How to Add WordPress Site to Google Search Console
If you are serious about growing your website then you need to add your site to Google Search Console from day one.
Why and How that we will see in this guide but before that let see what is it?
Table of Contents
What Is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tool) is a free tool offered by Google that helps you in analyzing the performance and behaviour of your website in a search engine.
It identifies the issues of your website and can also let you know if your site is infected with malware.
If you don’t have a Google Search Console account, then you need to get one now.
How To Add Google Search Console To WordPress Website
First of all, go to Google Search Console and click on Start Now and sign up using your Google account.
Upon signup, when you click on the hamburger menu at the top right corner you will see an option of ‘Add a property’ click on that.
Now you will get two methods for site verification:
- Domain name
- URL prefix
We recommend using the URL prefix method because it is more flexible.
Enter the URL of your website and click on continue. Make sure you’re using the correct protocols.
Because 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.
Once you add your website. You will get a few options to verify the ownership of the website you are adding.
You can go with the recommended method. However, I suggest you go with the alternate method (This is the most reliable way).
In the recommended method you need to download and then upload the HTML file to your website root directory using FTP.
If you are familiar with adding the file through FTP you can go with this process else choose the Alternate method.
To do so, go to other verification methods followed by ‘HTML tag’. Copy the meta tag and paste it into your header file (header.php) of your WordPress theme.
However, I don’t recommend directly editing header files 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.
Instead, I recommend using Insert Header and Footer plugin (it’s free and reliable) to insert code into your WordPress website. It is the safest way to add any kind of scripts.
Once you install and activate this plugin simply go to the dashboard of your WordPress admin panel click on ‘Settings’ followed by ‘Insert Header and Footer’and paste the meta tag into the header field.
Save the changes and get back to the webmaster console and hit the ‘Verify’ button.
Google Search Console will now look for the HTML tag in your website code and will show you a success message. That’s it simple as that.
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.
From here you can see your website’s performance reports and index coverage.
Let’s tell Google a little bit more about your website by adding XML sitemap. It helps Google to crawl your website a bit more efficiently.
Actually, sitemaps allow the search engine to crawl the site more intelligently and informs search engines about URLs on a website that are available for crawling.
How You Can Add Your Website To Google Search Console Using Yoast SEO Plugins
If you are using the Yoast SEO plugin. Copy the ‘Verification Key Code*’ from the meta tag, go to ‘webmaster tools’ under ‘SEO’ and paste the verification key in the ‘Google search console’ field. For reference check the below screenshot.
Frequently asked questions
I have already covered the easiest way to verify your website by using an HTML tag.
However, 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.