Getting started, for beginners

If you're interested in improving your site's appearance on Google Search, and you're willing to put in a little time learning about search engine optimization (SEO) and Search Console, here is your getting started guide. You don't need to understand HTML or coding, but you do need to spend some time thinking about how your site is organized and written, and be willing to make some changes to your site. The good news is that a little effort can go a long way in improving your search results.
  1. Sign up for Search Console. It's free, there are no upgrades or paid services, and you'll get alerts when Google sees unusual activity on your site, such as crawling problems or indications of hacking.
  2. Add and verify your ownership of your site. You'll need to prove that you are the owner of your website, because Search Console shows information about your site that only site owners should know, and allows you to make changes that can affect how your site appears on Google.
  3. Read our guide to basic Search Console usage. A basic user typically needs only a quick site check-up once a month, unless we alert you that we've found a problem.
  4. Learn the basics of how Google Search works. You'll understand a lot more of the information that you read here, and it will make troubleshooting much easier .
  5. Read our SEO starter guide. This is an introduction to best practices for your website to ensure that Google is able to find, understand, and present your site properly in search results. It contains a lot of information, but you can take your time working through it.
  6. Decide whether you want to hire an SEO expert. Many small website owners do all their own search engine optimization; in fact, if you read our documentation carefully, you can become an SEO expert yourself! But some small sites (and nearly all large sites) hire a professional SEO expert to help improve their presence on Google. Read this guide if you're thinking about hiring a professional SEO.
  7. If, after learning the basics, you decide that you want to learn more advanced topics in SEO or Search Console, you can continue with the SEO track.
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