Site owners, here’s how to connect your website to Google Search Console (once known as Google webmaster tools), so you can understand how your website performs in Google organic search results.
Google search console help you track ranking positions of your website pages, queries that bring users and technical SEO like core web vitals performance but it will also provide insights into any issues your site is experiencing index coverage, crawling, mobile site, search appearance and xml sitemap coverage reports.
Here are detailed instructions on adding Google search console to your website and each step of the set up process so you can get the full benefits of Google’s free organic search performance management tool and optimise your website for organic search.
How to Connect Google Search Console to Your Website
Here’s a quick video that can help you understand how to integrate Google Search console code in your website, so you can get stats and data on your website’s SEO performance.
Set Up & Login to Your Google Account
Go to Google Account sign in page
Click create account
Fill in the fields;
Choose your name and username
Choose a secure password
Add a phone number (if you want to).
Once you have your Google email address you can start accessing Google’s suite of web performance tracking tools and services.
Tip; you can also use an existing email account to access Google search console. Just select “use my current email address instead” during the account creation process.
You’ll receive an email to that account asking you to click a link to verify your access to the account.
Add your website to Google Search Console
Navigate to; https://search.google.com/u/1/search-console
Login with your Google account, if you’re not already signed in.
Select “Add property” from the dropdown list at the top left of Google Search Console.
Choose domain or URL prefix to verify your property on Google Search Console.
How to Verify Your Site
There are two ways to verify ownership of your domain in Search Console and to begin to see data of your organic search performance from Google.
Adding the domain via DNS verification
Adding a URL prefix with HTML tag verification
Verify Ownership via a DNS Record
Complete the ownership verification by creating a TXT record in the DNS settings for your domain where your domain name was purchased (this could be GoDaddy, NameCheap or another domain name provider).
This will ensure your parent domain and all subdomains and properties are included.
Select your domain hosting provider if you’d like to see specific instructions for each domain provider.
Otherwise, copy the TXT record from the Google search console account.
navigate to your domain hosting provider and open your DNS settings.
Create a DNS record that includes the verification code that you copied from Google Search Console.
Verify with the HTML Tag Method
Using the URL prefix option to add your property is much easier.
Add your URL (remember to create variations for both https:// and http:// and versions for subdomains if you’d like to view these separately).
You’ll get an HTML tracking code that you will need to add to the homepage of your website.
Fortunately, most CMS systems make it incredibly easy to add this HTML tag to your website and provide a field within the site’s admin settings where you can paste and save the HTML tag so it will appear on your website.
Where to Find HTML Tag Verification Method on WordPress
Various WordPress plugins have different fields for webmaster tools verification. Here is where to find them on some popular WordPress SEO plugins.
Using Yoast SEO
Click on Yoast in the left-hand menu.
Select “Webmaster Tools”
Copy the HTML tracking code from Google Search Console and save it in the correct box.
With the code included in the Google verification box, your site should connect and you should start to see data appearing in Google Search Console in a few days.
Using All in One SEO
Set up your Google search console account
Navigate to All in one SEO in your WordPress admin
Click “General settings”
Select your search engine, in this case, Google search console
Paste your HTML verification code and press verify.
HubSpot handles verification of your website with Google search console automatically when you enable their “Google search console integration” feature on your WordPress property.
They suggest contacting their support team if verification fails.
Copy the HTML meta tag from your Google Search Console account.
Click “Rank Math”
paste your verification HTML tracking code in the correct box to verify your site ownership.
Other Methods to Verify Google Search Console on Your Domain
There are a few alternative methods that can be used to help add and verify a domain on GSC. These require the set up of an alternative free product, which is usually very similar to the basic GSC property set up process.
Using Google Tag Manager
If you’ve already installed Google Tag Manager (GTM) on your domain property then you won’t need to do anything to also verify ownership of search console.
Just open Google search console using the same Google account you used to set up and install your GTM code.
Navigate to; https://search.google.com/search-console/ownership
Choose GTM as your verification method and your domain should automatically verify and appear in GSC.
Using Google Analytics
If you’ve already installed Google Analytics, you won’t need to verify Search Console.
Just choose Google Analytics verification from the Google Search Console verification page: https://search.google.com/search-console/ownership
Provided Google Analytics tracking code is correctly set up, your domain property will automatically appear in your GSC.
How to Check Your Ownership Verification Status in Google Search Console
To check your ownership verification status of any domain property in your GSC account you need to;
Load up this page; https://search.google.com/search-console/ownership
Select your domain property from the left hand menu.
You should see a green tick informing you that you are a verified owner.
Repeat the process as many times as necessary to add all of your websites.
How Long Does Google Search Console Take to Show Data?
You should begin to see data within your search console account after a few days.
However, this will be longer for newly launched websites and those on fresh domains.
This is because it will take time for Google to crawl, understand and index pages from a fresh domain.
Enjoy using your search console property and collecting data on your website from search console.