In this video, we’ll show you how to add your website to Google Search. Once you’ve created a new website or blog and you’re ready to share it with the world, there’s a few simple things you need to do in order to make sure people can find it. This is what’s referred to as ‘indexing your website’ and in this video we’ll show you how to do it. So, let’s get to it. We’ve created an article that accompanies this video on the OHKLYN blog (the link will be in the description below).
Here you’ll find the step by step instructions that you can follow along with, as well as any links mentioned in this video. For this example, we’ll show you how to index your WordPress website step by step using the Yoast SEO plugin and Google Search Console. However, for those not using WordPress, the process will be the same, the only difference being that you’ll use an alternate approach to generate your sitemap and ensure the Googlebot can crawl your site. The process to index your website regardless of which platform you’re using is: Ensure the Googlebot can access the pages of your website that you want to be indexed.
This relates to your robots.txt file. If you’re a WordPress user, this is really easy and we’ll show you how to do this shortly. Set up Google Search Console for the property or domain you want to add to Google, and Submit your sitemap via Google Search Console, and request Google to crawl your website. Firstly, enabling the Googlebot to crawl your website via WordPress is really easy to do. When you’re ready for your site to go live and be visible via search engines, here’s what you’ll need to do: From your WordPress dashboard, hover over ‘settings’ and select ‘reading’ Scroll down to the ‘Search Engine Visibility’ section, and uncheck the box next to ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ Then, save the changes This will update your robot.txt file and allow Google to crawl your website.
Let’s move on to the next step which is How to install and configure the Yoast SEO plugin, and generate your sitemap. Yoast SEO is a free WordPress plugin that we recommend for all users. In this case, we’ll use it to create your sitemap. In addition to that, Yoast SEO is one of the best and most accessible SEO plugins available for WordPress and is regularly updated to stay current with the latest developments. To learn more about the Yoast SEO plugin, follow this button on the OHKLYN post. To install the Yoast SEO plugin and create your sitemap: From your WordPress Dashboard, hover over ‘Plugins’ and select ‘Add New’.
You will be taken to the WordPress plugin repository. To find the Yoast SEO plugin, search for ‘Yoast SEO’ via the search bar. The Yoast SEO plugin will be among the top results. When installing plugins it’s a good practice to review the star rating, the number of reviews, when the theme was last updated, and if it’s compatible with your version of WordPress. In this case, these all look good. Then click the ‘install’ button to install the plugin. When the plugin is installed, select ‘Activate’ to activate the plugin. Once the plugin is activated, you should see a new ‘SEO’ tab in the admin menu on the left. Hover over the newly created SEO tab in the admin menu and select ‘General’. From there, navigate to the ‘Features’ tab, then scroll down and ensure that all the settings are switched on.
Now, go back to the Yoast SEO options in the left-hand menu and select the ‘Search Appearance’ option. From there, navigate to the to the ‘Content Types’ tab. Here is where you’ll select the contents of your site that you want to index. For most people, you will only want to index pages, and posts. To do this you would switch the ‘Show in search results’ option to no for everything that you DON’T want indexed. If you need more information on the various settings, click on the ‘Need help’ drop down, where you can access a video tutorial specific to the page you’re on, as well as access the knowledge base.
Once you’ve gone through and excluded the content that you don’t want to index on the ‘Content Types’ tab, do the same thing for the ‘Taxonomies’, ‘Archives’, and ‘Media’ tabs. Then click on ‘Save changes’. Now that that’s done, go back to the ‘General’ option in the Yoast SEO menu. Go to the ‘Features’ tab and scroll down to the XML sitemap entry. Click the little question mark icon and then click on the ‘See the XML sitemap’ link which will open a new browser tab with your sitemap. Copy the link from your URL bar in the browser and copy it somewhere for later use in the Google Search Console. That’s it for installing and configuring the Yoast SEO plugin, and creating your sitemap URL.
We can now move on to setting up your free Google Search Console account and indexing your site. Google Search Console is a free tool by Google and is what we’ll use to request Google to crawl your website or blog. This tool will also help you manage any crawl, 404, or other errors related to your site. Let’s go through the steps to set up your account: Head over to the Google Webmasters Search Console.
If you’re following along on the OHKLYN blog, you can follow this button here. You will need to log in to your Google account first to access it. To add your domain to your Google Search Console account, copy the link of your domain straight from the address bar and paste it into the text field in the middle of the screen. Then click on the ‘ADD A PROPERTY’ button. You will then be asked to verify the ownership of the domain. Select the ‘Alternate Methods’ tab and click on the ‘HTML tag’ option. A meta name tag will now appear on the screen. Select the whole tag and copy it.
Go back to your WordPress admin dashboard and go to the Yoast SEO General settings via the left-hand menu. Navigate to the ‘Webmasters tools’ tab. You are now presented with three text fields. Paste the meta name tag you copied from Google Search Console into the Google Search Console text field. As a side note, you can index your WordPress site for other search engines using the same approach by taking the meta tag from their respective Webmasters tools. Then, save your changes. Once this is done, you can head over back to your Google Search Console and hit the ‘Verify’ button. You should be greeted with a friendly congratulations message, showing that it found the tag and everything is good up to this point.
Now, click on the ‘ADD/TEST SITEMAP’ button. Hopefully, you kept that sitemap URL you copied earlier handy. Paste everything after the forward slash at the end of your site URL into the pop-up box and click submit. You should be asked to reload the page. Once you do that, there should be a new sitemap entry waiting for you. If you have an error, it’s most likely because your site is still blocking bots from viewing it. If you followed the steps before, and unchecked the box in the reading settings tab of WordPress that discouraged search engines, then don’t worry about this as it is likely just a timing issue. In the menu on the left, under Crawl, navigate to ‘Fetch as Google’. Then hit the ‘FETCH AND RENDER’ button. It might take a while to complete. Once it finishes you should be presented with a ‘Partial’ or ‘Completed’ status. Click the ‘Request indexing’ button next to it.
A window should pop up asking you to confirm you are not a robot. Select the ‘Crawl this URL and its direct links’ option. Then select Go. Next to the ‘Partial’ status there should now be a message that reads ‘Indexing requested for URL and linked pages’. That’s it! You have successfully submitted your site to be indexed by Google. You are one step closer to improving traffic to your site using Google Search Console and the Yoast SEO plugin. Please leave a comment and tell us if you found this guide useful. We hope this brings you another step closer to creating your perfect website. If you liked this video hit the like button, and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos related to WordPress, digital marketing and how to run a successful website. To get access to exclusive discounts, free tutorials, and to stay in the loop on the latest updates, sign up for our newsletter at OHKLYN o-h-k-l-y-n.com, and until next time, happy building. .
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