You want to learn SEO, but where to start? The very first baby step on the road to becoming a great SEO analyst standing among the grown ups (or doing your own SEO for your own website) is to get a Google Search Console account previously known as Google Webmaster Tools. It is a must for anyone wanting to crank the rank of their site and help the right people find you. It is also a must for any webmaster or site owner wanting to enhance their website and use best practices for web design and maintenance.
Google Search Console Training
Here's a short video about how Search Console and Google Webmaster Tools can help:
Google also has an excellent course for webmasters called Webmasters Academy. Within this is course is section 3.1 to help you set up and use the webmaster tools: Manage your Site with Google Webmaster Tools.
Get a Google Search Console AccountEvery website should have a Google Search Console account. This is the best way to signal Google that your site exists and needs to be indexed. Then you can tie it into your Google Analytics.
How to Get One
To get a Google Search Console account you'll need to have a Gmail account. If you don't have one go to http://gmail.com and sign up. Once you have a gmail account, go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools". Once you're there, click on "ADD A PROPERTY" in the upper right hand corner of the Search Console. Of course it will say your name and not "Cathie" in your account but the red rectangle with the ADD A PROPERTY will be the same and in the same place.
Verifying your Site with HTML SiteNow comes the daunting part for SEO beginners: Verifying your site. That means verifying that you’re the owner of the site. This takes a little know how no matter which of the methods you use:
- Uploading (with FTP client) an html file to the server.
- Adding a meta tag to your website’s HTML within the header or if your site is a WordPress site within your WordPress dashboard, using an SEO plugin such as Yoast.
- Adding a new DNS record to your domain account with your hosting company.
- Use your Google Tag Manager account.
- Use your Google Analytics account.
My Preferred Method with an HTML SiteI think putting a meta tag within the HTML of your site is the easiest way to verify. If you have a web designer or webmaster then ask them to help you. If not, you'll need to cut and paste the meta tag Google Webmaster Tools gives you into the header of your index page. Then within the verification part of Google Webmaster tools, click the verification button.
Verifying with WordPressIf you have WordPress, install and use Yoast SEO plugin then put the verification code within the meta tag (that Google Webmaster tools gives you) into the line labeled for it. Only put in the code not the script containing it. Then go back into the Webmaster tools and hit verification.
Select your Preferred Version
How to Select Preferred Version
Pick Your Country
|Pick the country you want to target.
Next you'll need to make a XML sitemap to make it easy for the Googlebot and other search engine bots to find and index all your pages and resources. If you have an html and css site you'll need to use specialized XML sitemap software to make the sitemap and then upload it to your website with an ftp tool. If you have a WordPress site, the Yoast plugin will make a sitemap for you.
XML Sitemap for HTML Website
|This is the XML Sitemap Generator Website
XML Sitemap for WordPress Site
|Yoast SEO Plugin makes it easy to make a sitemap.
Tell Google Search Console about your Sitemap
Adding Robots.txt File
Creating your robots.txt for Html Site
You can copy and paste the below but make sure to put your own domain in "yourdomain.com.
Creating robots.txt with WordPress
|This is where you find the file editor tool in Yoast.
Testing and Submitting your robots.txt
|Click this first.
|You'll then see this if your robots.txt is accepted.
|Next click this.