I get asked this question a LOT so I thought it was high time I wrote a blog post – Does Google know I exist? In this blog post I talk about how to tell and how to change that. Just give me the download on how to do it When I work with Shine clients, I always ask, have you submitted your sitemap to Google before? The question is often met with one of these responses:
- Yes, a long time ago I think it was done
- Isn’t that the same as Google Analytics?
- What’s that, then?
I then ask the same question but in another way: What shows up when you Google your own business name? Three things need to be showing up as a the very foundation of getting found online:
- Your website (ideally more than one page of your website)
- Your social media links
- Your Google Maps/Google My Business listing
Now, if you’re not showing up when you Google your business name, it’s almost certainly because you haven’t told Google you exist.
How do you tell Google you exist?
You need to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmasters. This includes whenever you make significant changes to your site, such as creating new pages, changing your menu, then you need to tell Google about it. Fear not, I’m here to tell you what you need to do.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a free online tool provided by Google. It used to be called Webmaster Tools and can still be found at that URL.
Why is it important?
The main reason you need to know about this tool is to submit your website to be read by Google so it will send over its spiders they look at the menu, the pages and posts, and what they’re looking for is if your website is useful, is it a quick website, is it all seamlessly linked together- how useful you are. And then it will know about all the pages and posts on your website. Google Search Console is needed because a) we need to tell Google we exist and b) we’re human and we make mistakes. This handy free tool tells us where we’ve made mistakes and helps us fix them, and then helps us make sure our sites are as error-free as possible.
Why do you need to submit your sitemap?
Why do you need to this anyway? Here are a few very important reasons why you need to take this step.
You’ve just launched your website
You’ve just re-launched your website
You’ve made lots of changes to your website
You regularly add lots of images to your website
You’re about to make lots of changes to your website
What is the difference between Google Search Console and Google Analytics?
Google Search Console is different from Google Analytics but the two can connect smoothly. Analytics shows you a lot more information about how people are using your site, whereas Search Console shows you what people are searching for to find your site as well as tracking how your site shows up in search engine results.
FAQ about this step
- How often do I need to submit? If you’ve been making changes to your site, then you’ll need re-submit your sitemap but you won’t need to verify ownership each time so it will be quicker. You can check under Google Search Console > Coverage > check the last date checked and if it’s not recent, then re-submit your sitemap.
- How do you know if it’s working? You’ll see a green “Success” next to your successfully submitted sitemap if it’s worked. You’ll also see clicks + impressions start to appear on the graph if you’ve installed it correctly.
- Does this work for all types of websites? Yes, as long as you verify your ownership + then set up the sitemap you’ve got it.
- Why do I need to verify my site as well as submit sitemap? We have to prove we own the website before we submit the sitemap as we are given access to a lot of private information. Can you imagine if we started submitted our competitor’s sitemaps and got access to their information? No, we have to verify the site ownership first before we can start tracking.
- What about any stats before I set up Google Search Console? Do I get access to that? No. It only works from the day you set up Google Search Console.