How to set up Google Search Console

All methods explained how to set up and verify your website with Google Search Console, described with video examples.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is your way as a site owner to give instructions to Google on how to scrape/crawl your site and what pages you think Google should index. Google may not follow them always, but it is best practice to have it set up and it is the only way to control your site presence in the Google search results page (SERP).

Do I have acccess to Google Search Console?

If you don’t know whether or not you have access, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Search Console and sign in with your Google account.
  2. Do you see your site in the list?

    screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-10-34-58
    If yes, great!

  3. If not, you do not have access.
    Do this:

    1. Find out who in your organization manages this, a CTO, webmaster or web editor probably, and have them give you access
    2. Or if you are the site owner, follow any of the steps below to set verify it:

Verification Details: the methods to verify your site with Google Search Console

When you are setting up your site with Search Console, you will reach the Verification Details page.

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How to find them later on, if you had to cancel or want to re-verify:

In Google Search Console, select your site. Then click the top right cog wheel, and select Verification Details.

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Methods of verifying Google Search Console …

How to verify Search Console by uploading an HTML file

  1. Select HTML file upload in the list of methods. If you don’t see it, check the Alternate methods tab.
  2. Click the link to download the HTML verification file.
  3. Upload the HTML verification file to your web root. In WordPress:
    1. Go to Plugins > Add New
    2. Do a search for “file manager”
    3. Add, and activate a file manager compatible with your version of WordPress.
    4. Go to the file manager, and upload the HTML verification file
  4. Go back to Search Console and confirm the upload by visiting the file you just uploaded.
  5. Click the Verify button.

How to verify Search Console with Google Tag Manager using WordPress plugins

  1. Select Google Tag Manager in the list of methods. If you don’t see it, check the Alternate methods tab.
  2. Go to Google Tag Manager and add an account. Select a Web Container.
  3. Copy the container code to all header pages of your site. In WordPress:
    1. Copy the Google Tag Manager container ID, it looks like GTM-ABCDEF.
    2. Go to WordPress and Plugins > Add New
    3. Do a search for “google tag manager”
    4. Install, and activate a Google Tag Manager plugin compatible with your version of WordPress and save your changes.
    5. Go to the Google Tag Manager, and paste the Google Tag Manager container ID
  4. Go back to Search Console and click the Verify button.

How to verify Search Console by adding an HTML tag (META)

  1. Select HTML tag in the list of methods.

    If you don’t see it, check the Alternate methods tab.

  2. Copy the META tag snippet of code.
  3. Open your website’s header file.
    In WordPress it is called Theme Header (header.php) and found under Appearance > Editor.
  4. Paste the meta tag somewhere in between <head> and </head> and save the file.
  5. Go back to Search Console and click the Verify button.

How to verify Search Console by adding the Google Analytics script

The Google account used for Search Console must have edit permission for the Google Analytics property.

  1. Select Google Analytics in the list of methods. If you don’t see it, check the Alternate methods tab.
  2. Go to Google Analytics and create an account.
  3. Copy the website tracking code
  4. Open your website’s header file.
    In WordPress it is called Theme Header (header.php) and found under Appearance > Editor.
  5. Paste the coce somewhere in between <head> and </head> and save the file.
  6. Go back to Search Console, and click the Verify button.

How to verify Search Console by adding the Google Analytics script through a WordPress plugin

The Google account used for Search Console must have edit permission for the Google Analytics property.

  1. Select Google Analytics in the list of methods. If you don’t see it, check the Alternate methods tab.
  2. Go to Google Analytics and create an account.
  3. Add the Tracking ID to WordPress:
    1. Copy the Google Analytics Tracking ID, it looks like UA-1234578-1.
    2. Go to WordPress and Plugins > Add New
    3. Do a search for “google analyitcs”
    4. Install, and activate a Google Analytics plugin compatible with your version of WordPress and save your changes.
    5. Go to the Google Analytics plugin, paste the Tracking ID, and Save Changess
  4. Go back to Search Console, and click the Verify button.

What will happen next?

Data in Google Search Console lags about 48 hours.

Just wait, and check in again after a couple of days.

Modified on:
2018-05-03
Published on:
2016-11-28
Published by:
David Jurelius