One of the more important first steps to improving how Google displays a WordPress website is ensuring it’s properly added to Google Search Console. Google Search Console is a free tool that can help you identify issues and improve a website’s performance in Google search results.
This is a fairly easy to do process and not one with big consequences if you happen to mess something up. The biggest thing is ensuring you have the proper access and credentials to verify the website with Google, otherwise you’ll need to find those before the site can be added to Google search console.
To add a WordPress site to Google Search Console you’ll need:
- A Google Account
- Access to the Domain Registrar or Hosting Account where the DNS Settings
For the Google Account, you’ll want to use the one you typically manage other things for the website with. The Google Account or Gmail that you are signed in with when adding a site to Google Search Console will become the “Property Owner” in search console, from there you can add other additional Google Accounts or Gmails that you want to manage the property on Google Search Console if you wish.
For the DNS settings, this is how you will verify ownership of the website. Sometimes the DNS settings for a domain name are accessed through where you bought the domain name, the registrar, like GoDaddy for example if the website is also hosted there as well. But sometimes the DNS settings are controlled where the website is hosted, which might be different to where there website domain name is registered. For example, the domain name might have been purchased from GoDaddy but hosted on Bluehost, so the nameservers are pointed at Bluehost, where the DNS settings are controlled.
There are multiple ways to verify a WordPress website with Google Search Console but we’ll focus on using the most common DNS verification method but here are the others:
How to Add a Site to Google Search Console
First, ensure you are logged into the Google Account you want to give ownership to the site in Google Search Console.
Next, visit https://search.google.com/search-console/about and Start the process.
You’ll want to add a website which is detailed by Google here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/34592
Once you add a website, you’ll need to complete verification as we described above in this article. Be patient in this process as if you add a DNS entry it can take a few hours or more for propagation so that Google can confirm the new DNS TXT record.
After you’ve successfully verified the website with Google Search Console, it may take some time for data to appear, so be patient with this as well.
The following website provide additional helpful information if you continue to have issues with this process.
- Official WordPress Search Console Help Article
- How-to Article by WP Engine on Adding a Website to Search Console
- Yoast Article on how to Add a WordPress site to Search Console
- WPBeginner Article on how to Add a WordPress site to Google Search Console
Hopefully this information and the linked additional resources get you through the process smoothly so you can get on to improving a WordPress website’s performance in Google search results. For more WordPress SEO tips be sure to check out the free SEO Checklist.