What is Search Console?
Search Console is a useful free tool provided by Google and is a must for anyone doing SEO for Google (basically everyone).
You will get a ton of useful data about your search engine rankings and traffic and helpful tools:
- Discover which keywords and pages give you the most impressions and clicks
- Check your average rankings and get keyword ideas
- Submit your sitemaps for indexing or request for recrawls
- View website errors and penalties (mobile-friendliness, indexation, etc)
How to set up a 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 a Google account is required. You can use the same Google account you use for Gmail, Analytics, Adwords, etc., or create a new account for your business. After all, it’s free!
Step 2: Add a property by entering your domain (or URL-Prefix)
Now, you’re logged in to your account. It’s time to link your domain. There are two ways to do this, you can either add a property by entering your domain or via a URL prefix.
Step 3: Verify Your Website Property
Now, your Google Search Console is ready to roll. Now you’ll have to verify your website in order to gather 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.
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 works:
For this method, you need access to your server via FTP or cPanel File Manager and 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”
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 in 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”
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:
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.
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 above, there’s no reason not to set up Google Search Console and grow your business based on real stats and reports. All you have to do is create a Google Search Console account, add properties, and verify using one of the methods mentioned above. Sounds good. Start today.