How to Use Google Search Console: Adding and Verifying Your Website in Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool that helps you monitor your website and optimize it. It is a valuable tool to use to gain an insight into your website performance and to address any issues before they impact your website or Google search rankings.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that helps you monitor and optimize your website’s performance in Google search. Google Search Console gives you data and analytics about your website’s performance on Google. It helps you track and improve how Google crawls and indexes your website for the Google search index.

Google Search Console was previously called “Google Webmaster Tools”. Search Console can provide valuable insights to business owners and digital marketers to improve their search rankings on Google. Since Google is the largest search engine, improving your search or SEO rankings on Google is important to increase leads, conversions and traffic to your website.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Google Search Console?

Google Search Console offers free tools and reports to:

  • Monitor website performance and site traffic.
  • Check web pages are indexed.
  • Fix indexing errors.
  • Track search performance such as top search queries used to find your site; the number of clicks and impressions for each query; top website pages accessed; countries from which users access your website; devices used and more.
  • Optimize your site for Mobile usability, AMP and Rich Results.
  • Monitor any security issues like hacking or malware, or manual actions.
  • Monitor websites that link to your site.
  • Improve website content with search analytics.
  • Submit updated content.
  • Submit sitemaps.
  • Receive alerts on any issues that Google finds on your site.
  • Understand how Google Search sees your web pages.

How to Activate and Use Google Search Console For Your Website

To use Google Search Console to track your website’s search performance on Google, and access search data, you will need to activate Search Console for your website.

Here are the steps to follow:

1. Go to Google Search Console at https://search.google.com/search-console/about.
2. Sign in to your Google account
3. Click ‘Add a Property’ in the Properties list on left menu.
4. Select ‘Property Type’.

There are 2 options to select property type

a. Domain

  • Google recommends creating at least 1 domain property for your website since it gives the most comprehensive view.
  • This method requires DNS verification.

b. URL Prefix

  • This method is simpler.
  • There are many verification methods available.
  • You can use it to verify just a part of your site. example, a subdomain.

google search console property types

5. Pick a verification method to verify your site ownership.

How to Verify Your Site Ownership in Google Search Console

There are 7 methods of verifying your site ownership in Google Search Console. Google recommends using more than one method to verify your site.

We have found that the “HTML file upload” method is one of the simpler methods to verify your site, and using one verification method is usually sufficient.

  1. DNS Record
  2. HTML File Upload
  3. HTML Tag
  4. Google Analytics Tracking Code
  5. Google Tag Manager Container Snippet
  6. Google Sites
  7. Blogger

1. DNS Record Verification

In this method, you will copy the DNS TXT record given in Search Console to your domain name provider.

• Click “Add Property”
• Select Property Type – Add your website URL in “Domain” option. Click “Continue”.
• If your DNS provider is listed in the dropdown, select your DNS provider. You will get simpler instructions to log into your DNS provider and verify ownership.
• If your DNS provider is NOT listed in the dropdown, you will need to

  • Log in to your domain name provider.
  • Copy the TXT record given in Search Console into the DNS configuration for your domain name.

• Select “Verify”.
• DNS changes may take time. If verification fails, wait a day and then try and verify again.

google search console DNS record verification

2. Verify with HTML File Upload

In this method, you will upload the HTML verification file given in Search Console to your website root directory.

• Click “Add Property”
• Select Property Type – Add your website URL in “URL Prefix” option. Click “Continue”.
• Copy the HTML verification file given in Search Console and use a HTML editor to open the code. The file should be a .html file.
• Upload the HTML file to the root directory of your website. The root directory is generally the home page.
• Go to Search Console and Select “Verify”.

google search console HTML file upload verification

3. Verify with HTML Tag

In this method, you will copy the HTML tag given in Search Console to your Home Page.

• Click “Add Property”
• Select Property Type – Add your website URL in “URL Prefix” option. Click “Continue”.
• Expand the “HTML Tag” section and copy the meta HTML tag.
• Paste the meta HTML tag to your home page section. Google recommends placing the code in your <head> section of the web page• Select “Verify”.

4. Verify with Google Analytics Tracking Code

In this method, you will need a Google Analytics account under the same Google account as your Search Console account.

• Open the Home Page in a browser and verify that the Google Analytics tracking code is in thesection.• Click “Add Property”• Select Property Type – Add your website URL in “URL Prefix” option. Click “Continue”.• Select “Verify”.

5. Verify with Google Tag Manager Container Snippet

In this method, you will need to have Search Console in the same Google account as Google Tag Manager.

• Open the Home Page in a browser and verify that it has the “noscript” portion of Tag Manager code immediately after the openingtag.
• Click “Add Property”
• Select Property Type – Add your website URL in “URL Prefix” option. Click “Continue”.
• Select “Verify”.

6. Verify with Google Sites

• Log in to Search Console with the same account used for your Google Site.
• Click “Add Property”
• Select Property Type – Add your website URL in “URL Prefix” option. Click “Continue”.
• Select “Verify”. Your Google Site should be verified automatically.
• If you have a new site, or a custom URL, you should use the Google Analytics method to verify your site.

7. Verify with Blogger

• Log in to Search Console with the same account used for your Blog.
• Click “Add Property”
• Select Property Type – Add your website URL in “URL Prefix” option. Click “Continue”.
• Select “Verify”. Your Blog should be verified automatically.

For more details on site verification methods for Search Console, read the Google documents or watch the Search Console videos listed under references below.

Conclusion

Google Search Console is a valuable tool to monitor and improve your website’s search or SEO rankings in Google.

Search Console provides valuable information on
• Website performance
• Website traffic
• Search analytics
• Indexing issues
• Security issues

A business website should set up and use Google Search Console to regularly monitor and optimize their website to improve their Google search or SEO rankings.

Google Search Console can also be connected to your Google Analytics account.

Once you have added your website to Search Console, you can start using Search Console reports to monitor your site. Go to our post on How to Use Google Search Console- Part 2: Using Search Console reports to Maintain Your Website for more details.

We hope you found this article helpful in adding and verifying your website to your Google Search Console account.

Need Help With Digital Marketing?

Gold Mango Design LLC. helps small and medium businesses build a strong online brand and increase leads with digital marketing services. Our digital marketing services include Google Ads PPC (Pay per Click) Marketing & Management, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Mobile Friendly Web Design & Web Development, Digital Marketing consulting and more. We are located in Plano, TX right outside Dallas. Contact us at https://goldmangodesign.com

References

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