Google Search Console is the only way to submit your WordPress site to the world’s most popular search engine – Google. Unlike Bing, Google does not offer anonymous site submission and it is mandatory to verify the ownership of your site in order to use all features on your account. There are many plugins available for this purpose, in this article we will discuss all possible ways to verify your WordPress site in Google Search Console account (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools).
How to WordPress Site in Search Console?
- In order to access Search Console, you should have a valid Google account. Your existing Gmail id is sufficient to login or else you can register for a new Google account id.
- Once you have a Gmail id, login to your Google Search Console account and click on “Add a Property” button.
- Enter your WordPress site URL and click on “Continue” button.
- Google will prompt you to verify the ownership of the added site.
- Ensure to enter correct site URL with or without WWW, they are two different sites from search engine’s perspective.
- Once you successfully verified one version, the version can be added without verification. For example, if you add and verify http://yoursite.com/ then http://www.yoursite.com/ can be added without verification.
- The Sitemap also needs to be submitted with or without www versions to the corresponding site property.
Verifying Your Site Ownership
Google offers the following methods to verify your site in Search Console:
- HTML file upload
- HTML tag
- Google Analytics
- Google Tag Manager
- Domain name provider
We will discuss all the verification methods in detail:
1. HTML File Upload Verification
In this method you need to download an HTML file and upload to the root directory of your WordPress site using FTP or File Manager.
- Click on “HTML file upload” option and download the HTML verification file.
- You need to have FTP or File Manager access to upload the HTML file into your site’s root directory. Generally your WordPress site’s root directory is “/public_html” (unless you changed it during installation) hence upload the HTML file under this directory.
- After uploading the file, open the browser and check the HTML verification page is accessible.
- Go back to Search Console account and click on the “Verify” button.
2. HTML Tag
In this method you need to add meta verification code in the header section of your WordPress site.
- Click on the “HTML tag” option to see the screen expands like below:
- Login to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to “Appearance > Editor” section.
- Select “Header.php” file and paste the meta verification code as shown below:
- Save your changes.
- Go back to Search Console account and verify your site.
3 & 4. Verification Using Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager Code
This is the most easy when you have already installed the tracking code of Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager on your WordPress site. Just select the option and click on “Verify” button. You must have added asynchronous Analytics code or using container snippet for Google tag manager code in order to use this option to verify your Search Console account.
5. Domain name provider – DNS TXT Record or CNAME Record
The last option to verify your site is to add a text entry or CNAME record in your DNS zone file. Select your domain registrar from the list provided, click on the “Verify” button and follow the instructions to verify the added site. Domain name providers like GoDaddy offers an integrated verification tool, if your domain name provider does not offer verification tool then you need to manually copy and the paste the TXT or CNAME record in your DNS zone file.
If you own a GoDaddy registered domain, check our dedicated article on adding GoDaddy domain in Google Search Console account.
- Remember to edit appropriate DNS zone file when using name servers. For an instance if your GoDaddy domain is pointed to Bluehost name servers then you need to modify DNS zone file in Bluehost.
- DNS changes may take up to 48 hours for proper propagation. In case if your verification fails, wait for a day and try again.
Using WordPress Plugins
WordPress has plugins for everything and verifying site ownership with Search Console is part of many SEO and general plugins. For example, general plugin Jetpack offers a “Site Verification” module while SEO specialist Yoast also offers verification feature with WordPress SEO plugin. Here we will discuss the option with Yoast WordPress SEO plugin.
Install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin from WordPress admin dashboard. Navigate to “SEO > General” menu from the sidebar. You will see options like below under “Webmaster Tools” tab.
Enter the verification code from Search Console account obtained using “HTML tag” method (option 2 as explained above). Ensure to enter only the code inside the “content” part of the meta tag, pasting the complete code will not work.
Save your changes, go back to Search Console account and verify your site.
Check out our dedicated tutorial on how to use Yoast WordPress SEO plugin.