Search Console Settings you Probably Didn’t Know You Needed to Make
As the moment, we are running through the first session of our Sitemaps and Search Console FREE E-course and it’s fantastic the questions that pop up. Yesterday I was asked about preferred domain and it got me thinking what other settings do you need to think about as well as that one and really there are 2 settings that you should set for your site in Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). SO here we go Search Console Settings you need to set but probably didn’t even know they were there!
Search Console Settings
Setting a Preferred Domain
So you have your domain and you somewhere back in the day when you set your site up or your host did it was decided that your site would be www. or it would just be the domain. Both Rainy Day Mum and The Blog Surgery are set up without the www. making it easier to type for me at the time as well as my theory that if the redirect that I have in place on the server doesn’t work people are more like to type in just the name thinking that the www. will be added if needed.
Redirects on your server can be tricky depending on your host – speak directly to them if you try your site and you can only access it using one of the two either www.yourdomainname or domainname asking for either them to set up the redirect or clear instruction how to do it on your hosting platform.
Now we know as users that really it doesn’t matter whether we have a www. or not but to a Google bot they see them as two different sites because their URL’s are different what we need to do is make sure that in our search console the two are connected and under the same property. Otherwise, you are literally losing the backlinks that don’t have the exact right URL.
Step by Step Setting your Preferred Domain
- Contact your host and check that the redirect from www. to domainname or domainname to www. is in place your choice it makes no difference at all.
- Go into Search Console
- Create a new property for your preferred domain name – verify it either using the HTML tag or with Google Analytics
- If at this point you are clueless then do sign up for our FREE Sitemaps and Search Console Course. It’s 3 steps to getting your site indexed and a tip to improve SEO. Just click the link above or the image below to take you to a sign-up page – courses start on the 1st of the month and run for 14 days including support inside a closed Facebook Group.
- Click back to your search console dashboard (click on the orange Search Console on the Left)
- Select your preferred domain web property
- Once you are on your property click on the cog in the top hand corner of your site’s dashboard
- Click on Site Settings
- In the Preferred Domain choose which of the two you want to be your preferred domain
- Then Click Save
- ALL DONE!
Setting a target audience – International Targeting
As my original site is http://rainydaymum.co.uk I never had to bother with this setting by choosing my domain name with a country specific ending .co.uk I had already selected that I would like my target audience as the UK. I am in the UK and I write about stuff that we can easily get in the UK over there. This time I choose to have the more traditional .com for https://theblogsurgery.com there I don’t have a target audience set. BUT, I really need to set one!
Why you need to set a target audience
So you have created a site, you have added your content, you’ve made your social media channels, you’ve even got up some advertising on the site and you’ve got your site indexed on Google by creating a sitemap and submitting it to Search Console. You’ve also joined say an Amazon Affiliate Network in your country to try and earn some money that way.
BUT, your site is a .com how will Google know to show your “3 days potty training” post to your target country audience over someone that has a larger audience but is targetting their post at a different country when they have exactly the same title. By setting your target audience Google will take that and use it to provide your site to the most relevant users.
Step by Step Setting your Target Audience
REMEMBER YOU ONLY NEED TO DO THIS IF YOU HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL DOMAIN. IF YOUR DOMAIN FEATURES YOUR COUNTRY E.G. .CO.UK THEN THERE IS NO REASON TO CARRY OUT THIS STEP
- In Search Console Select your web property
- On the left hand side expand search traffic
- Click on International Targeting
- Switch the tabs to Country
- Select your target audience
- Click Save
- ALL DONE!