How to add your website to Google Search Console?

If you want to get your website to the top of Google as soon as possible, you should use Google Search Console (GSC). 

Google Search Console helps to see which queries bring users to your site and which pages are the most popular in Google organic search. There is a step-by-step guide on how to add your website to Google Search Console below. 

Open the Google Search Console website

If you have no added projects yet you will see the welcome screen, where you can add your first website.

There are two types of adding properties. Which one to choose?

Choose a property type

Choose Domain type if:

  • your website has subdomains and you want to track all of them in one property;
  • you have access to your Domain Name System (DNS) account.

Choose URL prefix type if:

  • you want to track only a specific domain address without any subdomains;
  • you want to verify your property using another method, without DNS verification.

This Search Console guide can help understand how property types differ.

Verify your property ownership

After choosing the type of property and entering your website address you will need to verify your website. I chose the URL prefix type because in this case, I can show how to work with each verification type.

This Search Console guide can answer most questions you have about verification. 

HTML file upload

1. Download the provided verification file. This file is unique to you; it cannot be used to identify anyone else and is associated with your Gmail account.

2. Upload the verification file to your website so that it will be exposed in the location that was specified on the verification details page. This is typically the root directory for your property.

3. Confirm that you can see the file by visiting it in your browser in the location specified by the Search Console verification wizard. If the file isn't available to your browser at that URL, Google won't be able to find it for verification purposes.

4. Complete verification by clicking Verify in the verification details page.

Completing these steps you can go to the property. If you want to verify this property ownership using other methods, go to Settings > Ownership Verification.

HTML tag

1. Choose the HTML tag method for verification.

2. Сopy the tag from the Search Console verification wizard into the <head> section in the HTML of your site's home page.

3. Save the updated version of the page.

4. Complete verification by clicking Verify on the verification details page.

Google Analytics tracking code

If you use Google Analytics to track your site's traffic, you can verify your site using the Google Analytics tracking code used in your Search Console property.

To do that:

  • You must have "edit" rights for the Google Analytics account used by that page;
  • You must use the same Google account for both Search Console and Google Analytics;
  • Your homepage must contain either the analytics.js or gtag.js snippet. The tracking code must be in the <head> section, not the <body> section, of your page.

Use this guide to set up Google Analytics, if you have not installed Google Analytics tracking code yet.

Google Tag Manager

If you have a Google Tag Manager account active on your site, you can verify ownership of your site using your Google Tag Manager container snippet code.

To do that:

  • You must have Publish permission for the Google Tag Manager container on the page;
  • You must use the same Google account for both Search Console and Google Tag Manager;
  • Your homepage must contain the correct tag in the correct location. The <noscript> portion of the Tag Manager code must be placed immediately after the opening <body> tag of your page. If it is not, verification will fail.

Use this guide to set up the Google Tag Manager container, if you have not installed Google Tag Manager code yet.

Domain Name System verification

Domain verification is required to verify a Domain property, but can also be used to verify a URL prefix property. This verification method involves submitting a record into your domain name provider's record list. This method may require you to be comfortable with a little bit of technical knowledge.

You can verify ownership of subdomains or root domains. Verifying ownership of a root domain verifies ownership of all subdomains, but verifying ownership of a subdomain does not verify ownership of a parent domain.

1. Choose the Domain name provider method and copy the unique TXT record that Google Search Console created for you.

2. Log in to your domain name provider and open specific domain settings.

3. Add your Search Console TXT record to your domain's DNS records.

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