alisha-mcfarland-website-development-add-and-verify-a-website-in-google-search-console

Add and Verify a Website in Google Search Console

Adding and verifying a website in Google Search Console is the best first step in getting it to appear high in search results.

Adding a Website to Google Search Console

Assuming you have a Google account, go to Google Search Console and log in.

Once you are logged in, you will see a box next to a red button which says, “Add Property.”

Enter the URL of the website you would like ot add in the box and click the button.

Congratulations, you just added a website to Google Search Console!

Verifying a Website in Google Search Console

It is very simple to add a website to Google Search Console but before you can access and utilize the tools within the Console, you need to verify that you are are the owner of the website or an authorized administrator of the website.

There are 5 ways you can verify ownership and unlock this amazing SEO and maintenance tool. I explain each option below.

Adding an HTML Tag

This verification method is best for anyone who has experience working with HTML code.

From the Search Console dashboard, select “Manage Property,” then “Verify this property.”

If the “HTML Tag” option does not appear under “Recommended method,” then you should click on the “Alternate methods” tab and select “HTML tag.”

When you select the radio button next to ‘HTML Tag’ a box will appear below it.

Copy the code and paste it into the <Head> section of the website. Each theme is different but for the GeneratePress theme, go to Appearance > GP Hooks and then paste the code in the wp_head box. Make sure you click the ‘Save Hooks’ button.

You can also use an HTML editor to open the code for your site’s homepage and then paste the code provided within in the <Head> section of the HTML code.

If your site already has a meta tag or other code in the <Head> section, it doesn’t matter where the verification code is placed in relation to the other code; it simply needs to be in the <Head> section.

If your site doesn’t have a <Head> section, you can create one for the sake of verifying the site.

Once the verification code has been added, save and publish the updated code, and open your site’s homepage.

From there, view the site’s source code. The verification code should be visible in the <Head> section.

Once you’re sure the code is added to your site’s homepage, go back to Search Console and click “Verify.”

Google will then check your site’s code for the verification code.

If the code is found, you will see a screen letting you know the site has been verified.

If not, you will be provided with information about the errors it encountered.

When your site has been verified by Search Console, do not remove the verification code from your site. If the code is removed, it will cause your site to become unverified.

Uploading an HTML file

To use this method, you must be able to upload files to a site’s root directory.

From the Search Console dashboard, select “Manage site,” then “Verify this site.”

If “HTML file upload” is not listed under “Recommended method,” it should be listed under the “Alternate method” tab.

When you select this method, you will be asked to download an HTML file.

Download it, then upload it to the specified location.

Do not make any changes to the content of the file or the filename; the file needs to be kept exactly the same.

If it is changed, Search Console will not be able to verify the site.

After the HTML file has been uploaded, go back to Search Console and click “Verify.”

If everything has been uploaded correctly, you will see a page letting you know the site has been verified.

Once you have verified your site using this method, do not delete the HTML file from your site. This will cause your site to become unverified.

Verifying via Domain Name Provider

The domain name provider is the company you purchased a domain from or where your website is hosted.

When you verify using your domain name provider, it not only proves you’re the owner of the main domain, but that you also own all of the subdomains and subdirectories associated with it. This is an excellent option if you have a large website.

From the Search Console dashboard, select “Manage site,” then “Verify this site.”

If you don’t see the “Domain name provider” option listed under “Recommended method,” look under the “Alternate method” tab.

When you select “Domain name provider,” you will be asked to choose your domain name provider from a list of commonly used providers, such as GoDaddy.com.

If your provider is not on this list, choose “Other” and you will be given instructions on how to create a DNS TXT record for your provider.

If a DNS TXT record doesn’t work for your provider, you will have the option of creating a CNAME record instead.

Adding Google Analytics Code

If you already use Google Analytics (GA) to monitor your site’s traffic, this could be the easiest option for you.

But first, you’ll need to be able to check the site’s HTML code to make sure the GA tracking code is placed within the <Head> section of your homepage’s code, not in the <Body> section.

If the GA code is not already in the <Head> section, you’ll need to move it there for this method to work.

From the Search Console dashboard, select “Manage site,” then “Verify this site.”

If you don’t see the “Google Analytics tracking code” option under the “Recommended method,” look under the “Alternate method” tab.

When you select “Google Analytics tracking method,” you’ll be provided with a series of instructions to follow.

Once your site has been verified, do not remove the GA code from your site, or it will cause your site to become unverified.

Using Google Tag Manager

If you already use Google Tag Manager (GTM) for your site, this might be the easiest way to verify your site.

If you’re going to try this method, you need to have “View, Edit, and Manage” permissions enabled for your account in GTM.

Before trying this method, look at your site’s HTML code to make sure the GTM code is placed immediately after your site’s <Body> tag.

From the Search Console dashboard, select “Manage site,” then “Verify this site.”

If you don’t see the “Google Tag Manager” option listed under “Recommended method,” it should appear under “Alternate method.”

Select “Google Tag Manager” and click “Verify.” If the Google Tag Manager code is found, you should see a screen letting you know your site has been verified.

Once your site is verified, do not remove the GTM code from your site, or your site will become unverified.

Congratulations! You have verified a website in Google Search Console.

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