How to Setup Google Search Console - Squarespace SEO Series #4

How to Setup Google Search Console computer laptop website design

We’ve been talking about Squarespace SEO in the past three blog posts starting here. One of the Squarespace SEO best practices is to connect your website to Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools.

Google Search Console is a free service that helps you manage your site’s presence in Google Search results. You have the ability to monitor your website’s overall health and even see which keywords are bringing traffic to your site. Through Google Search Console, you can request that Google index your site, meaning changes you’ve made will show up in search results sooner. And who doesn’t want their website to be discovered faster?

Most people think about configuring Google Analytics but forget about Google Search Console. By configuring this tool, you’ll even have access to the number of your webpages Google has crawled and stored in its index. After connecting Google Search Console, you can check Analytics to see which keywords visitors are using to find your site. How cool is that?

Simply put, if you want your website to succeed in Google searches and improve your Google Search ranking, you need to submit your website to Google Search Console.

Fortunately for you and me, Squarespace makes it super simple to implement this tool. Squarespace is the first CMS to integrate with Google Search Console. Yay for you and me because this is so much easier! It’s now a one-click process.

But before you use Google Search Console, here a few things you need to know and do:

BEFORE YOU BEGIN IMPLEMENTING GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE

  • Your website must be published and live! Verification with Google Search Console won’t work on trial sites because trial sites are hidden from search engines.

  • Remove your site-wide password or page password on your homepage if either are enabled. Passwords prevent Google from indexing your content.

  • If you have a third-party domain (such as GoDaddy, etc.), it must be connected properly. For best results, I recommend waiting 72 hours after you connect your domain before you verify it with Google Search Console.

  • A Google account is required to sign up for Search Console. You can create one here.


CONNECT YOUR GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE ACCOUNT

Follow these steps to verify your site with Google Search Console:

  1. Login to your Squarespace dashboard.Click on the website you want to connect.

  2. In the Home Menu, click Settings.

  3. Click Connected Accounts.

  4. Click Connect Account.

  5. Click Google Search Console.

  6. Log into the Google account you want to connect your site. If you have multiple Google accounts, ensure you select the correct one.

  7. Click Allow.

That’s it! Now you’re connected to Google Search Console. How easy was that? Let’s talk about a few more steps to improve your Squarespace SEO even more.

INDEXING YOUR WEBSITE

Google Search Console dashboard

One of the primary uses for Google Search Console is requesting Google index your site. What exactly does that mean? This asks Google’s bots to review your site and helps Google update search results with your new content. There’s several ways you can do this, however I’m going to recommend two methods to index your website.

Use The URL Inspection Tool

With the URL Inspection tool, you can submit individual pages URLs to Google Search Console. I recommend using this method if you only have a few pages on your site, or if you’ve added new pages to your site that Google hasn’t indexed yet.

  1. On the Google Search Console dashboard, select the site you’d like to index from the property menu in the top left corner.

  2. Click URL inspection.

  3. Enter the full URL of a page that hasn’t been indexed and press Enter or Return.

  4. Click Request Indexing.

  5. Repeat for any additional page URLs.

Submit a Sitemap

By submitting a sitemap, you provide Google Search Console with your site’s publicly available page URLs and image metadata - all the things you need to help improve your Squarespace SEO and Google ranking. More good news about Squarespace? All Squarespace sites automatically generate a sitemap! Woohoo! No more painstakingly building it yourself (which if you haven’t done before, be grateful).

  1. On the Google Search Console dashboard, select the site you’d like to index from the property menu in the top left corner.

  2. Click Sitemaps.

  3. Under Add a new sitemap, type sitemap.xml.

  4. Click Submit to request Google index your site.

BOOM! You couldn’t ask for a simpler process. I love that Squarespace makes it easier for us to improve our SEO.

A couple things to note…

CRAWL ERRORS

When verifying your site with Google Search Console, you might see a message stating that parts of your URL are restricted by robots.txt. Don’t worry. This is completely normal. Squarespace asks Google not to crawl these pages because they’re for internal use only or display duplicate content that can count against a site’s SEO. Thanks, Squarespace, for looking out for us in trying to combat the SEO monster!

GOOGLE ALGORITHMS

Keep in mind that after making your requests, your site may not appear in search results immediately. You might need to wait some time for Google to process the request, then crawl and index the page. And Google being Google, they rely on a complex algorithm (that often changes and is a closely guarded secret) to update site information, so no one can guarantee Google will index all your changes. BUT that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t submit your site to Google Search Console at all! Be patient, give it time, and keep flexing your SEO muscles. Google will come around eventually.

Did you submit your website to Google Search Console? If not, are you going to? Have any questions about Google Search Console and/or Squarespace SEO? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 
 

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Kat Collins is a Squarespace Website Designer focused on helping you share your brand’s story via your website to take your business to the next level. On the blog, you’ll find a variety of topics that help you succeed in online business, such as website design, branding, social media strategies, blogging, email marketing, Squarespace design tips, and more.