Getting started with Search Console is super easy. It’s not hard to set up although to some it may seem it. Spare us a few minutes to explain it in a simple and easy-to-follow way.
Google already provides a guide on how to set up Search Console, and verify your site but as can often be the case, Google has a tendency to make the simplest of things, feel complicated, so here we go with a simple guide.
Let’s get stuck in:
What is Search Console?
Google Search Console (or GSC) is one of the most useful SEO tools out there so if you aren’t using it, you should be.
But why is it important? At its core, Search Console helps you monitor, maintain and optimize your website’s organic search presence. Most primarily use GSC to view clicks and impressions. While that’s cool, it has much more to offer. For example, it can:
- Find search queries that drive traffic
- Find how well all your pages rank
- Identify and leverage backlinks to boost link juice
- Add sitemaps
- Locate errors that need fixing
- Ensure your eligibility to benefit from rich snippets and schema markup
- Make your site more mobile-friendly
- Monitor your Core Web Vitals
- Show if your site has been hacked
best of all, it’s totally FREE
How to set up a Google Search Console account
Step 1: Sign in to Search Console With Your Google account.
Note: You will need to have a Google account for this method to work when setting up Search Console. If you already have Google Workspace, Analytics, or even Gmail, you can use the same login details. If not, just create a free Gmail account.
Step 2: Enter Your Website’s Domain (or URL-Prefix) to Add a Property.
After you sign in, you have the option to add a property type via your domain or via a URL prefix.
We recommend you set up Google Search Console using a domain because it will cover all sub-domains and variants e.g www and non-www.
Replace yourdomain.com with your actual domains name!
In the past, we needed to set up www and non-www versions in both HTTP and HTTPS. You still can if you need, but there is no point. Just add your domain and Search Console will set it up for you and make it a whole lot easier.
Whether you serve your website using www or not, and irrelevant to whether you serve HTTPS or insecure HTTP pages (which you really shouldn’t be by now), it’s all covered for you with the suggested setup.
Step 3: Verify Your Website
Google will provide you with a weird-looking line of code. You just need to copy it and they provide a button for you here.
- Click the button ‘copy’ which copies the code to your computers clipboard (same as using copy and paste)
- If you press CTRL V or MAC V (paste) the code will be entered
Verification for a Domain Property
The code (highlighted in red) is what we need to enter into our domain DNS (explained later). Just click copy and leave the screen open.
We will need to click the ‘Verify’ button AFTER we have added this code into our domain’s DNS.
You will see a drop-down menu for ‘Any DNS provider’ which lets you choose your current host. We tend to ignore this, as all we want is the code at this point, however, if you aren’t using cPanel (as we are in this tutorial) you can see if your host is listed. Instructions will guide you to add this code to your domain’s DNS.
Add this into your DNS and click the verify button. IF it goes to plan, you will see a green tick notice like below.
Tip: If it doesn’t verify straight away and you are absolutely sure you have added the DNS correctly, give it some time. It can take up to 72 hours (but generally speaking, this isn’t the case in our experience). If you add it right, it should verify within minutes, not hours.
Adding code to Domain DNS via cPanel
We are using cPanel here, but it doesn’t really matter what you use. The way you get to it might look different but ALL control panels will have the same facilities. The main thing to look for is Domains and DNS.
We work on lots of different client control panels and use lots of different domain companies. If you check Domains and look for DNS, this is where you need to be. Your objective is to add a TXT record and I will show you here how it’s done in cPanel.
TIP: You want to add a TXT record which in cPanel is done via Domains, Zone Editor, and Manage.
Finally, you have arrived at the spot which lets you ‘paste’ (remember CTRL V or Mac V) and Save Record.
As soon as you do this, the DNS ‘should’ be verifiable in Google. Remember the screen you left open (which gave you this code)? You need to click the ‘verify’ button and then it’s all good to go.
Stuck with differences in your Control Panel?
If you take your time and look for references to Domains and DNS, you should be able to do this fine. If however, you need a bit of support, let us know. We are happy to help.