In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to add your WordPress website to Google Search Console.
What is Google Search Console? Find out that and how it’s different than Google Analytics below.
Google Analytics vs Google Search Console
In a previous tutorial, we discussed how to link your WordPress website to Google Analytics. However in this tutorial, you will learn how to link your WordPress website to Google Search Console. But what is the difference between Google Analytics and Google Search Console?
Overall, Google Analytics gives you an idea about how users are interacting with your website from all sources—search, direct traffic, links from other website. On the other hand, Google Search Console looks at how your website ranks in Google search results for specific keywords.
While both tools have different use cases, I recommend that you utilize both in order to monitor and gain insight into your website’s search performance and visitors’ behavior.
How to Add WordPress Site to Google Search Console
The first thing you need is a Google Search console account. If you already have one, great! You can go ahead and skip this step. Otherwise, you’ll want to go here to sign up for a Google Search Console account.
Once you have a Google Search Console account, login and go to your dashboard.
Expand the dropdown in the upper left corner and click Add property.
A popup will ask you to select a property type. While URL prefix was the old way that Google organized properties, you want to select the new domain option. Go ahead and type in the base URL of your website without any http or www prefix within the domain property type. In my case, I typed in cereal.guru, but you will type in something like yourdomain.com.
After you click Continue, Google will attempt to verify ownership of the website. If you purchased your domain from Google Domains as we did in the first part of the tutorial series, ownership will be auto verified.
In other cases, you’ll have to verify that you own the website property via another method. Alternate Google Search Console site verification methods include:
- Associate a DNS record with Google via TXT record (recommended method)
- Upload an HTML file to your website
- Add meta tag to your site’s home page
- Use your Google Analytics account
- Use your Google Tag Manager account
After you verify your site, click on Go To Property. Although you won’t see much on this page yet, this is where after a few days you’ll start to see the search console data populate.
As of now, there’s three main sections in the Google Search Console overview: performance, coverage, and enhancements. I find the interface quite intuitive, so definitely check back in a few days and freely explore the Search Console.
Submit Sitemap to Google Search Console
Similar to how you submitted your sitemap to the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin, you will also want to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console. To do this, click on Sitemaps in the left menu.
Within the Add a new sitemap text box, type in the URL of your sitemap. As a refresher, your sitemap is usually located at https://yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml. Alternatively, if you are using Yoast SEO, the sitemap is redirected to https://yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml, so you can also submit that URL.
When finished, click on Submit. You’ll probably see a confirmation message stating that your sitemap submitted successfully.
Google will periodically process [your sitemap] and look for changes. You will be notified if anything goes wrong with it in the future.
At this point, if you’ve been following along in this WordPress tutorial series, you have completed all the lessons. You officially now know how to build a website. Congratulations!
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If you have specific questions about ANY part of this tutorial or want learn something not covered, please don’t hesitate to contact me here or below with your question or suggestion.