How to Connect your Website to Google Search Console
You’ve created an amazing website with a strong SEO foundation, optimized your content and images and you’re getting some traffic to your website, but still feel like you’re not getting much by way of search traffic.
The thing is, it takes Google awhile to find your website, sometimes even weeks, and when it does, it needs to crawl it and index your content so it is able to show your website in search results.
Want to skip this waiting period? If so, read on to find out how you can speed up the process by submitting your Squarespace website to Google Search Console right now so you can start getting search traffic today!
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a powerful tool offered by Google to help you monitor your website and troubleshoot any issues with how it displays in search results. Best part is, it’s a free service that can help boost your SEO efforts by bringing new search traffic to your website.
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site's presence in Google Search results. You don't have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site.
This tool will confirm that Google can find and crawl your website, helps you fix any issues with finding your website online, allows you to view search traffic and so much more! It is a great way to increase your website’s visibility, and it only takes a few minutes to set up!
Once your website has been set up in Google Search Console, you can sit back and relax knowing that Google will notify you there are any issues such as content that is unable to be indexed or your website being hacked!
How does Google find your Website?
I’ll explain how Google finds websites and indexes the content so that you’ll understand some of the terms I use in throughout this post.
Google has computers that “crawl” through the internet finding new or updated content which it then stores in an index. This index is what Google refers back to when someone completes a search, so that Google knows which content is the best fit to display as search results.
This crawl is completed by “Googlebots”, which follow through the various links on the internet, moving from one website to the next. The Googlebots are looking for new websites, updates to existing pages and broken links, and once the Googlebot has completed its crawl, Google will update its index with all new information, and then the Googlebot will go out again to continue where it left off.
Google’s index will store the most current information on a website based on these crawls. This means if it takes Google 2 weeks to find your website, during that time Google will not have your current website in its index and won’t be able to show it in search results.
How to know what Google had indexed on your Website
Want to know if Google has crawled your website yet? You can check by typing site:yourdomain.com into your internet browser.
If Google has not found your website yet, this search will show no results on display. However, if your website has been crawled already, you should see each page listed in the search results, so you can see what Google has on display.
This is a good way to check if Google has seen your new content or not, and if it hasn’t, you’ll know whether you need to submit your website for indexing.
Setting up your Google Search Console account
Since Google can take awhile to scan your website, anytime you create a new website or make lots of changes, it is best to update your website in Google Search Console so you can start getting search traffic as soon as possible.
As a website owner, the first step you need to take is to register for Google Search Console. When you load the registration page, you will see 2 options to choose from, Domain or URL Prefix. I personally use URL Prefix when setting this up since it is easier to verify that you are the website owner.
Next, enter your domain name (https://www.yourdomain.com) and click continue. A page will pop up with options to verify your website, and you can choose from the 5 options depending on which one you prefer.
If you have a Business or Commerce plan with Squarespace, using the HTML tag option is quick and easy. Copy the line of code that populates in Google Search Console, then in Squarespace, head to Settings > Advanced > Code Injection and paste the code into the Header section. Click back to Google Search Console, click Verify, and you’re done!
From there, click Go To Property and you will be on an overview page for your website. Since you have just set up your account, it may take awhile to populate any information here, but this page is where you will see important metrics such as how you are performing in searches and notifications.
Getting Google to Crawl your Website
Now that you have your Google Search Console account set up, you will need to request for Google to crawl your website. There are 2 ways you can do this.
For a brand new website, or if you have a lot of pages to crawl, you can submit a sitemap
If you have only a couple of pages, you can use the URL Inspection tool to request each individual page to be indexed
Submit a Sitemap
Submitting a sitemap will provide Google Search Console a map that shows every page and image on your website in a way that is easy for Google to read and understand. Squarespace makes this process easy by automatically generating sitemaps.
To submit your Sitemap to Google, click the 3 horizontal bars on the top left of Google Search Console and then click Sitemaps from the menu. Here you will see an option for Add a New Sitemap, and you just need to type sitemap.xml and click submit. It’s super easy!
Google will let you know if there are any issues, otherwise your website will usually be crawled within a couple of days. If you log back onto this Sitemaps page, you can see the date your website was last crawled if you look at the Last Read column.
URL Inspection Tool
If you just have a couple of pages to index, you can submit individual page URL’s to Google Search Console. This is great for individual blog posts or if you have created a new website page.
When you click on the menu in the top left of Google Search Console, you will see an option for URL Inspection. When you click on this, you can enter the full URL of the page that needs to be indexed, such as https://jessicahainesdesign.com/squarespace-website-design and click enter.
Once the page is scanned, you will be able to see if the URL is already on Google or not, and at the bottom right of the box, you should see that indexing has been requested. If it doesn’t show as waiting for indexing, just click the button to request it again.
In the top right, you will also see a Live Text link where you can preview how your website looks to Google. This is especially helpful to see if anything is not displaying correctly so you can troubleshoot why it isn’t working as expected.
Old Version of Google Search Console
When you log into Google Search Console, if the page shows the same as the below image, you are using the old version of Google Search Console. You can change to the new version by pressing the blue button towards the top, or you can access the instructions for indexing your website with the old version of Google Search Console here.
Linking Google Search Console onto your Squarespace Website
Setting up Google Search Console is a huge step in maximizing your SEO efforts, but you don’t want to forget to link it to your Squarespace website as well! Connecting your Search Console account to Squarespace will allow you to view your top keywords in Squarespace Analytics, so you have all of your website analytics in the one place. Once you have connected your Google account to Squarespace, you will be able to see your keywords within about 72 hours.
To add Google Search Console into Squarespace, click on Settings > Connected Accounts > Connect Account. Click on Google Search Console and log into the Google account you want to connect to your website, then click allow.
Indexing you website as soon as possible will help set your website up for success in Google searches so you can easily monitor and improve your SEO over time. I recommend going this for any new website, along with any time you make any major updates on your website, so that you can ensure Google always has the most up-to-date version of your website on file as soon as possible.
I’d love to know, have you submitted your website on Google Search Console yet? If not, I’d love to know what is holding you back! Let me know in the comments below.
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