How To Set Up Google Search Console For Your Website

Brandon LazovicJanuary 4, 2021

Google Search Console is an invaluable tool for all webmasters that helps track the organic performance of their websites, as well as their overall site health in the eyes of Google. 

Read our guide that will walk you through how to set up Google Search Console for your website in as little as 10 minutes. 

What Is Google Search Console And What Does It Offer? 

Search Console is Google’s free service that offers site owners a lot of tools to verify how their site functions. Not only does it show how your site functions, but it also reveals your website is performing organically in the Google search results. 

You'll get reports on keywords that drive organic traffic, view the types of rich search results your content has generated, see how your site functions on mobile, and more. You can also verify whether Google is able to access your content. 

What’s The Difference Between Google Search Console And Google Analytics? 

Google Analytics is user-oriented, offering reports about people who use and connect with the website. Google Search Console is search engine oriented, offering resources and feedback that can help site owners boost exposure and presence in the Google search results pages.

How To Add Your Site To Google Search Console

Adding your website to Google Search Console is a simple process that takes 10 minutes.

Step 1: Go To Google Search Console

First, you’ll want to head to the Google Search Console dashboard. Either login, or click “Start Now” to get started. 

Step 2: Click “Add A Property” 

Note: you can add as many as 1000 properties to GSC per account. 

Step 3: Enter Your Website URL

Note: you need to use your exact URL. For example, Google Search Console will view https://example.com as a different URL compared to https://www.example.com. 

Step 4: Verification Methods

There are several verification methods for Google Search Console, which we’ll cover below: 

Option 1: Google Analytics

To validate your site through Google Analytics, you need to have the following things set up: 

  • Your Google Analytics tracking ID must also be in the header of your website. 
  • You must have access to the Analytics Account with admin permissions 
  • If you have both, press "Verify”
  • You should receive a message confirming verification. If you haven't, double check the above criteria. If you also get an error message, try the alternative HTML tag verification option below.

Option 2: Google Tag Manager

To verify using Tag Manager, you need to have “view” “edit” and “manage” permission levels. 

  • Place the <noscript> portion of the Tag Manager code directly after opening the <body> tag on your site. If you don't, the check will fail. 
  • The data layer (or anything other than HTML comments) cannot be added between the <body> attribute and the Tag Manager code. If you do this, the check will fail. 
  • Use the code exactly as it is provided; do not change it. If you change this, the check will fail.

Option 3: HTML tag

If you don’t have Google Analytics set up, this is the easiest option for verifying Google Search Console for your website. 

Select the “HTML” option and paste the code snippet into the <head> section of your website, or above the <body> section. 

If you have a WordPress website, you can use the “Insert Headers and Footers” plugin to add your code snippet site wide. 

Checking Your Verification Tag

It will take some time to verify Google Search Console for your website. After 24 hours has passed, here’s how you can check your verification status. 

Step 1: Select Settings

Step 2: Click On “Ownership Verification”

Step 3: Make Sure Verification Tag Matches The HTML Tag

Verification Failed For Google Search Console

If you see a "Check Failed" alert, check the above steps to make sure you didn’t forget something. 

If you do see an error status, wait another 1-2 days and verify your website again. 

If it still isn’t verified, try the following steps: 

Try another authentication method. GSC also has options for authentication with: 

Upload HTML File

You can upload an HTML authentication file to your website. GSC will provide you with a set of instructions for uploading, which is a little technical, so I would recommend collaborating with your site developer.

Domain Name Provider

By logging in to your domain provider, such as Bluehost, you can add a DNS record that enables Google Search Console to validate your site. When selecting a DNS record option, the Google Search Console will have a TXT record to be inserted in your domain provider. 

Add that and go back to the property you added to the Google Search Console and press 'Check.’ Note: it can take some time to the DNS records to populate the DNS or TXT record changes.

You can also call a Google Specialist, or anyone with a Google Partners Badge, to get them to set it up for you.

Now that you’ve successfully set up Google Search Console, here are a few other resources that can help get you started: 

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