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Tidying up https and Google Analytics and Search Console

As I’m sure most of you know, websites can be http or https, and www or non-www. There are other subdomain possibilities too, but for most of us that does make four possibilities for every domain. Of the four options from that set, whichever you choose, all the other three should resolve to the chosen version, and you should manually check that’s what happens if you type in any of the ‘wrong’ ones. If you’re still on http and try the https version, you may get a warning message – that’s normal, so don’t worry. But have you checked all these recently, especially if you’re on https?

  • http://[yourdomain].com
  • http://www.[yourdomain].com
  • https://[yourdomain].com
  • https://www.[yourdomain].com

Now, how do we account for these in Google Analytics and Google Search Console? Because we certainly need to.

In Google Analytics, the procedure is quite easy, although many people still need to do this. Just go to Admin > Property and for each Property (site) in the dropdown box, check under “Property Settings” that you have the correct “Default URL”, with or without the www and with either http or https in the dropdown.

Also under property settings, scroll down to “Search Console” and check you’re linked to the right Search Console site. You may need to create this as a new one if it doesn’t exist; if so, go to Search Console and do that, then come back and delete the existing association, replacing it with the new site.

In Google Search Console, I like to set up four different sites, even though everything should be directed to one. If you’re still on http, you won’t want to be setting up the https ones, but it’s a good idea to have www and non-www sites. Only the preferred one will be linked from Google Analytics though.

You can also now group the different search console sites into a ‘set’, which will aggregate the search analytics data. This is another useful exercise. You can find instructions here.

Finally, if you’re running Google AdWords, check the ads are going to the preferred URLs, and you may need to update the link to Search Console there too, if you’ve made it.

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