So you’ve got a shiny new WordPress website and you want to show it off to the world. But how do you actually get the damn thing out there for the world to see? Well, the very first thing you’ll need to do is to get it onto Google’s search engine, and here is how you do it. Before we get started with the nitty gritty, you’re going to need the following;
The first step to getting your new WordPress site on to the world stage is to install a super awesome plugin called Yoast SEO. This plugin will help you optimise your website making it easy for search engines, like Google to find and index your website. Not only that, this plugin will also help you create a sitemap of your website which will help the likes of Google get around and index all of your pages on your site correctly.
The next thing you’re going to need is an account with Google’s very own Search Console. Not to be confused with Google’s web analytics, this handy tool will give you a bird’s eye view into how Google see’s your site on the world wide web. Once you have downloaded the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin and you have set up a Google Search Console account, you’ll now need to pull them both together.
1. Setting up Google Search Console.
First things first, login to Google search console and select the ‘Add a Property’ button, enter your website address and select the ‘Add’ button. Once you’re done select the ‘Alternate methods’ tab and select the ‘HTML tag’ option. You’ll see a new line appear, which will have a line of code which begins with ‘<meta name’, Now just copy the long code that is located after ‘Content’.
2. Setting up Yoast
Next login to your WordPress website and find Yoast SEO from the main menu (If you can’t see it then you’re going to need to install the plugin). From the Yoast SEO menu, select ‘Dashboard’. Click on the ‘Webmaster Tools’ link and paste your code into the Google Search Console field. Once done switch back to Google Search Console website and select the ‘Verify’ button. If all goes well you’ll see a congratulations message from Google. Well done your website is now connected to Google.
3. Creating your sitemap
Now onto your sitemap, which Yoast have made super simple. Whilst you’re logged into your WordPress website find ‘Yoast SEO’ from the main menu and select ‘XML Sitemaps’. Enable ‘XML sitemap’ functionality, and then click on the ‘XML Sitemap’ link.
Now go back to Google Search Console, select your website and from the main menu select Crawl and then select Sitemaps. Select the ‘Add/Test Sitemap’ button at the top of the screen and enter sitemap_index.xml, once done select ‘submit’. Now this will take some time to go through fully, so give it about a week or so for Google to process the submission.
That’s all there is to correctly get your website onto Google. After the sitemap has been processed you should see your website pages on Google. Now, this process will not guarantee you top results as there is no way to do this. How Google actually picks what shows up first and what order is not entirely known to the public, and anytime someone figures out a way to ‘game the system’ the system is quickly changed.
The outlined process above is just the beginning of getting your website noticed on Google, It’s your job now as the owner of the website is to grow your website, through great content and promoting your website, which will build your Google search results.
Author: Ben Robinson
I help small businesses, self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs to get the most out of their website and online business.