Understanding how your website is being searched by users is incredibly important to Search Engine Optimization and seeing how users are getting to your site (or potentially getting to your site). Understanding search terms that are being used, and more importantly, search terms that are being clicked, can help you plan future content. In today’s guide, we’ll go over how to connect your new WordPress website to the Google Search Console so that you can start collecting data. In the example below, we’ll look at each step of how I setup Google Search Console on the blog website that I built, BriskWP.com.
Step 1: Access Google Search Console
Go to the Google Search Console main page and select any of the “start now” options. If you are wanting to add your whole WordPress website, select the “Domain” option. In the box, enter your domain, and select “Continue”. From here, you’ll have to verify that you own the domain/website.
Step 2: Beginning Google Search Console verification
Google will now provide you instructions on how to verify that you own the domain and website using DNS records. The instructions below assume that you have followed my previous guides on using my recommended shared hosts, as well as domain management through Namecheap. This process should work if you use other domain managers or webhosts, but this guide will be specific to using Veerotech and Namecheap.
Start by copying the TXT record provided by Google Search Console.
Step 3: Accessing a Zone Editor through cPanel
Now open a new tab and visit the cPanel of your website. If you’ve followed the previous guides on this website, you should be able to access your cPanel at yourdomain.com/cpanel. Once logged in, click on the “Zone Editor” option that is under the Domains section.
From here, find your domain, and select the “Manage” button.
Step 4: Adding the verification record to your DNS
From here, you need to add a new TXT record. You can do that by clicking the “Add Record” menu, and then selecting “Add ‘TXT’ Record”.
From here, you can now add the TXT record that you copied from Google Search Console. In the name field, you can either input “@” or the domain of your website. In the TTL field (Time Til Live), you can lower that number to 3600 or lower, which tells your DNS manager how many seconds to wait until your changes go live. Once inputted, select “Add Record”.
Step 5: Verify with Google Search Console
You can now go back to the Google Search Console window. You may need to wait a little bit until your DNS changes have propogated, but after waiting a bit, select the “Verify” option at the bottom of the window. If everything has gone through correctly, you should now see the “Ownership verified” pop up.
If it doesn’t successfully verify, you may need to wait a little longer until the DNS changes go through. Give it a few hours, and then try again.
Step 6: Adding a sitemap
Adding a sitemap to your Google Search Console is incredibly important. The sitemap tells Google how to understand the layout and architecture of your website, how content relates to each other, and what content to index. Assuming you’ve followed my previous guide on installing and setting up a proper SEO plugin (The SEO Framework How-To), your sitemap will have already been automatically generated. You should be able to visit it at yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml. Type that into your address bar to verify that it exists:
Now that you’ve confirmed that your sitemap exists, add that same URL under the Sitemaps menu in Google Search Console and then click “Submit”.
Google Search Console should now have successfully found your sitemap, and will start using this information to help both index your website, and associate the proper search console data.
Google Search Console successfully integrated
It’s as easy as that! Google Search Console is now setup on your WordPress website and ready to collect valuable information about the search terms that your users use, what pages are being accessed by Google searches, as well as a lot of additional, important data!
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