How to set up Google Search Console (2020)

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Google Search Console is a must for any business hoping to get more website traffic from search engines.

If you have a website, then you ought to know about Google Search Console.

Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, this free software is like a dashboard of instruments that let you manage your site.

Seriously, unless you prefer running your online business blindfolded, getting this set up should be any webmaster’s SEO priority.

In this article, you learn step-by-step how to set up a Google Search Console account.

Search Console is free software provided by Google that reveals information you can’t find anywhere else about your own website.

Google Search Console used to be called Google Webmaster Tools.

They changed the name to make the tools sound less technical and more inclusive.

For any search engine optimization project we undertake, we make sure Google Search Console is set up.

Google’s tools work for apps, as well, so app developers also benefit from the data.

These webmaster tools tell you how the search engine sees your site, straight from the horse’s mouth.

Here you can see site errors, check for broken pages, confirm site indexing, and more.

Plus, this is where you pick up any messages sent directly from Google.

Whether it’s a malware warning, a detected hack on your site, or a notice that you’ve been dealt a manual penalty — the search engine alerts you through Google Search Console.

In addition, these tools show you how people interact with your site in search results.

It’s like a private keyhole letting you spy on your website’s behavior in the larger world of search.

For example, you can see data such as:

  • What search terms your site shows up for in Google search (Yes, you can see keywords here!)
  • Your average site rankings in search results for those keywords
  • How many users are clicking on your site’s listing in Google results

You may have set up Google Tag Manager for your site already.

While there’s some overlap between the two products, they work best hand-in-hand to give you a more complete picture of your website traffic.

For monitoring your SEO efforts and maintaining your website, set up Google Search Console as your primary tool.


Start by Signing In to Google

Google wants to connect the dots between your website (or app) and you, so first you must log in to your Google account.

You can sign in through Gmail or anywhere you have a Google account.

If you don’t have a Google account, you must set one up.

Go to and click Sign in.

Then choose Create an account and complete the form.

Set Up Google Search Console

  • Go to Google Search Console.  
  • First you will need to log in. If you have Google Analytics, log in using the same details as you use to access your Analytics account. Alternatively you can log in with a Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you will have to create one before you can continue.
  • Once you have successfully logged in, click the “Add A Property” button at the top of the page.
  • Enter the URL of your website, then click continue.
    • Next you’ll be asked to verify that you own the website in one of four ways:
    1. If you have access to the root of your website you can upload a html file.
    2. If you manage your hosting yourself, you can verify via your hosting provider.
    3. If you use Google Tag Manager, you can verify via Google Tags.
    4. Or, by far the quickest and easiest method, verify ownership via your Google Analytics Tracking ID.
    • If you already have a Google Analytics Tracking ID installed, and we would highly recommend that you do, then setting up Google Search Console is very easy. Simply click the Verify button, and that’s it!

    Method #1: Google Analytics

    If you’ve set up Google Analytics for your website AND you have “administrator” permissions, you can verify your site ownership instantly.

    This is the preferred method of SEOs and webmasters alike because it’s usually the easiest one. Here’s what to do:

    1. Choose the “Google Analytics” option.
    2. Click the Verify button. That’s the whole procedure. You’re ready to use Google Search Console!

    If you DO NOT have Google Analytics, there are three methods to verify your site ownership. Read on to decide which will be the easiest verification method for you.

    Method #2: HTML Tag

    If you have access to edit your site’s HTML code, choose the “HTML tag” option.

    Copy the text line that Google displays in the shaded box (beginning with <meta name=). Now open your home page in your preferred website editor and paste that text into the Head section (near the top) of your home page. This creates a new meta tag. Save your changes in the editor program.

    Next, back in the Google Search Console setup page, click the Verify button. That’s it!

    gsc html tag verification method 600px

    Method #3: Domain name provider

    If you cannot use the first two methods, try the “Domain name provider” option.

    From the drop-down list, choose the company where you registered your domain name. Then follow the instructions Google gives you, which vary. When you’re finished, click the Verify button.

    gsc domain name provider verification method 600px

    Method #4: Google Tag Manager

    The last option for verifying your website works for people who have a Google Tag Manager account (and the “manage” permission). If that’s you, choose the fourth radio button and click the Verify button.



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    Jonathan Terreo
    Writing for me is not only a necessity, but a passion. As a child I remember always reading and writing, always with a curiosity that seemed to have no limit. I also remember when my first computer fell into my hands. I still retain the same fascination for technology, the same curiosity.
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