headers and Footers plugin and paste the tag using the plugin.
If you have the Yoast SEO plugin, you can paste the meta tag in the ‘Webmaster Tools” tab. This is by far the easiest and cleanest method if you are using WordPress.
YAY! That’s it, we are done!
Improve your SEO with the Index Coverage and Performance Reports
Once you’ve set up and verified your Google Search Console account, wait about 2 weeks for the tool to gather enough data.
You’ll see a technical site hygiene overview of your website in the ‘Coverage’ report:
Phew, 0 pages with error!
Next, in the ‘Performance’ report, you’ll find useful information about which keyword queries are driving the most traffic to your site. But that’s a topic for next time.
In the meantime, hope you’ve managed to set up Google Search Console for your amazing blog. Cheers!