Struggling with how to add your site to Google Search Console? Or maybe you’re still not sure what this Google Search Console thing even is?
Either way, I’m here to help.
I’ll start with a brief introduction to what Google Search Console is and how it can benefit your WordPress site (or really any type of site). Then, I’ll show you a few different methods for how to add your WordPress site to Google Search Console depending on what your current setup is.
A Quick Primer On What Google Search Console Is And Why You Want It
I’ll keep this really brief because you probably just want to get straight to the Google site verification options. But if you’ve stumbled upon this article and you’re not sure what Google Search Console is, here’s your quick introduction in a few bullet points.
- Google Search Console is an official service from Google that helps with SEO.
- It lets you add a sitemap for your site and control other important SEO settings, like how quickly Google crawls your site.
- It also lets you view helpful analytics, like which keywords your site ranks for and how many clicks/impressions your site gets.
If you engage in search engine optimization for your WordPress site at any level, you should absolutely take the time to add your WordPress site to Google Search Console.
The 5 Methods For Google Site Verification That I’ll Show You
Here are the methods that I’ll be covering in this post. You’ll learn how to complete the Google site verification process using:
- Your favorite WordPress SEO plugin. While most SEO plugins can help you complete the Google site verification steps, I’ll specifically cover how to do it using Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack because they’re the two most popular SEO plugins by the numbers.
- Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager. If you’re already using Google Analytics for analytics or Google Tag Manager for containers, you can connect to either of these services without having to add anything new to your site.
- Small code snippet in your <head> section. If you’re already using a plugin like Insert Headers or Footers, or if your theme has hooks that let you add code straight to the <head> section (Genesis, GeneratePress, Astra, etc.), then this is a convenient option.
- DNS record via your domain. This might be a little tricky for casual users, but it’s nice because it doesn’t involve adding any code directly to your website (so if you’re a performance optimization geek, you should go with this one).
- File that you upload. This isn’t my favorite method because it’s the most time-consuming and requires you to leave a file on your server. But this is Google’s recommended method, so I’ll cover it.
The Steps To Add Your Site To Google Console (Before Verification)
No matter which option you choose, you’ll still need to add your site to Google Search Console before you can verify it. The process is pretty simple, but let me run through it once just so that I don’t have to keep showing you for each different method.
To get started, head to Google Search Console and then click the button to Start now. You’ll then be prompted to add your site by entering its URL:
Once you’ve done that, you should see a list of options to Verify ownership (your interface might look a little different, but the main idea is the same):
This post is about how to use the methods on this list…
Five Easy Options For Google Site Verification
You only need to choose one of these methods. Pick whichever one seems easiest for you – they all get you to the same place in the end.
1. Yoast SEO Or All In One SEO Pack
If you’re already using a WordPress SEO plugin, it should offer you an easy way to complete the Google site verification process.
To get started, copy the value in the HTML tag option:
Then, you’ll need to add this value to your SEO plugin’s interface.
If you’re using Yoast SEO, you can do this by going to SEO → General → Webmaster Tools in your WordPress dashboard. Paste the full HTML tag into the Google verification code box:
Save your changes and you’re done!
If you’re using All in One SEO Pack, you can do this by scrolling to the Webmaster Verification area in the General Settings.
This time, though, you only need to paste a part of the HTML tag into the Google Webmaster Tools box. Specifically, you need the part in between content=”COPY_THIS”:
Then, add just that part to the All in One SEO Pack interface:
Save your changes and you’re done!
Once you’ve saved the changes in your SEO plugin, go back to the Google Search Console interface and click the Verify button to finish the process:
2. Google Analytics Or Google Tag Manager
If you’re already using Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager on your site, you can use those existing services to verify your site with Google Search Console because all three are official Google Services.
We have guides on both adding Google Analytics and adding Google Tag Manager if you’d like to use them. I wouldn’t add these services just to verify your site with Google Search Console, though.
Once you’ve successfully added Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager, you just need to choose the Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager options when you go to add your site to Google Search Console. Then, click Verify:
As long as you have your chosen service on your site, you should be good to go!
3. Code Snippet In Site Header
This is basically doing what SEO plugins do for you…but by yourself. If you want to do it manually, you can add that same HTML tag to your site’s <head> section by using:
For example, here’s what it looks like with the free Insert Headers and Footers plugin:
Once you’ve added the code snippet, hit the Verify button in the Google Search Console interface to finish things out.
4. DNS Record
This is the most complicated method, but it also completely eliminates the need to add any file or code to your site, which makes it the teeniest-weeniest more performance optimized.
To pull it off, you’ll need to be able to edit your domain’s DNS records. Usually, you’ll do this via your host. For example, at my SiteGround account, I can edit DNS records via cPanel:
On the other hand, if you’re using Cloudflare with your WordPress site, you’ll need to add the DNS record via Cloudflare’s interface.
Consult your host’s support documentation if you’re not sure where to edit DNS records. Google will also give you a tool to try and help you with instructions
Once you’re able to edit DNS records, copy the value from Google Search Console:
Then, create a new TXT record and paste that value in as the TXT Data. Depending on where you’re adding your record, you also might need to specify a TTL – you can just use 1800 as the value.
Once the DNS changes propagate (which might take a little while), you’ll be able to finish the verification process by clicking the Verify button in Google Search Console.
5. Upload File To Server
Finally, you can always use Google’s recommended method, which is to upload a file to your server.
You can download the file from the HTML file option in Google Search Console:
Then, you can upload it to your server using either FTP or cPanel File Manager.
Make sure to upload it to the root folder of your site. That’s normally the same folder that contains your wp-config.php file and the wp-admin subfolder.
Here’s how it looks in cPanel File Manager
Once you’ve uploaded the file, head back to the Google Search Console interface and click the Verify button.
You Need To Leave Your Verification Method In Place
Finally, it’s important to note that for all these methods you need to leave the code snippet or file in place. That is, verification is not a one-time thing – it’s ongoing. And if you remove the code snippet or file after verifying your site with Google, you’ll go back to being unverified.
So – no matter which method you choose, make sure to leave it in place for as long as you want to be able to use Google Search Console.
And that should be all you need to complete the Google site verification process.
Have any other questions about adding your WordPress site to Google Search Console? Leave a comment and we’ll try to help out!