How to create and set up google search console – The Easy Way
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.
In this article, we will show you how to easily add and verify your WordPress site in Google Search Console also known as Webmaster Tools.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google to help website owners monitor their website’s presence in Google search results.
It helps you track search rankings along with keeping you updated about site errors, security issues, and indexing issues that may affect your website’s search performance.
If you are serious about WordPress SEO, then you need to add it to Google webmaster tools from day one.
That being, let’s take a look at how to easily add your site to Google Search Console.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Upon activation, go to All in One SEO » General Settings » Webmaster Tools page and click on “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.
Google Search Console will now look for the HTML tag in your website code and will show you a success message.
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.
From here you can see your website’s performance reports and index coverage.
Before you do that, let’s tell Google a little bit more about your website. This will help Google crawl your website a bit more efficiently.
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.
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.
rom here, you can just copy the URL from your browser’s address bar.
Alternatively, you can directly access your XML sitemap by adding
sitemap_index.xml at the end of your website address. For example:
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.
NB: You can submit multiple sitemap too
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.
That’s all, you have successfully added your website to Google Search Console.
Always check back on google search console increase you encounter an error.