26 October 2021

An Idiotproof Guide: Setting Up Google Search Console On Shopify In 2 Minutes

Written by

Faye Chong

Content Marketing Lead


26 October 2021

An Idiotproof Guide: Setting Up Google Search Console On Shopify In 2 Minutes

Written by: Faye Chong, Content Marketing Lead


Whether you’re an e-commerce veteran or a new business in the online shopping space, you need powerful analytics tools to provide you with valuable insights into customer data.

This helps you make better business decisions and drive more traffic to your e-commerce business to stay on top of the game in this booming industry. 

That said, adding Google Search Console to your Shopify store is crucial in improving your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). This builds brand awareness for your store, which then helps to generate more marketing qualified leads

Now, if you’re starting to worry because you haven’t set up Google Search Console yet, fret not! In this article, we’ll go through the importance of Google Search Console and how to go about adding the tool to your Shopify store. Let’s dive right in! 👇

💡 Additional read: An Idiotproof Guide: Setting Up Google Analytics On Shopify In 2 Minutes 

Whether you’re an e-commerce veteran or a new business in the online shopping space, you need powerful analytics tools to provide you with valuable insights into customer data.

This helps you make better business decisions and drive more traffic to your e-commerce business to stay on top of the game in this booming industry. 

That said, adding Google Search Console to your Shopify store is crucial in improving your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). This builds brand awareness for your store, which then helps to generate more marketing qualified leads

Now, if you’re starting to worry because you haven’t set up Google Search Console yet, fret not! In this article, we’ll go through the importance of Google Search Console and how to go about adding the tool to your Shopify store. Let’s dive right in! 👇

💡 Additional read: An Idiotproof Guide: Setting Up Google Analytics On Shopify In 2 Minutes 

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free tool that provides reports that measure your site's search traffic and keyword performance and helps to fix these issues.

An example of Google Search Console’s dashboard. Source: Google

An example of Google Search Console’s dashboard. Source: Google

Some data you can gather from Google Search Console include the total number of clicks, number of impressions, and average keyword ranking. You can also use Google Search Console to submit pages to the Google index, to verify that your site’s URLs are healthy, and to check for errors across your domain.

These data provide insight into how your website is doing organically and can help you discover new keyword opportunities to optimize the performance of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs).

What can I use Google Search Console for?

Using Google Search Console for Organic Traffic

One of the most valuable resources from Google Search Console is the Performance Reports. Essentially, it gives businesses an overview of their website’s organic performance. 

When added to Shopify, Google Search Console can be used to learn which web pages receive the most impressions and clicks, and which keywords were used to find these pages. This helps you understand your target audience better and what they’re searching for. 

Here’s a breakdown of the metrics in the Performance Report:

  • Average Position: This refers to the average position of the topmost result from your site for a given keyword. 
  • Clicks: This metric refers to the number of clicks from Google search that results in users visiting your website. Do take note that, unlike Google Analytics, Google Search Console’s ‘clicks’ don’t account for bounce rates or page sessions. It just reflects the number of clicks — and this can show a discrepancy if you compare your data against Google Analytics.
  • Click-Through Rate: This metric is a measure of how many clicks the site has received, divided by the number of impressions received.
  • Impressions: This refers to how many times your website appears in SERPs, regardless of whether it gets clicked. Your results aren’t counted as impressions if they appear on the next page of search results that the searcher did not click on.

Using Google Search Console for Technical Site Health

Other than using Google Search Console to monitor your website performance, you can also use this tool to keep your website’s health in check and correct any errors that may damage its ranking. 

Let’s take a look at some of the site reports.

The Index Coverage Report

The Index Coverage Report allows you to see how well covered your site is in the Google index. This monitors how much of your site has been indexed to make sure that they’re as visible for SEO as they need to be.

  • Error: This means pages that have not been indexed. Clicking into this report will show a description of the specific errors. You should concentrate on fixing these issues first.
  • Warning: The means that the page is indexed by Google, but has an issue that may need to be addressed.
  • Excluded: The page is not indexed. This includes non-canonical pages, pages excluded by “no-index” tags, or because pages appear to be duplicates of other indexed pages and Google has selected its own canonical.
  • Valid: These are pages that are healthy and indexed.

The Sitemaps Report

An example of the Sitemaps tab on Google Search Console. Source: Reliable Soft

An example of the Sitemaps tab on Google Search Console. Source: Reliable Soft

A sitemap is a file where you provide important content about your website and the relationships between them. 

Sitemaps tell Google where to find these pages on your website so they can quickly crawl and index them. This is important because search engines can’t rank your content without first indexing it.

URL Inspection Tool

Using Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool, you can check the status and function of individual URLs on your website by testing each of them.

Basically, this tool helps you check if your page has already been indexed by Google — and if it’s not or if you’ve made changes to your page, you can request indexing here. This allows your page to get crawled quickly to rank on search engines.

Manual Actions Report

A manual action refers to the penalty given to a site by Google for violating its guidelines. Some of these include black hat SEO techniques that are spammy and seek to manipulate rankings. 

A Manual Actions Report contains a comprehensive list of all the manual actions that affect a site. If you’ve received a penalty from Google, this can result in pages or sites ranking lower or being omitted from SERPs. You could also lose all your organic traffic.

You can access the Manual Actions Report and rectify all affected pages. Keep in mind that you have to fix all the issues as fixing only some pages will not solve the problem. You can then request for Google to review your site again.

Mobile Usability Report

The Mobile Usability Report provides broad information about mobile friendliness and potential mobile issues on your site. It shows a list of pages that have problems when viewed on a mobile device. 

This allows you to review your sites’ design and mobile configurations to make sure that your site gives users the best experience on their mobile devices.

Core Web Vitals Report

This report gives web owners insights into their site’s loading speed which can affect a user’s experience. Pages with extremely poor load time could end up ranking lower in SERPs.

These are the metrics used:

  • Largest Content Paint (LCP): Measures how long it takes for meaningful content to appear on a page.
  • First Input Delay (FID): Measures how long it takes before a user can interact with the page.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures how much the page layout moves around during loading.

Why do you need Google Search Console?

Increase organic traffic

Increasing organic traffic is probably your number one priority. After all, this is what ultimately helps get your brand out there and improve sales in the long run. 

As we mentioned earlier, adding Google Search Console to Shopify gives you insight into how users are finding your website via organic search results. 

From these reports, you can find out what the most popular keywords (and keyword combinations) are, how your website is faring, and which pages are performing well. This helps you to optimize your SEO strategy to ensure that you boost your website rankings and appear on the first page of SERPs. This, in turn, will help you to generate more traffic to your website. 

Identify potential issues

Identifying and rectifying potential issues on your website can help improve your website health and boost overall rankings. 

Set up notification settings on Google Seach Console to opt for message alerts every time Google becomes aware of a problem on your site. This way, you’ll be the first to know about it without having to constantly check the tool for any updates.

You can then quickly fix these issues so as to not let them jeopardize your website’s health. 

Easily crawl your site

Googlebots are crawling the web every day to index websites and put them on the map. After all, that’s how information gets found on SERPs in the first place.

Using Google Search Console can help your website get crawled more efficiently so that it can start ranking on SERPs. Every day that your website or page doesn’t appear on SERPs, that’s a large number of opportunities missed.

How to add Google Search Console to Shopify

Step 1: Connect Google Analytics to Google Search Console

Connecting your Google Search Console to your Google Analytics account will help you analyze your SEO rankings with advanced data, giving you a complete scope of how your Shopify store is performing.

If you haven’t set up Google Analytics to Shopify, check out our guide on how to do so. 

Using the same login details for Google Analytics, set up a Google Search Console account.

Step 2: Verify Google Search Console on your Shopify Store

1. Once you’ve successfully created an account, click on ‘Add New Property’ on the top-left dropdown menu.

2. You will be given two choices based on property type: Domain or URL Prefix. Enter your Shopify URL under ‘URL Prefix’ and click on ‘Continue’.

Select a property type in Google Search Console. Source: Studio

Select a property type in Google Search Console. Source: Studio

You’ll be given a few different methods to verify your Shopify store. Choose the method ‘Verify by HTML tag’ to keep things simple (it’s a simple copy and paste). 

4. Click on ‘Copy’ next to the HTML tag to copy the string of code. 

5. Head back to your Shopify dashboard and click on Online Store > Themes

6. Click on ‘Actions’ and select ‘Edit Code’ from the dropdown menu.

7. From the left navigation, select the theme.liquid file and paste the code you copied earlier (step 4) under the <head> tag. 

Paste the HTML code under the <head> tag. Source: Studio

Paste the HTML code under the <head> tag. Source: Studio

8. Click on ‘Save’.

9. Go back to Google Search Console and click on ‘Verify’.

Verification might take a while. If you’ve done everything correctly, you will see an ‘Ownership Verified’ message. You can then click on ‘Go to Property’ on Google Search Console to access your newly-created property where you can analyze your website data.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free tool that provides reports that measure your site's search traffic and keyword performance and helps to fix these issues.

An example of Google Search Console’s dashboard. Source: Google

An example of Google Search Console’s dashboard. Source: Google

Some data you can gather from Google Search Console include the total number of clicks, number of impressions, and average keyword ranking. You can also use Google Search Console to submit pages to the Google index, to verify that your site’s URLs are healthy, and to check for errors across your domain.

These data provide insight into how your website is doing organically and can help you discover new keyword opportunities to optimize the performance of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs).

What can I use Google Search Console for?

Using Google Search Console for Organic Traffic

One of the most valuable resources from Google Search Console is the Performance Reports. Essentially, it gives businesses an overview of their website’s organic performance. 

When added to Shopify, Google Search Console can be used to learn which web pages receive the most impressions and clicks, and which keywords were used to find these pages. This helps you understand your target audience better and what they’re searching for. 

Here’s a breakdown of the metrics in the Performance Report:

  • Average Position: This refers to the average position of the topmost result from your site for a given keyword. 
  • Clicks: This metric refers to the number of clicks from Google search that results in users visiting your website. Do take note that, unlike Google Analytics, Google Search Console’s ‘clicks’ don’t account for bounce rates or page sessions. It just reflects the number of clicks — and this can show a discrepancy if you compare your data against Google Analytics.
  • Click-Through Rate: This metric is a measure of how many clicks the site has received, divided by the number of impressions received.
  • Impressions: This refers to how many times your website appears in SERPs, regardless of whether it gets clicked. Your results aren’t counted as impressions if they appear on the next page of search results that the searcher did not click on.

Using Google Search Console for Technical Site Health

Other than using Google Search Console to monitor your website performance, you can also use this tool to keep your website’s health in check and correct any errors that may damage its ranking. 

Let’s take a look at some of the site reports.

The Index Coverage Report

The Index Coverage Report allows you to see how well covered your site is in the Google index. This monitors how much of your site has been indexed to make sure that they’re as visible for SEO as they need to be.

  • Error: This means pages that have not been indexed. Clicking into this report will show a description of the specific errors. You should concentrate on fixing these issues first.
  • Warning: The means that the page is indexed by Google, but has an issue that may need to be addressed.
  • Excluded: The page is not indexed. This includes non-canonical pages, pages excluded by “no-index” tags, or because pages appear to be duplicates of other indexed pages and Google has selected its own canonical.
  • Valid: These are pages that are healthy and indexed.

The Sitemaps Report

An example of the Sitemaps tab on Google Search Console. Source: Reliable Soft

An example of the Sitemaps tab on Google Search Console. Source: Reliable Soft

A sitemap is a file where you provide important content about your website and the relationships between them. 

Sitemaps tell Google where to find these pages on your website so they can quickly crawl and index them. This is important because search engines can’t rank your content without first indexing it.

URL Inspection Tool

Using Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool, you can check the status and function of individual URLs on your website by testing each of them.

Basically, this tool helps you check if your page has already been indexed by Google — and if it’s not or if you’ve made changes to your page, you can request indexing here. This allows your page to get crawled quickly to rank on search engines.

Manual Actions Report

A manual action refers to the penalty given to a site by Google for violating its guidelines. Some of these include black hat SEO techniques that are spammy and seek to manipulate rankings. 

A Manual Actions Report contains a comprehensive list of all the manual actions that affect a site. If you’ve received a penalty from Google, this can result in pages or sites ranking lower or being omitted from SERPs. You could also lose all your organic traffic.

You can access the Manual Actions Report and rectify all affected pages. Keep in mind that you have to fix all the issues as fixing only some pages will not solve the problem. You can then request for Google to review your site again.

Mobile Usability Report

The Mobile Usability Report provides broad information about mobile friendliness and potential mobile issues on your site. It shows a list of pages that have problems when viewed on a mobile device. 

This allows you to review your sites’ design and mobile configurations to make sure that your site gives users the best experience on their mobile devices.

Core Web Vitals Report

This report gives web owners insights into their site’s loading speed which can affect a user’s experience. Pages with extremely poor load time could end up ranking lower in SERPs.

These are the metrics used:

  • Largest Content Paint (LCP): Measures how long it takes for meaningful content to appear on a page.
  • First Input Delay (FID): Measures how long it takes before a user can interact with the page.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures how much the page layout moves around during loading.

Why do you need Google Search Console?

Increase organic traffic

Increasing organic traffic is probably your number one priority. After all, this is what ultimately helps get your brand out there and improve sales in the long run. 

As we mentioned earlier, adding Google Search Console to Shopify gives you insight into how users are finding your website via organic search results. 

From these reports, you can find out what the most popular keywords (and keyword combinations) are, how your website is faring, and which pages are performing well. This helps you to optimize your SEO strategy to ensure that you boost your website rankings and appear on the first page of SERPs. This, in turn, will help you to generate more traffic to your website. 

Identify potential issues

Identifying and rectifying potential issues on your website can help improve your website health and boost overall rankings. 

Set up notification settings on Google Seach Console to opt for message alerts every time Google becomes aware of a problem on your site. This way, you’ll be the first to know about it without having to constantly check the tool for any updates.

You can then quickly fix these issues so as to not let them jeopardize your website’s health. 

Easily crawl your site

Googlebots are crawling the web every day to index websites and put them on the map. After all, that’s how information gets found on SERPs in the first place.

Using Google Search Console can help your website get crawled more efficiently so that it can start ranking on SERPs. Every day that your website or page doesn’t appear on SERPs, that’s a large number of opportunities missed.

How to add Google Search Console to Shopify

Step 1: Connect Google Analytics to Google Search Console

Connecting your Google Search Console to your Google Analytics account will help you analyze your SEO rankings with advanced data, giving you a complete scope of how your Shopify store is performing.

If you haven’t set up Google Analytics to Shopify, check out our guide on how to do so. 

Using the same login details for Google Analytics, set up a Google Search Console account.

Step 2: Verify Google Search Console on your Shopify Store

1. Once you’ve successfully created an account, click on ‘Add New Property’ on the top-left dropdown menu.

2. You will be given two choices based on property type: Domain or URL Prefix. Enter your Shopify URL under ‘URL Prefix’ and click on ‘Continue’.

Select a property type in Google Search Console. Source: Studio

Select a property type in Google Search Console. Source: Studio

You’ll be given a few different methods to verify your Shopify store. Choose the method ‘Verify by HTML tag’ to keep things simple (it’s a simple copy and paste). 

4. Click on ‘Copy’ next to the HTML tag to copy the string of code. 

5. Head back to your Shopify dashboard and click on Online Store > Themes

6. Click on ‘Actions’ and select ‘Edit Code’ from the dropdown menu.

7. From the left navigation, select the theme.liquid file and paste the code you copied earlier (step 4) under the <head> tag. 

Paste the HTML code under the <head> tag. Source: Studio

Paste the HTML code under the <head> tag. Source: Studio

8. Click on ‘Save’.

9. Go back to Google Search Console and click on ‘Verify’.

Verification might take a while. If you’ve done everything correctly, you will see an ‘Ownership Verified’ message. You can then click on ‘Go to Property’ on Google Search Console to access your newly-created property where you can analyze your website data.

Conclusion

And that’s it! We hope that this article has given you a deeper understanding of Google Search Console and how you can easily add it to your Shopify store.

When used in tandem with Google Analytics, you’ll have all the valuable data at your fingertips to fully understand your target audience’s behavior and how you can optimize your website to drive more traffic. 

So what are you waiting for? Get started with Google Search Console for your e-commerce business today!

Conclusion

And that’s it! We hope that this article has given you a deeper understanding of Google Search Console and how you can easily add it to your Shopify store.

When used in tandem with Google Analytics, you’ll have all the valuable data at your fingertips to fully understand your target audience’s behavior and how you can optimize your website to drive more traffic. 

So what are you waiting for? Get started with Google Search Console for your e-commerce business today!