If you own and manage a website, you probably know how important it is for you to have accurate data related to your site’s performance. As a part of a larger digital marketing strategy, you want to be able to quantify the results you’re getting from your website content and find out how they affect your company’s ability to attract business. This is where Google’s webmaster console comes in to play.
Google webmasters tools or the Google Search Console is a free tool that gives you website traffic data. It provides data which pages on your website are more popular, what websites are linking to you, what search queries your visitors are using to access your site and your search engine results placement. It also helps you identify website and navigation errors and allows you to submit your sitemap so Googlebot can crawl an updated version of your website.
Getting your site verified
To set up Google webmaster console, you need to submit your website and be verified as the owner or authorized user. Adding your Strikingly website to the Search Console is fairly easy. You start by logging into your Google Search Console account, enter your website’s URL and click Add Property.
You will be given instructions on how to verify your website, which could include adding an HTML tracking code into your site through the Services page on your site editor settings. Make sure to save and publish the site to apply the changes. Once your site is verified, Google starts collecting website traffic data and you’ll see the information on your dashboard in a few hours.
Alternatively, you can also get your site verified using your Google Analytics account if your site is already connected to one. All you need to do is add your GA tracking code on Search Console and your site is submitted for verification. Once verified, you shouldn’t remove your Google Analytics account from your Strikingly website or your site will lose its Google Webmaster Console verification.
Once your site is verified, it usually takes a few hours before the data starts rolling in. On your Webmaster Tools Search Console dashboard, you’ll find three major tools. The Overview page gives you a general report on everything - keywords you are ranking for, how much traffic your site gets and the most popular pages on your website according to site traffic. If Google bot finds any errors on your site, you’ll also be able to see a report of it in the Overview page. You will also see the different sites linked to your own pages and how many of your pages Google has indexed. This would be a good first indicator if you have been penalized by the search engine in any way.
Performance provides you with a more detailed view of your website’s performance. Finally, URL inspection allows you to look into a single URL on your website. This tool allows you to single out a URL and get a report of how Google sees this page and the websites linking to it.
The Coverage tab on your Webmaster Console gives you a report on your webpages. If you want to know if Google is still indexing your site, this is the page you should be looking at. You’ll find reports on pages with error, valid with warnings, valid and excluded. This is how Search Console helps you tweak and improve your site further. Pages with error will refer to webpages where Googlebot experienced a crawl issue. These may be pages that are not following best practices for SEO so you may need to work on these areas some more. Excluded are pages on your site that you deliberately don’t want Google to index. These can include password protected pages.