How to Add Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console

How to Add Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console

One of the most important step in optimizing your WordPress site for SEO is adding it to Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).

Google Search Console offers specific webmaster tools to help website owners monitor and maintain their search presence and rankings.

When it comes to ranking high on Google, you’ll need all the SEO tools at your disposal. The way your website appears in search engines – particularly giants such as Google – can play a key role in its overall success, as well as how many hits it receives each month. However, many website owners don’t give this much thought.

Fortunately, tools such as Google Search Console make it possible to learn more about your website’s current standings. They also enable you to improve your site’s appearance on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), so you can stand out among the crowd.

What Is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service that enables you to track your website’s presence on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). You can use it to quickly submit new content, and to track the progress of your existing content. The tool can also be used for Google site verification, specifically site ownership.

This is a tool that can benefit just about anyone with a website. It enables you to:

  • Track current SERP standings
  • Monitor website errors
  • Uncover and resolve code markup errors
  • Integrate your application with your website

Plus, you can use this service to find out where your site appears on SERPs, and understand how users interact with it. In turn, these details can be used to inform your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts.

The Benefits of Using Google Search Console

There are many benefits to using Google Search Console on your website. This tool will not only enable you to improve your SEO techniques, but it will also offer you unique insight into your current setup.

Some of the most important advantages include the ability to improve your search appearance data, use structured data testing, and make improvements to your site’s HTML. You can even check on backlinks and optimize internal links.

When combined, these benefits mean you can improve both the look of your website on SERPs, and its overall performance.

You can also use Google Search Console for Google verification of domain ownership, provided that the domain name provider is included in the provider names list.

How to Verify a WordPress Site in Google Search Console

Before you can begin to reap the benefits offered by Google Search Console, you’ll need to verify your WordPress website. This will provide you with all the tools you need, and give you access to Google search data that’s relevant to your site.

Step 1: Go to Google Search Console

First, you’ll want to navigate to the Google Search Console home page. Then, sign in using your Google account.

Step 2: Add Property to Search Console

Next, click on the red ADD A PROPERTY button that’s located in the top right corner of the dashboard:

verify site with google

A box will appear, which will prompt you to paste in the URL of your website.

Step 3: Download the HTML Ownership Verification File

Under the Recommended method tab on the following screen, you’ll need to download the HTML verification file by clicking on the hyperlink provided:

google search console

Don’t forget to save this file to your computer.

Step 4: Upload the File to Your Website via FTP

This step requires direct access to your website’s server, which you can obtain via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or cPanel File Manager.

Using an FTP client such as FileZilla, enter your credentials and log into your server. You’ll then need to upload the file to your site’s root directory (which contains the wp-content folder, the wp-config.php file, etc.):

how to verify wordpress site with google

Click and drag the file from wherever you saved it on your computer to your site’s root folder.

Step 5: Go back to Search Console & Click “Verify”

Now, you can return to Google Search Console and click on Verify. This will complete the process!

Alternative Ways to Verify a WordPress Site in Google Search Console

If you can’t get direct access to your site’s server in order to upload the file, there are alternative ways to verify Google Search Console. Let’s take a look at each option.

We’ll assume that you’ve already added your site as a new property to your Google Search Console account, as described above.

HTML Tag

The easiest way to verify Google Search Console is by using a plugin such as Yoast SEO. After installing and activating the plugin, you can proceed with the following steps.

Step 1: Copy the Search Console Verification HTML Code

On the Google Search Console verification page, select the Alternate methods tab and choose HTML tag:

verify site using html tags

Copy only the code, which is located at the very end of the string provided.

Step 2: Log in to WordPress

Then, log in to your WordPress website, and navigate to SEO > Dashboard:

html tags to verify site with google search console

Choose the Webmaster tools tab from the top row on the next screen.

Step 3: Paste in the Search Console Verification Code

Here, paste the HTML code you copied a moment ago into the Google Search Console box:

google search console verification

Be sure to click on Save changes once you’re done.

Step 4: Go Back to Search Console & Click “Verify”

Finally, return to the Search Console and click on Verify:

verify wordpress site

You’ll then receive a success message, and you can now use this tool with your website.

DNS TXT Record

If you don’t want to add an extra plugin to your site, this method may be a better fit.

Step 1: Get the TXT Record

In Google Search Console, click on Alternate methods and select Domain name provider. In the drop-down menu, choose your domain registrar.

Next copy the TXT record that’s provided:

google site verification wordpress

Step 2: Add the TXT Record to Your DNS Provider

This step will vary, based on your DNS provider. In a nutshell, what you want to do is add the TXT record to your DNS server (being sure to choose TXT as the record type), and verify its addition.

Step 3: Go Back to the Search Console & Click “Verify”

Finally, return to Google Search Console and click on Verify.

Google Analytics

If you’re already using Google Analytics on your site (or you’re planning to), you can verify it with Google Search Console using this method. If you don’t have Google Analytics set up, you’ll want to do that first.

Step 1: Select “Google Analytics” As Your Verification Method

As before, start by clicking on Alternate methods in Google Search Console, and this time choose Google Analytics from the list.

Step 2: Click “Verify”

All you have to do next is click on Verify, and Google Search Console will use the Asynchronous Tracking Code to connect to your website.

Google Tag Manager

Similar to Google Analytics, you can use the code added to your website through Google Tag Manager to verify your site with Google Search Console.

If you haven’t already, you’ll first need to add the Google Tag Manager code to your website.

Step 1: Choose “Google Tag Manager” As Your Verification Method

After that, select Google Tag Manager from the list of Alternate methods in Google Search Console.

Step 2: Click “Verify”

Then click on Verify, and the Tag Manager code will be used to connect your website and get Google Search Console up and running.

Get Support for More Common WordPress Questions from WP Engine

WordPress is a popular Content Management System (CMS), and for good reason. It offers a wide array of features and functionality, and even beginners can use the platform with ease. However, even the most advanced users may find themselves needing assistance from time to time.

 

How to Add Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console (Second Step)

Adding Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console

First, you need to visit the Google Search Console website and click on the ‘Start Now’ button.

Start Google Search Console

Next, you’ll need to sign in with your Google / Gmail account.

Once logged in, you’ll be asked to enter your website URL.

There are two methods for site verification: domain name or URL prefix. We recommend the URL prefix method because it is more flexible.

Add website URL

Keep in mind that Google considers an HTTP and HTTPS as two different protocols. It also considers https://www.example.com and https://example.com as two different websites.

You need to enter the correct website URL used by WordPress.

If you are unsure, then there is an easy way to find out the exact URL you need to enter. Simply login to your WordPress admin area and go to Settings » General page.

There you will see your website’s URL in the site address field.

Copy your site address from WordPress settings page

After entering your correct website address in Google webmaster tools setup wizard, click on the ‘Continue’ button to go to the next step.

Now, you’ll be asked to verify ownership of your website. There are several ways to do that, but we will show the HTML tag method because it is the easiest one.

Copy the HTML tag

Click on the HTML tag to expand it and then copy the code inside it.

Now, you need to add this Google site verification meta tag in WordPress, so Google can verify that you are the owner of the website.

Most WordPress tutorials will guide you to just edit the header.php file in your WordPress theme and add the code just above the <body> tag.

However, we don’t recommend this method because if you update or change your theme, then the HTML tag will disappear.

Google periodically checks for the HTML tag and will disable your access to the site data in the search console if it cannot find the verification tag.

Here is how to make sure that Google can always verify your ownership of the website.

First, you need to install and activate the All in One SEO plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to All in One SEO » General Settings » Webmaster Tools page and click on “Google Search Console”.

The Webmaster Tools page in All in One SEO, to select Google Search Console

Then paste the code you copied from Google Search Console into the “Google Verification Code” box.

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your changes.

You can now go back to Google Search Console settings and click on the ‘Verify’ button.

Verify ownership

Google Search Console will now look for the HTML tag in your website code and will show you a success message.

Your website successfully added to Search Console

Note: If you don’t see a success message, then you need to clear your WordPress cache. This will ensure that Google can fetch the latest version of your website.

That’s all. You have successfully added your site to the Google Search Console (Webmaster tools). You can now click on the ‘Go to Property’ link to visit your Google Search Console dashboard.

Google Search Console dashboard

From here you can see your website’s performance reports and index coverage.

Add XML Sitemap to Google Search Console

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all your website content in XML format, so search engines like Google can easily discover and index your content.

The good news is, if you installed the All in One SEO plugin in the steps above, you’ve already added an XML sitemap to your site automatically.

To see your sitemap, go to All in One SEO » Sitemaps. From here, you can see the sitemap is automatically enabled for you.

Enable sitemap in All in One SEO

Next, you need to get the XML sitemap link. Simply click on the ‘Open Sitemap’ button, and you will see a link to your XML sitemap.

All in One SEO XML sitemap preview

From here, you can just copy the URL from your browser’s address bar.

Alternatively, you can directly access your XML sitemap by adding sitemap.xml at the end of your website address. For example:

https://www.example.com/sitemap.xml

Now that you have XML sitemap ready, let’s help Google find it quickly.

Simply switch to the Google Search Console dashboard and click on the Sitemaps menu from the left column.

Add your sitemap URL to Google Search Console

After that, you need to add the last part of your sitemap URL under the ‘Add new sitemap’ section and click the Submit button.

Google will now add your sitemap URL to your Google Search Console.

AIOSEO also comes with several other sitemaps like Video Sitemap, News Sitemap, and RSS sitemap that all help you get a competitive advantage and rank higher in SEO.

The process of submitting those sitemaps is the same as above.

That’s all, you have successfully added your website to Google Search Console.

The next step is to learn how to use the treasure trove of information in Google search console to grow your business. We have a complete Google Search Console guide for beginners which shows you how to make the most out of Google Search Console data.

Google Search Console and WordPress FAQs

Having helped thousands of readers add and verify their website in Google search console, we have seen just about every question you can think of. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

1. How can I upload a Google HTML verification file to my WordPress blog?

Google Search Console allows few different ways to verify website ownership. In this article, we covered the easiest method which is to use the Google site verification meta tag. However some website owners prefer to upload the HTML file to verify site ownership.

To upload the Google search console HTML verification file to WordPress, you will need to login to your WordPress hosting cPanel or connect to your hosting account using FTP.

Next, you need to upload the HTML verification file inside the /public_html/ folder of your website. This is the root directory where you’ll see other WordPress folders like /wp-admin/, /wp-content/, etc.

2. Should I use a Google Site verification plugin for WordPress?

There are many WordPress plugins that are designed specifically to help you with Google site verification. However you don’t need to use them because you’ll likely need to verify ownership on other webmaster tools and platforms like Bing, Yandex, Pinterest, etc.

It’s much better to use the All in One SEO plugin because it lets you add site verification for all platforms (in a single plugin). Not to mention, it also has a ton of other WordPress SEO features to help you rank better and get more traffic.

3. How can I become a power user of Google Search Console?

Google search console has a lot of useful information that you can use to grow your business. We have created the ultimate Google Search Console guide that you can use to become a power user.

4. I’m running into problems, is there a Google Search console phone number that I can contact?

No, there’s no Google search console phone number that you can contact. If you’re running into problems with Google search console, then you can use their online support center

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