Most of us use Google search engine when it comes to search for some information or product.

This is why every website owner not only wants to reach the highest rank in Google search results but also present their website as attractive and usable. Unfortunately, enthusiasm ends after homepage image compression and at the same time Google Search Console happens to be forgotten (former Webmaster Tools).

We’ve listed several hints on how to get started and where to begin.

Adding website to Search Console and verifying it

Login to Google Search Console and add your website address as a new service. Pay attention to URL address you’re about add - it is one thing the address with ”www”, but address without ”www” is a completely different thing. Same difference concerns both protocols, namely http:// and https://.

You should add the address that the website is published on and if there are other variations of the website address consider to add them too.

After adding your address it should be verified to prove your ownership or your rights to display its specific details. It’s up to you, how will it be verified:

  • by adding HTML tag
  • by uploading a file
  • by using Google Analytics verification

Support websites:

  • adding a website to Search Console:
  • Search Console verification:

Check if your website has got a manual penalty

If you don’t know anything about the history of your domain it may turn out that somebody had already used it before. If you’re curious about what was published earlier on your domain you may use Internet Archive to track previous activity. Even though the domain had been used before, one shouldn’t hasitate to use it as a new one if its former version wasn’t used for forbidden activities determined by Google.

In order to find out if the website had been manually penalized (filtered) check ”manual actions” bookmark. If you see different message than ”No manual webspam actions found” you should necessarily solve that problem.

See how Google algorithms perceive your website

In order to check on how Googlebots perceive your website select ”view as Google” button. It is important to display website layout the same for Googlebots and for the users.

Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes is blocking important files like CSS styles and graphic items. Our website looks identical for Google and our visitors:

However the result may occur as poor (infographic):

Submit your sitemap and come back after a while

Last important thing about Search Console is submitting a sitemap, in other words a special XML file containing a list of your websites URL addresses. Thanks to the fact, Googlebots are able to accurately analyse whole website content in order to make more related search results associated with your website and Google Search Console could present more detailed analysis by itself.

Submitting a sitemap is very simple and straightforward. It is nothing more than submitting an URL address to a XML file and sending it to Google:

Now wait a while and come back when you’ll see the following message:

After a while there’s going to be more specific info presented in menu bookmarks:

It’s just the beginning!

With this article we’ve started our series of ”10 Critical SEO Mistakes”. We’ll publish another set of useful SEO knowledge every week so please stay in touch and feel free to contact us!