How To Add Your Website To Google Search Console
A visual step-by-step guide to submit your website to Google Search Console (aka “Webmaster Tools”).
Google Search Console – a place to feed your website data to Google; website monitoring and diagnostics tool.
Why submit your site to Google?
The main reason is to give Google another (direct) source of information about your site. Read this for more details.
If you came here from “How to Build a Website” guide -> skip to Step 3.
First, you want to make sure your pages are optimized for search.
If you’re using WordPress, install All In One SEO plugin, configure it and (at least) optimize your pages (and posts, if have any) for search. Be sure to optimize any new pages you create in the future.
Next, you need a sitemap – a list of pages that you want Google to know about.
Again, if using WordPress, install and configure XML Sitemap plugin. Make sure there are no empty/sample/irrelevant pages (and posts, if have any) on that sitemap.
For other platforms – search for ways to create a sitemap for your site.
You need a Google account. You will need it for Google Search Console, Google Analytics and possibly other marketing tools.
Go to google.com and login to your account:
Or create a new account.
Next, go to Google Search Console:
Open your website (homepage) in a new tab, copy-paste its URL and click “Add Property:”
There are multiple ways to verify website ownership (look under “Alternative methods” tab). The best one is to show that you have access to website hosting – HTML file upload:
- Download HTML verification file to your computer by clicking the link.
- Upload the file to your website.
Open a new browser tab.
Access your hosting files (or upload using tools like FileZilla) and upload the file to root domain – where your index.php or index.html file is.
Check “Document Root for,” pick your domain and click “Go:”
Click “Upload” icon:
Next, click “Choose File” and select Google verification file (that you downloaded to your computer earlier):
File will upload.
You uploaded verification file to your website.
Go back to Search Console instructions.
3. Click the link that has this form: http://businessname.com/googleXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.html
If you did everything right – you will open this file:
Close that tab. Everything is good.
4. Check ReCaptcha (or solve it, if asked) and click “Verify:”
You successfully added your website to Google Search Console.
You’ll be forwarded to Search Console dashboard for your website.
Next step is to add your website sitemap.
Click “Sitemaps” on your dashboard:
Click “Add/Test Sitemap” red button on top right:
Type directory of your sitemap file.
If you have WordPress and used Sitemap XML plugin – type “sitemap.xml”
You will get “Item submitted” message:
You are done!
You added your website to Search Console and submitted your sitemap (list of all your pages).
Come back to in a few hours/days to see first data start showing up.
Get familiar with Search Console Dashboard (if have time):
Google will email you about important updates or critical issues with your site (malware or website down).
For example, you now received an email (and message inside Search Console) from them titled “Improve the search presence of http://businessname.com.” Read it and explore some options there.
While waiting for data to start showing up – follow similar steps to submit your website to Bing Webmaster Tools.
There are a few extra things you can do after you add your website and submit your sitemap including but not limited to (see “Improve the search presence” email for some of them):
- Add “www” version of your website (even if you don’t have “www”).
You can do that using “Add a Property” from Dashboard. Use this form: “http://www.businessname.com,” skip to “#3 Confirm” and verify.
- Choose your preferred domain.
If you have a non-www version in your WordPress settings, make sure you select that.
If you have a www in WordPress settings – set that as your preferred domain here as well.
- Add “https” version of your site if you have SSL.
- Connect Search Console and Google Analytics. Guide coming soon…
Any tips or shortcuts that you know of regarding Search Console?
Any questions or feedback?