How To Configure Google Search Console (Beginners)

What is Google Search Console? And why it is so important- These are the questions that may come into your mind, so let’s clear it all.

As soon as your website goes live, the Google search engine automatically starts crawling and indexing your website, so that it can show search results from your website whenever someone on Google types a query related to your blog or website topic.

So far everything is good, Google search engine advanced enough to crawl and index your website. But in some cases especially for newly launched websites, it may take some time to crawl and index your website. Here Google Search Console comes handy to solve this problem.

Google Search Console gives you the freedom to manually submit your website or pages to the Google Search engine for indexing. There are also several other benefits of having a Search Console account and some of them are as follows: 

  • You can monitor the site’s Search traffics and performance
  • Shows bad URLs of your website so you can fix them to index
  • You can analyze your site’s impressions, clicks, and position on Google Search, and accordingly, you can optimize your content to rank better in Google Search results.
  • Get Email alerts when Google identifies issues on your site
  • The URL Inspection tool helps you understand how Google search sees your pages by providing detailed crawl, index, and serving information about your pages.

I hope I have answered both the above mentioned questions, now we will learn how to add your website to Google Search Console. So let’s begin.

How to add your website to Google Search Console (Step By Step)

Step 1: Go to Google Search Console by clicking this link

Google-Search-Consol-setup

Step 2: Click on Start Now and it will take you to the login page (use your google account to log in) or if you are already logged in, it will open a Google Search Console Welcome page.

As you can see there are two options available to enter your website information, you can choose any one of two, but we recommend to go with the URL prefix option because it’s the easy one to verify ownership of your website.

Now select URL prefix and enter your exact website URL on which your website is currently running. It can be anything like https://www.howdywp.com/ or http://www.howdywp.com/  or https:/howdywp.com/  or http:/howdywp.com/.

If you don’t know the exact URL of your website, you can do two things – first, open your website home page and copy the URL, second if your website is a WordPress website simply login into your WordPress admin dashboard and go to Settings > General.

There you will see your site URL under the Site Address (URL) field.

wordPresssiteurl

For example, my website is also built on WordPress and my exact URL is https://www.howdywp.com/.

Now enter your site URL under URL prefix and hit the Continue button.

Note: If you have already integrated Google Analytics (GA code) on your website then you don’t need to do anything else to verify your website ownership because it will automatically get verified on hitting the Continue button. You can skip step 3 and jump to step 4 directly

If you didn’t integrate Google Analytics on your website, you need to verify your website ownership using any one method shown below.

methods-of-verfications-Google-search-console

You can use any method to verify your ownership, but we will show you the HTML tag method because it is the easiest one to implement. Click on the HTML tag to expand it and then copy the code inside it.

htmltagverification

Step 3: Ownership Verification using HTML tag

Now we need to add this HTML tag code to your website, so Google can verify that you are the owner of this website. There are several ways to accomplish this. I will show you all methods, so you can choose the one you find easy to implement.

Method 1: WordPress Theme Option 

Almost all premium themes have a default header and footer script section which is located inside Theme options. So you can use the header section to add HTML tag code to your website.

To accomplish it, login to the WordPress admin dashboard and head over to the theme setting options, look for the  ‘Add Header script’ section and paste the HTML tag there.

For example, in my case I found the header script section by heading over to Dashboard > XYZ (theme name) > theme options > General > Custom codes > Header code. Depending on your theme, the path may change, but it should be there somewhere under the theme setting option.

This method is the easiest one and you have successfully added an HTML tag to your website without using any plugin. 

Now head back to Google Search Console Settings and click on verify.

Google will now try to detect HTML tag on your website and show you a success message. You can now explore Google Search console by clicking on Go To Property.

done-verification

Note: If you did everything right and still get an error, try to purge all your cache from the caching plugin.

If your theme does not have this header script section by default. You can still add the HTML tag using other methods mentioned below.

Method 2: Insert Header and Footers Plugin

This plugin lets you insert the HTML tag code into your theme’s header and footer area. Install and activate the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. Once activated, go to Settings > Insert Headers and Footers option.

Here you need to paste your HTML tag code that you copied earlier into the Head section as shown in the image above. Then click on save changes.

Now head back to Google Search Console Settings and click on verify.

Google will now try to detect HTML tag on your website and show you a success message. You can now explore Google Search console by clicking on Go To Property.

Method 3: Insert manually into the theme’s header file

In this method, we are going to edit your theme’s files to insert the tracking code. However, making any changes directly to your main theme files is not recommended. If you do, they will get lost when you update your main theme.

So the best way is to do it in a child theme. The child theme is best for editing any files, all the premium themes come with a child theme if you don’t have one, you can always create it manually. 

Now we are ready to insert the HTML tag into the theme’s files.

Simply copy the header.php file from the main theme into your child theme folder and start editing it. Then paste the HTML tag right before the closing  </head> tag.

That’s it, now save and upload the file back to your server.

Now head back to Google Search Console Settings and click on verify.

Google will now try to detect HTML tag on your website and show you a success message. You can now explore Google Search console by clicking on Go To Property.

Step 4: Submit Your Website to Google Search Console

In order to submit your website to Google, we need an XML sitemap of your website. 

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the URLs of your website in XML format. This allows search engines like Google to crawl and index the site more efficiently.

To generate an XML Sitemap of your WordPress site we need to install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. If you already have one, pretty good.

Now go to SEO > General > Features and scroll down to XML sitemaps, click on the question mark icon (?) next to the XML sitemaps, it will expand the box and reveal the “see the XML sitemaps” option, click on it.

sitemapforgooglesearchconsole1

It will open the XML site of your website. It should be something like this.

sitemapforgooglesearchconsole2

Now copy the URL from the browser’s address bar. You have successfully generated the XML sitemaps of your website. 

Now it’s time to submit it to Google Search Console.

Go to Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools)  and click on Sitemaps.

Add-website-to-Google-Search-console

After that, you need to add the last part of your sitemap URL under the section ‘Add a new sitemap’ and click on submit

That’s it, you have successfully submitted your website to Google Search console. Google will now crawl and index your website more efficiently. Go and explore Google Search console.

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Pankaj Kumar

Passionate Blogger With Over 8 Years Of Experience In Blogging and Web Development Field.

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