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How to Add Your WordPress Site to Google Webmaster Tools

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How to Add Your WordPress Site to Google Webmaster Tools

One important step in optimizing your site for search engines is adding your WordPress site to Google Webmaster Tools. Many of our readers ask us for SEO Tips and how to increase organic search traffic on their websites. Using Google webmaster tools along with other tips that we have provided can be a huge help. In this article, we will show you how to add your WordPress site to Google Webmaster Tools.

What is Google Webmaster Tools

Google’s Webmaster tools is a set of tools offered by Google to give publishers a look at how their website is seen by the search engine. It provides reports and data that can help you understand how different pages on your website are appearing in search results. It shows you the search queries where a page from your website appears in the results and how often it is clicked. This data can help you improve your older articles, write new content, and formulate a content strategy for your website. Google webmaster tools also allows you to submit XML sitemap of your website, exclude URLs, and help Google display the most important content of your website. It also notifies you if there is a problem with your site which is stopping Google from crawling and indexing your pages.

Google webmaster tools dashboard

How to Add your WordPress Site to Google Webmaster Tools

Go to Google Webmaster tools website and sign in with a Google account. After signing in, add your website’s URL and hit the add new site button.

On the next screen, you will be asked to verify the ownership of the website you are adding. You can either upload an HTML file to your website’s root directory using FTP or click on Alternate method to obtain a meta tag which you can then add to your WordPress site.

To easily add the meta tag to your website you can install and activate our Insert Headers and Footers plugin. Copy the meta tag line provided by webmaster tools which will look something like this:

<meta name="google-site-verification" content="VerificationKeyCode" />

Now go to Settings » Insert Headers and Footers and paste the meta tag line into the header field. Save your changes and go back to Google Webmaster tools website and click on Verify site button.

Alternately if you are using WordPress SEO plugin, then you can copy the verification key in content part of the meta tag and paste it in WordPress SEO plugin. Click on SEO in your WordPress admin sidebar and then scroll down to webmaster tools section to paste the unique key in the Google Webmaster Tools field. Save your changes and go back to Google Webmaster tools website to verify your website.

verifying ownership of your site in Google Webmaster Tools

Once you have verified your website, the next thing you would want to do is to add your XML sitemap. Don’t have a sitemap or not sure what is a sitemap? Check out our guide on how to create XML sitemaps in WordPress. After you have finished adding your sitemap, it may take a while for Google to display your site data.

That’s all you need to do to add your WordPress site to Google webmaster tools. Once your data starts coming in, you can use it to your advantage.

We hope that you found this article helpful. For more WordPress and SEO tips, you can tweet to us @WPBeginner or join WPBeginner on Facebook. For questions and feedback about this article please leave a comment below.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  • David

    Simply thank you :) Been driving me nuts!! Used the Insert Headers and Footers thingy and all sorted in less than a minute :)

  • XButt

    does it work in wordpress free version without installling wordpress
    because i dont see plugins button please help

  • WPBeginner Staff

    Maria, first thing you should note down is that your website’s URL is the one you see in WordPress Admin area under Settings >> General. So whenever you are submitting your website anywhere use the URL in your WordPress settings.

    Also note that www and non-www URLs are not the same. WWW is actually a subdomain. Eventhough search engines are smart enough to understand that and could mean the same. However, due to the technicalities they need to differentiate between the two and take them as two different locations.

    We would recommend you to start over. Delete your site from Google webmaster tools and then add it again. Hope this helps.

  • mm

    Very helpful. However, the meta-tag information was under “alternate methods” when I did it. I pasted the tag under “recommended” and wondered why it wasn’t working.

  • J Ey

    Thank you so so much. I found it extremely helpful. For the life of me I could not figure out where to upload that link until I saw that extra step in your video. I always appreciate a great tutorial!

  • Junaid

    Thanks Once again.

  • Theresa


    I just tried to upload your plugin, Insert Headers and Footers, for my wordpress site which; a Twenty Ten theme and 3.8.1. But it said your plugin wouldn’t work on the site. Do you have a newer version of this plugin that would work on my site? I’ve been trying to get my sites verified by google for a few months now. Any help would be appreciated!

  • Jeff K.

    Thank You so much. I tried about 5 or 6 different ways, most the wordpress site recommended, and I finally got it to work by using the headers method you described. I just wish I’d have seen this site sooner. Thanks Again. Jeff

  • Aamir

    I was in a fix how to submit my sit int Google Web Master Tool………Bust you mention Step By Steps Point Thanks A Lot

  • Louise

    Thanks for the tutorial. I just added my site, however I stupidly did the recommended method when I verified it so I didn’t get the code to add to the wordpress SEO plugin. Will this effect how effectively the SEO plugin works or doesn’t it matter as long as your site is set up/verified on google webmaster tools? Would really appreciate your help!

    • WPBeginner Support

      No it will not affect the performance of the SEO plugin as long as your site is verified on Google webmaster tools.

  • Johnny

    Thank you I have followed the tutorial but cannot really get it to work on my site can you please help.

  • Sadi

    Thank you for this great tip. I have also added my site to google webmaster tools.

  • Shannon

    Thank you so much! This is just what I was looking for!!!

  • Daniel

    Nice tut, thanks.

  • Praveen Prasad

    What about others Webmasters Tools like Bing, Yahoo, Pinterest and Alexa ?
    The process is same or any other method? :o

    • Abhisek

      For Bing, Yahoo, Alexa The process is pretty same, after signing-up for webmaster’s you’ll provided with a code to be pasted in your header.php and the get verified. I don’t think there is any such requirement for pinterest. Just make a pinterest account, link with your website and you are ready to go.

      • Praveen Prasad

        Thank You :)