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How to Add Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console

One of the most important step 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.

How to easily add your WordPress site to Google Search Console

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.

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.

Start Google Search Console

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.

Add website URL

Keep in mind that Google considers an 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 login to your WordPress admin area and go to Settings » General page.

There you will see your website’s URL in the site address field.

Copy your site address from WordPress settings page

After entering your correct website address in 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.

Copy the HTML tag

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 <body> tag.

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”.

The Webmaster Tools page in All in One SEO, to select 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.

Verify ownership

Google Search Console will now look for the HTML tag in your website code and will show you a success message.

Your website successfully added to Search Console

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.

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.

Enable sitemap in All in One SEO

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.

All in One SEO XML sitemap preview

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_index.xml at the end of your website address. For example:

https://www.example.com/sitemap_index.xml

Now that you have 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.

Add your sitemap URL to Google Search Console

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.

That’s all, you have successfully added your website to Google Search Console.

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.

Google Search Console and WordPress FAQs

Having helped thousands of readers add and verify their website 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 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 login 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 business.

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Reader Interactions

229 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Website ownership verify successfully but when i am submitting sitemap then this type of error is showing: Sitemap couldn’t fetch

    • You may want to ensure you’ve cleared any caching on your site as that is the most likely cause of that specific issue.

      Admin

  2. Right now I have a 2 properties on GSC for the same website. One domain and one URL prefix

    Since the https:// version is in the settings > general > site address URL field, should I just delete the domain property from GSC? (clutchjunkremoval.com?)

  3. on the tutorial about google analytic you said to paste the code on the header section of the, header and footer plugin and you said the same thing for google search console, its a bit confusing .
    how we can do when we have both, google analytic and google search console

  4. Hello i have a question.
    Can I add my site to search console from day 1 .if i have not much posts less then 5 .can I add on search console .how many posts has on the site to add site to console

    • You can add your site to Google’s search console from the beginning so you don’t have to worry about waiting :)

      Admin

  5. Please i successfully verify my site but since then Google search console has been displaying “processing data please check again in a day or two”. I have been waiting for close to a week now.
    Please help me

    • Sadly, this is something you will need to wait for something to change from Google’s end, there is no hard timeline for it to be added.

      Admin

  6. Sir, I have some problems with indexing my wp site which is, when I put URL of my site in search console it said ” Blocked by Robot.text “. I have done everything including sitemap and robot.text .

    • You would want to check your robots.txt file that you’re not blocking your site from being crawled for that specific issue.

      Admin

  7. THANK YOU GUYS! You really are the best , and you make everything so easy! I did it successfully! Much love and gratitude!

  8. THANK YOU! This was exactly what I needed — none of the other instructions I found elsewhere worked.
    You’re the best.

  9. Nice, the projection for adding WordPress site to webmaster tool (Search Console) is simple and easy steps. I did the same with the “insert header and footer” wp plugin. Once I add the meta tag to the head I simply remove the plugin.

    Now I want to delete that meta tag but I don’t know how to do that. Can you help me in finding the root path where all these meta tags are lives?

    • If you removed the plugin then the code that was added by the plugin should be removed as well.

      Admin

        • Just to be sure, you would want to ensure you’ve cleared any caching on your site as that is the most common reason for still seeing code on the site.

  10. Hey, I had created Blog page and Added Categories as a sub in Blog page from Appearance –> Menus.
    But then GSC showed my Blog Url as a Soft 404 error.
    What does this mean?

    • It likely means you either have very few posts on that page or your site could have had a hiccup when Google tried to crawl your page

      Admin

      • Yes, I have Only 2 posts on my Blog page, so that could be the reason for Showing Soft 404 error?

        • Yes, once google recrawls the page the soft 404 shouldn’t be an issue as long as you don’t have any errors on your site

  11. Thank you so much. I was literally stuck in this step and you cleare my doubt. my website is now verified thank you soo much.

    • For WordPress.com you would sadly need to reach out to their support for if they allow the connection and/or how to connect

      Admin

  12. Hi,

    Thank you for another informative post. I love WPBeginner!!! :)
    One thing this post does not address which confuses me is whether I should add the domain with and without the www. I have added both as properties in the Google Webmaster tools and I don’t know if this will cause problems.

    Thanks
    Andreas

  13. I installed my website (Bluehost/WP going thru the video tutorial you sent. I finished, but did not launch it. The tutorial does not cover how I can change the picture in the header. Is there a different tutorial for that?

    Also. When I am finished, just not published, I have no way to see the finished product. Do I need to publish before it shows up?

    Thanks in advance

    • It would depend on your theme for how to change the header image but that is normally under Appearance>Customize.
      For the content to appear for users not logged in, it would need to be published

      Admin

  14. Sir, It is very good article for beginners. But can you please publish a new post about Adding a website on new google search console, sitemap, and everything.

    • We will certainly look into updating these articles as Google updates their interface

      Admin

  15. Hi, This, as with so many tutorials, is most helpful. However I have come across something not dealt with. On pasting the meta line into the Insert Headers and Footers widget and hit save, the system takes to me to my site with an “oops we cannot find this page” message. So annoying. As a result I get a verification failure.
    Any suggestions as I always seem to have issues installing the google apps.
    regards
    Gerry

    • You would want to reach out to your hosting provider to see if they have any errors on their end that could be causing the message.

      Admin

    • While we don’t have a service for hire at the moment, we’re glad you found our article useful :)

      Admin

  16. Thanks for the excellent info on this site in general! I am the subcontract for a person who wants us both to have individual access to Google Console.

    My question: I have used various plugins for Google verification and there is one space only for the code. I know I can also add an HTML file to the root of the site or insert an HTML code into the header. If she generates a new code through Google Console and I insert it, will that nullify my data views/ownership?

    I have added her as a full user in Google Console but it is still asking her to verify her ownership via one of the code.HTML file methods.

    Thanks for your help!
    Ronna

  17. As a new WordPress site owner your tutorials have been extremely helpful! They are up-to-date, simple, use visuals, and just make things easy to do. Thank you!
    Anna

  18. Thank you so much!!! I was trying to get my site verified for a couple days now…trying so many different options – this worked on the first try! Thank you!

  19. can I register my domain in Google search console if I’m using wordpress hosted version for my own domain not the free version. And yes, one more point, I’m not using the Business plan for wordpress hosted version. I am using the Pro one. Please reply.

  20. hi
    i wanna to know that is it necessary for site to submit Y WebSite To Google Search Engines to approve ad sense account?
    please must answer?

  21. Thank you for the info, couldn’t find a way to validate my WP site !
    i did use your Header and footer tool.

  22. Thank you for the very helpful video/instructions. One suggestion would be to let people know about the option to use Yoast (which is even called out that “you probably already have”) first instead of second. This would avoid needing a completely different/new plug-in. I did in fact already have Yoast but went forward with the header/footer plug-in not knowing I could use Yoast.

  23. Thanks SO much. I couldn’t figure out how to put in that code and these two methods are very easy.

  24. Hi, I am trying to verify my WP site but really struggling. I have placed the code in the header but it then appeared on the public facing site.
    It is not the only code in the head section but no matter where I put it, it does not verify.
    Help please!

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