One of the most important steps in optimizing your WordPress site for SEO is adding it to Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).
Google Search Console offers specific webmaster tools to help website owners monitor and maintain their search presence and rankings.
In this guide, we will show you how to easily add and verify your WordPress site in Google Search Console, also known as Webmaster Tools.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google to help website owners monitor their website’s presence in Google search results.
It helps you track search rankings along with keeping you updated about site errors, security issues, and indexing issues that may affect your website’s search performance.
If you are serious about WordPress SEO, then you need to add it to Google webmaster tools from day one.
That being, let’s take a look at how to easily add your site to Google Search Console.
If you’d prefer written instructions, just keep reading.
Adding Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console
First, you need to visit the Google Search Console website and click on the ‘Start Now’ button.
Next, you’ll need to sign in with your Google / Gmail account.
Once logged in, you’ll be asked to enter your website URL.
There are two methods for site verification: domain name or URL prefix. We recommend the URL prefix method because it is more flexible.
Keep in mind that Google considers HTTP and HTTPS as two different protocols. It also considers https://www.example.com and https://example.com as two different websites.
You need to enter the correct website URL used by WordPress.
If you are unsure, then there is an easy way to find out the exact URL you need to enter. Simply log in to your WordPress admin area and go to Settings » General page.
There you will see your website’s URL in the site address field.
After entering your correct website address in the Google webmaster tools setup wizard, click on the ‘Continue’ button to go to the next step.
Now, you’ll be asked to verify ownership of your website. There are several ways to do that, but we will show the HTML tag method because it is the easiest one.
Click on the HTML tag to expand it and then copy the code inside it.
Now, you need to add this Google site verification meta tag in WordPress, so Google can verify that you are the owner of the website.
Most WordPress tutorials will guide you to just edit the header.php file in your WordPress theme and add the code just above the
However, we don’t recommend this method because if you update or change your theme, then the HTML tag will disappear.
Google periodically checks for the HTML tag and will disable your access to the site data in the search console if it cannot find the verification tag.
Here is how to make sure that Google can always verify your ownership of the website.
First, you need to install and activate the All in One SEO plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Upon activation, go to All in One SEO » General Settings » Webmaster Tools page and click on “Google Search Console”.
Then paste the code you copied from Google Search Console into the “Google Verification Code” box.
Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your changes.
You can now go back to Google Search Console settings and click on the ‘Verify’ button.
Google Search Console will now look for the HTML tag in your website code and will show you a success message.
Note: If you don’t see a success message, then you need to clear your WordPress cache. This will ensure that Google can fetch the latest version of your website.
That’s all. You have successfully added your site to the Google Search Console (Webmaster tools). You can now click on the ‘Go to Property’ link to visit your Google Search Console dashboard.
From here, you can see your website’s performance reports and index coverage.
Before you do that, let’s tell Google a little bit more about your website. This will help Google crawl your website a bit more efficiently.
Add XML Sitemap to Google Search Console
An XML sitemap is a file that lists all your website content in XML format, so search engines like Google can easily discover and index your content.
The good news is, if you installed the All in One SEO plugin in the steps above, you’ve already added an XML sitemap to your site automatically.
To see your sitemap, go to All in One SEO » Sitemaps. From here, you can see the sitemap is automatically enabled for you.
Next, you need to get the XML sitemap link. Simply click on the ‘Open Sitemap’ button, and you will see a link to your XML sitemap.
From here, you can just copy the URL from your browser’s address bar.
Alternatively, you can directly access your XML sitemap by adding
sitemap.xml at the end of your website address. For example:
Now that you have the XML sitemap ready, let’s help Google find it quickly.
Simply switch to the Google Search Console dashboard and click on the Sitemaps menu from the left column.
After that, you need to add the last part of your sitemap URL under the ‘Add new sitemap’ section and click the Submit button.
Google will now add your sitemap URL to your Google Search Console.
AIOSEO also comes with several other sitemaps, like video sitemap, news sitemap, and RSS sitemap, that all help you get a competitive advantage and rank higher in SEO.
The process of submitting those sitemaps is the same as above.
That’s all, you have successfully added your website to Google Search Console.
View Google Search Console Data Inside WordPress with AIOSEO
The next step is to learn how to use the treasure trove of information in Google Search Console to grow your business.
We have a complete Google Search Console guide for beginners, which shows you how to make the most out of Google Search Console data.
But, you can also easily view a lot of this important data right from your WordPress dashboard using the AIOSEO Search Statistics addon.
With AIOSEO’s Search Statistics, you can track your keywords, view your top-performing content, discover valuable search statistics, and more, inside WordPress. This means that you don’t have to waste time switching from WordPress to Google Search Console to find the data you’re looking for.
Once Search Statistics is connected to Google Search Console, simply click on ‘Search Statistics’ in the AIOSEO menu from your WordPress dashboard.
This will bring you to the Search Statistics dashboard. From here, you can see SEO Statistics, such as the search impressions, total clicks, average click-through rate (CTR), and average position of all of your content.
You can also use the Keyword Performance report to see which keywords your website content is ranking for in Google search results. By clicking on the ‘Top Winning’ and ‘Top Losing’ tabs, you can see what keywords have seen the biggest position changes.
In addition, with the powerful Content Rankings report, you can easily spot content decay and important content performance trends.
It will show you the date a URL was last updated, details about the rate at which your content is decaying, and other essential SEO and content marketing metrics.
Using AIOSEO’s built-in SEO recommendations, you can easily optimize your decaying content to boost your rankings again.
You’ll also get helpful reports for improving the user experience (UX) on your site, tips for troubleshooting issues that are negatively affecting your SEO, and more.
Google Search Console and WordPress FAQs
Having helped thousands of readers add and verify their websites in Google Search Console, we have seen just about every question you can think of. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
1. How can I upload a Google HTML verification file to my WordPress blog?
Google Search Console allows a few different ways to verify website ownership. In this article, we covered the easiest method, which is to use the Google site verification meta tag. However, some website owners prefer to upload the HTML file to verify site ownership.
To upload the Google search console HTML verification file to WordPress, you will need to log in to your WordPress hosting cPanel or connect to your hosting account using FTP.
Next, you need to upload the HTML verification file inside the /public_html/ folder of your website. This is the root directory where you’ll see other WordPress folders like /wp-admin/, /wp-content/, etc.
2. Should I use a Google Site verification plugin for WordPress?
There are many WordPress plugins that are designed specifically to help you with Google site verification. However, you don’t need to use them because you’ll likely need to verify ownership on other webmaster tools and platforms like Bing, Yandex, Pinterest, etc.
It’s much better to use the All in One SEO plugin because it lets you add site verification for all platforms (in a single plugin). Not to mention, it also has a ton of other WordPress SEO features to help you rank better and get more traffic.
3. How can I become a power user of Google Search Console?
Google Search Console has a lot of useful information that you can use to grow your business. We have created the ultimate Google Search Console guide that you can use to become a power user.
4. I’m running into problems, is there a Google Search Console phone number that I can contact?
No, there’s no Google Search Console phone number that you can contact. If you’re running into problems with Google Search Console, then you can use their online support center. For specific questions about WordPress, you can always join our free WordPress help group to ask your questions.
We hope this article helped you learn how to easily add your WordPress site to Google Search Console. You may also want to see our guide on how to get more traffic to your website, and our comparison of the best email marketing services for small businesses
If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.
Mai Taup says
I’ve been frequenting your site because it has been really helpful in building my blog. I just can’t seem to verify it thru google search console. I tried all the alternatives listed in this page. What am I doing wrong? HELP!
WPBeginner Support says
Hi Mai Taup,
Do you see an error when trying to verify your blog? Make sure that you have added the correct address of your website in Google Search Console. Google treats https and http, www and non-www URLs differently.
Mai Taup says
Thank you! Thank you! I have finally verified my site. awesome tips.
Chrissie Barclay says
Thanks very much – your step-by-step description was so easy to follow & it worked a treat!
Thank you! Inserting the meta tag via the insert header plugin worked for me. Grateful
It was helpful .. I had been messing up for long and this article solved my problems in a minute .. keep up the good work
it keeps telling me “we were unable to verify your property” Any thoughts on what i am doing wrong? thanks!
I keep getting an error when I follow the tips in this video. It says – “The Google XML Sitemaps plugin might cause issues when used in conjunction with Yoast SEO.” Any idea what I should do now?
I used the insert headers footers and copied and pasted the code over and it still wouldn’t verify the site.
I have done everything stated in this video tutorial, but I “do not receive the green check mark” allocating Google found my tag? Could one of these be why:
1. Domain was on another platform and I recently brought it over to Dreamhost (2 days ago)
2. New platform, theme, and wordpress are still under construction – could this hinder the tag from being found?
3. Google is stating verification failed, unable to connect to the server – Why is server not allowing connection?
Great to the point videos, Thanks for your time.
WPBeginner Support says
If your website is in maintenance mode and not publicly accessible, then Google webmaster tools cannot verify the tag.
Thank you! This is the issue I was having, so I’m glad someone asked and you responded!
Excellent video. I struggled for a couple of hours before I found your short, informative, step by step instruction. Bravo.
if we have verified our analytics account with insert header and footer plugin, how to verify with web masters ??
Tina Whitfield says
What about setting up different versions of the website name on google’s search console?
https:// etc etc etc
What is the purpose of that and how do you do it>
WPBeginner Support says
Google considers them different websites. You will need to pick one to submit to Google webmaster tools.
Melody Burgess says
Thanks! Very helpful video.
I just verified by site with the plugin from WpBeginner
Thank you for an excellent tutorial! After struggling to figure the domain verification process for some time, this tutorial helped me to resolve the issue in minutes! Thank you!
I am trying to verify the https versions of my site via ftp but cannot find those versions to upload the HTML verification file to. Any ideas where to find them?
none of those methods worked for my website, I have followed the steps in the video and but it says it can not find the verification meta tag. Also uploading the html file did not work. What should I do now?
Thank you very much for sharing such an important info especially the “Insert Headers and Footers Plugin” which is going to help me a lot. Is it OK to uninstall and delete “Insert Headers and Footers Plugin” after including meta tag in the header?
Eagerly waiting for reply…
WPBeginner Support says
You will need to keep the plugin installed. Uninstalling the plugin will disable the code you added into header or footer using the plugin’s settings.
This is really helpful and I would hope my blog gets visitors too.
I was going around and around trying to get this to work and couldn’t.
I’m so happy I finally got the “green checkmark” after following your instructions. Thx a bunch
Thanks for this video. Was going round in circles tying to verify my site and all done now. Thanks
After submit xml I got a messege “Improve the search presence of https://example.com“. There are a option named “Add all your website versions”. Do you have any instruction about this?
Arif wali says
I have removed a plugin of wpbeginners from my WordPress site mistakenly I want to add that plugin again but It says that “Installation failed: Destination folder already exists” what to at this stage ?
WPBeginner Support says
You will need to first connect to your website using File Manager in cPanel or an FTP client. Next, you need to locate /wp-content/plugins/ folder. Inside it you will need to locate the plugin you are trying to install and then delete it. After that you will be able to install the plugin normally from your WordPress admin area.
Arif wali says
Thank you for your Kind support
Rajdeep Kaur says
Hi i just wanted to say thanks i was trying to do the webmaster tool thing for my website and i had no idea how to do that i know somewhat but coding is not so much of my thing like where to put what code and i was having trouble knowing how to upload the html file but this meta thing was easy to do thank you helped me do it i was struggling with this and i asked someone for help and they made it seem like its impossible for me to do cuz usually ppl dont tell others and help but this helped me alot thanks i was struggling for a year asking for help now i just google and found ur site and it helped thank you so much really also can u let us know like a checklist to make sure points to apply for google adsense please plzzzz thanks
can anyone help me with the recommended method ie. HTML file upload process step by step. Its vaguely explained. All other methods are explained in detail. please explain this method too in detail
Thank you. Very simple
Joe Brancatelli says
Thank You, your recommended plugin made adding the meta tag very simple to the header. I believe this plugin should be with googles instructions and a lot more people will find this easier to insert meta tags. I failed the first time on all the other methods
thanks a lot, your article was very informative, easily instructed and understandable. i appreciate your help wordpress.
Can NOT thank you enough for this! Have been struggling all day trying to find a simple fix and this was so easy!!!
This was really helpful. Thank you so much.
shabnam hasan says
the tutorial is really great but i think i have messed it up somewhere.In my search traffic it is showing 0 ,even though the site is open in my phone . Can you suggest some way how to get the correct data.Also i have received plenty of comments on my blog still it shows 0 users from beginning.My website is :
kerry-anne Simpson says
WOW thank you so much for the video tutorial. It was super simple to do, now I have the green light thanks again I love your tutorials
Zakir Hussain says
The tutorial is really helpful and much easy to understand.
Manpreet Kaur says
I am trying to verify my website but failed many times. I have followed all the steps that are listed above but not working for my website. I tried submitting html tag code in google search console in Yoast SEO. Please help me. Thanks
Hi, The tutorial is really nice.
I use the sitemaps plugin (Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps) on my wordpress site to send my sitemaps to Bing and google. Do I still need to use Google webmastertools for sitemaps
WPBeginner Support says
You can continue using that plugin. However, if you want to use Yoast SEO to submit sitemaps, then you should stop using your old plugin.
Karen Chase-Smith says
After agonizing over “countless” foreign instructions on the web on how to verify as owner of my website, I stumbled across this tutorial. It took me a few minutes to understand what I was typing in my search engine to add a new plug-in, but after that, I was finally able to verify my Blog. The only suggestion I could make is that it the visuals could be a little more clearer.
Thank you so much for your help!
I am SO grateful for WP Beginner. This tutorial helped me immensely. Thanks!
Thank you so much. I have been trying so long to verify my website and I couldn’t until I visited your website. Thank you again.
Thank you so much! I was really stumped, as my several attempts were not working. Thanks to your video I got the green check mark on the first try!
i did verified my site long before but have not added meta values to the webmaster tools. Can you please help me in finding the meta values. Where can get it with verifying again?
Fiona Sorg says
Thank you for uploading and sharing this info. for me it’s very helpfull as a starter of wordpress sites. Without this kind of help it makes it mor difficult. Again thank you keep up the good job.
Thais Rodriguez says
I am setting up Yoast Seo. I have done the process to add my website to Google Webmaster and it’s works ok. But when I go to put the authorization code to authenticate, it says “no profiles found”.
Please, some help will be appreciated.
thanks a lot..really helped me this article
Susan Perloff says
This is wonderful. I have had a site for more than 10 years, paying various consultants thousands of dollars along the way. But no decent SEO. This looks like a way to go. I am stuck at 1 minute 50 seconds of the video. Then the voice goes too fast and the picture is too fuzzy for me to follow.
I have inserted the plugin but do not know how to capture the “metadata” that goes on a subsequent page. Can someone help?
i am actually facing a problem.
I am helping my cousin with his website.
His website is actually
However, when i search for “brboss”, his website does not show up.
Can you please help with this problem
p.s. i already register in google webmaster
Thank you.. The video really helped me setup my site.
Rachel Neill says
Thank you for such an informative tutorial. I opted to verify my site via signing into Bluehost but have just read somewhere that says
‘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.’
Because I didn’t upload a code, do I still need to do so?
Or have they got one from Bluehost?
I’m also a bit confused on how to add ‘site versions’ in the next step,
WPBeginner Support says
Yes you need to add the verification code again.
mohamed hassouna says
First of all you are awesome I really learned a lot from your site which is beginners frindly
I am newbie ti all this and I already started to take action but
When I came to verifing my site in google webmaster always get the same message every time that they cant find the meta tag though I tried many other ways for verification like the domain name and google analytic
I thought may be because I haven’t puplished my site yet but I already verified my google analytic account ,I am confused and don’t know what to do I even tried webmaster help but no good ,I am kindda frustrated but I really want to continuo because I still have the passion and feel I am heading forward so please help me with this issue
One more thing excuse me for my bad english
just to say a BIIIIIIIG THANK YOU!
I first went down the route of FTC, but had no idea what I was doing, still don’t.
Your video was so simple. Love this plugin.
I got failed messages at first, but I think I must’ve put in my URL wrong somehow. When I started from scratch, it worked a treat. I am now verified and very happy.
Kristel Miley says
I followed all the steps and even repeated the process three times, but every time Google Webmaster said that my verification failed. Is there something I can do to fix this?
As always very helpful. Once you insert the code into the header, can I deactivate the plugin or does it need to remain active?