When you’re getting started with SEO there are a few free SEO tools to set up!
Setting up Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Yoast is necessary if you want to optimize your site for better ranking. The good news is that they are all free SEO tools! In this article, we walk you through how to set up these three tools. So, let’s get started!
Setting up Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Yoast is necessary if you want to optimize your site for better ranking.
Note: You can also use Google Tag Manager and Google Trends from the Google suite among others. Learn how to use Google Trends in our guide.
How to set up Google Search Console
In this section, we are going to set up the Search Console.
1. Sign in to your account
To use the Search Console, you’ll need an account. It’s free to sign up if you don’t have one. You can use your Gmail, Adwords, or Google Analytics account to sign in.
2. Enter URL prefix or Domain
After signing in, you can choose between the Domain and URL prefix property types. We recommend using domain property since it is the name of your website.
URL prefix is the term that precedes the domain. For example, https:// or htpp://. With the domain option, the URL prefix and your subdomains are included.
3. Website verification
Next, you’ll need to verify the ownership of the website, and there are several ways to go about it.
To use this method, you’ll have to sign in to your DNS account. For example, eNom or GoDaddy. You can find your DNS from the dropdown menu on the Search Console.
If you don’t find yours, choose the Any DNS service provider option. Keep in mind that verification differs between DNS providers.
This method involves uploading a unique HTML file to your website’s root folder. You can access this folder through your cPanel or FTP. Again, consult your DNS provider or developer if you are not savvy with cPanel.
Here, you add a meta tag to the section of your website’s HTML code. For a WordPress site, add the tag to the header.php file. You can add the plugin Header and Footer Scripts to make this easy peasy.
If you have a Google Analytics (GA) tracking code, you can select this verification method on the Search Console. Ensure to meet all the listed requirements. If all is okay, click Verify.
Google Tag Manager
This is yet another verification method. On the Search Console, select the Google Tag Verification option, ensure you meet the requirements, and then click Verify.
How to set up Google Analytics
There are several ways to set up a Google Analytics tracking code. The GA tracking code allows you to:
- See the source of traffic
- Determine traffic per page
- Determine total traffic to your website
- Read the demographic information of users
- Determine the conversion rate
Here is how to get and add a GA tracking code to your website.
Create/log in to your Google Analytics account
If you don’t have an account:
- Visit Google Analytics home page and click Sign in to Analytics.
- Select the Google account you want to associate with Google Analytics.
- Once you sign up, you’ll be taken to Google Analytics welcome page.
If you have an account:
- Log into your Analytics account.
- Click the Admin button on the bottom-left corner.
- Navigate to the Account and click Create Account.
2. Determine what to track
Next, Google will require you to provide details about the website you want to track. The fields include:
- Account Name: This is the name of your website. It can also be the category it falls under. Particularly if you are tracking several sites.
- Property Name: This is the URL of the website you are tracking.
- Time Zone
- Currency: Selected a currency you prefer.
We advise creating a Universal Analytics Property, which you can find in the advanced options. You can create only the property or include Google Analytics 4.
After adding business information about your website, agree to the terms and you are set to use your account.
3. Add ID to your website
To access the tracking ID:
- Log in to your Analytics account
- Click Admin on the bottom-left corner
- Click the Account option and choose your account from the dropdown menu
- Select Property (the website you’ve added)
- After this, navigate to the Tracking info and select Tracking Code
- The tracking code will appear at the top of the page.
To add the code to your website:
With the tracking ID, you’ll need to copy and paste it to the tracking code snippet. It is known as the Global Site Tag or gtag.js.
- Copy the gtag.js code.
- Delete the GA_TRACKING_ID and replace it with the Google Analytics tracking ID.
- Open the root folder of your website.
- Paste the gtag.js code after thetag of the HTML code.
- You can also do this with the Header and Footer plugin we mentioned above.
You can also add the tracking code using Google Tag Manager.
How to set up Yoast
Here is a systematic guide on how to set up the Yoast plugin.
- Log into your WordPress site.
- Navigate to Plugins.
- Search for Yoast SEO.
- Install and click on Activate.
You are now set to configure to your liking. If yours is an existing website, you need to import SEO data from whichever plugin you were using. For this, you can use a plugin such as SEO Data Transporter.
For a new website:
1. General settings
Navigate to General Settings.
Click on the Features section. Here, you can turn features on or off. They include SEO analysis, Text link counter, and others.
Next, click Integrations if you are using SEMRush or Ryte.
Finally, in the Webmaster Tools section, you can verify your website ownership. All you need is Google, Bing, or Baidu verification code.
2. Search Appearance
Under Search Appearance, you can configure the title separator, content types, media, breadcrumbs, and Taxonomies. You can also change the RSS feed settings.
3. Social Settings
Yoast also enables you to integrate your site with social media platforms. Here, you can link to Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube, and other platforms. Ensure that the Open graph metadata of Facebook and Pinterest are enabled.
Once you have Yoast set up, you can use it to optimize your content before publishing.
When it comes to getting started with SEO, you need to have the right programs set up to allow tracking of your activities. You don’t know if you’re winning unless you keep score, right? This is how to start to keep score (Google Analytics and Search Console) and how you start playing with on-site optimization (Yoast). If you have any questions or want a free SEO audit, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here.
When it comes to getting started with SEO, you need to have the right programs set up to allow tracking of your activities.
You can also get our free 15 SEO Must-Follow checklist to help you get started!
Until next time, happy ranking!