How to Set Up Google Search Console!
Whether you have an online business, or you are just a blogger intending to get a passive income from your website, you need to set up Google Search Console. In this article, we will work together step by step to set up Google Search Console in a few minutes only.
This is super easy, totally free and can be done in several ways. You just need to choose what works better for you.
Trust us, this is the only guide you’ll ever need on how to set up Google Search Console — the right way.
So let’s get started.
Why do we need Google Search Console?
Free SEO tools are many, but Google Search Console (or GSC) is definitely one of the top powerful SEO tools that can help you optimize your website’s organic search presence. You may think that GSC is used to give you reports about clicks and impressions on your site. That’s true, but this is just the smallest part of the story. Google Search Console helps you to
Find which keywords are driving traffic
Locate the errors on your site.
Discover the rank of your pages.
Analyze the backlinks of your site.
Set a more mobile-friendly website.
Know whenever your site is hacked
All of these roles and more are for free if you just set up Google Search Console, but how can we do that? Let’s start together.
How to set up Google Search Console account?
To set up Google Search Console, follow these steps carefully:
Step 1: Sign up to Google Search Console
To sign up, you need a Google account. You can use any of your Google accounts which you use for Google Analytics, Adwords, etc or you can create a new one for your business. After all, it is free.
Step 2: Add a property by entering your domain (or URL-Prefix)
Now, you just signed in to your account. It is time to start the actual work. You must add a property( the property is your business landing page, application, etc…). There are two ways for adding a property, either by entering your domain or via a URL prefix.
All the recommendations of experts suggest setting up Google Search Console using a domain, but both of them are good and easy. We will explain them step by step.
You must be asking yourself why it is better to go for the domain method.
With the domain method, you set up your account as a domain-level property. Thus it includes your domain, subdomains as well as Url and Url Prefix associated with your domain.
Select adding property type by Domain:
Write the link to your domain ( domain.com) and click “Continue.”
Select adding property by “URL-prefix”:
This method lets you set up a URL prefix property. In this case, the Google Search console will be connected to one version of your site which is the one you used its link. This will not give you any data related to other protocols or subdomains.
If you have no choice to use the first method, then you must use a URL prefix. However, in this case, you must create a property for all the possible URLs ( https://yourdomain.com/ http://yourdomain.com/ https://www.yourdomain.com/ http://www.yourdomain.com ) to guarantee getting accurate data. You should also create a property for each subdomain you use.
Step 3: Verify Your Website
Now, your Google Search Console is ready. You just have to verify your website and start gathering data. There are many verification processes according to the option you chose in the previous step. You can either verify your website for a domain property or a URL prefix property.
Verification for a Domain Property
If you choose to add a property by the domain, there will be one way to verify this domain-level property. This will be through your DNS provider. Just follow these steps:
Try to find your DNS provider(the company you bought your domain from) in the dropdown list. If you find it, click on it. If you don’t see its name, click on “Any DNS service provider”.
Click on “Copy” beside the Txt record to copy it.
Open your domain registrar’s site in a new tab and log in (it is the same for any domain registrar’s site like Namecheap, GoDaddy, BlueHost, Hostinger, Hostgator, etc…)
Select the domain you want to verify.
Find the option allowing you to manage your DNS records (Look for the mention of “DNS” and click on it, as its location is different for each provider).
If you are using GoDaddy, go to “My Account” then click on “My Products”. Find your domain and select “DNS” next to it.
You will see a list of all the DNS records of the domain. Leave them and click on the Add button to add the record we copied before.
Choose TXT as your DNS type, write @ as the host and leave “TTL” as it is. Now, paste the TXT record into the field for “TXT Value.” Then click on “Save.”
The same process is similar for all domain providers.
- Go back to the Google Search Console setup then select “Verify” to finish the process.
You should see this message:
You may not see data immediately as updating DNS records usually take up to 72 hours.
Verification for a URL-prefix Property
In case you don’t have access to your domain’s registrar or you are worried about messing with your DNS records, you can still verify your property by setting up Google Search Console using a URL prefix property. This process can be done in many ways as the picture below suggests.
Let’s see how each method work:
For this method, you need access to your server via cPanel File Manager then upload an HTML file to the root folder of your website. This is easy, just follow these steps:
- Download the Html file provided by Google Search Console.
- Go to your service>File manager> public_html of your site.
- Upload the file as shown in the image below.
- Go back to Search Console, and click “Verify”
HTML Tag: To set up Google Search Console for WordPress
Another good way to set up Google Search Console is with an HTML tag which you must add in the head section of your WordPress.
This is a very easy way which can be done through two ways by following these steps:
First method: Copy the tag from the Google search console and paste it to the header.php file in your theme editor.
Second method: Use a plugin that helps you add the tag to the header
Most website owners prefer to use method two to avoid messing up their Html codes. In this case:
- Copy the tag from Google Search Console.
- Log into your WordPress dashboard.
- Install the plugin which is called Insert Headers and Footers plugin.
- In the plugin: Go to Settings>Insert Headers and Footers.
- Paste the tag copied previously in the “Scripts in Header” field.
- Go back to Google Search Console then you must click “Verify”
- Google Analytics
This is the easiest way in the world. If you have already set up a Google Analytics account and installed a tracking code on your site, you can set up Google Search Console by verifying a User-prefix property by opening the Google Analytics verification box and clicking verify. Just see the image below:
Google Tag Manager
The method is similar to the Google Analytics verification one.
If you are using Google Tag Manager for. your site, you can open the Google Tag verification box in Google Search Console and click verify.
Set up Google Search Console for WordPress
We discussed above how to verify Search Console on WordPress using an HTML tag as well as by installing the header plugin. However, you can also verify Google. Search Console using Yoast SEO and All-in-One SEO by following these steps:
1- Sign up to Google Search Console and add a URL prefix property as mentioned above.
2-Copy the HTML tag provided in GSC.
3-For Yoast SEO:
- All-in-One SEO:
- Go to WordPress Dashboard> SEO>General.
- Choose the “Webmaster Tools” tab and paste your tag into the field
- Click “Save changes.”
4- For All-in-One SEO:
- Go to WordPress Dashboard, click on “All in One SEO” then on General Settings.
- Paste GCS tag into the field for Google Webmaster Tools
- Click “Update.”
5- Go back to your Google Search Console then press “Verify.”
With all the methods mentioned above, you have no excuse to not set up Google Search Console and grow your business depending on real statistics and reports. You just have to create a Google Search Console account, add a property and verify it using one of the mentioned methods. Sounds great, right? Let’s start today.