When you start a blog and want it to be seen by everyone; you can never ignore the search engines.
And when we talk about search engines, Google is the first name that comes to our mind and for many, it is the only name.
To make your blog found on Google you will need to first submit your blog’s URL to it.
So, does it mean you don’t really need to do anything else to make your blog to show up on Google?
Well, not really. If you want your blog to be seen for some specific keywords then you’ll need to do a lot more than just submitting your blog to Google.
You will have to do SEO – Search Engine Optimisation.
And, in SEO, connecting your blog to the search console is the first step you should follow.
Now, if you are a complete beginner then connecting your blog to search console might seem like a daunting task. But it is actually not.
Just follow the steps below and you will be good to go.
How to connect your blog to Google Search Console:
- By adding a TXT record to your domain’s DNS configuration.
- By uploading an HTML file to your site.
- By adding a meta tag to your blog’s homepage.
- By using Google Analytics account.
- By using the Google Tag Manager account.
Out of the five options, number 1, 2 and 3 are the easiest ways to verify the domain for a newbie.
Other two options are a bit advanced. So, I suggest don’t stress over them right now. Once you’re well versed with these tools you can always come back later try them out for yourself, in case if you ever need to reverify.
Ok, let’s start…
Step 1: Sign up for Google Search Console (previously known as the Google Webmaster Tool).
Step 2: On the welcome screen, type in your blog’s URL in the domain box and click on Continue.
Now, it will ask you to verify your ownership via DNS record.
Step 3: Copy the TXT Record from the last screen and log in to your Namecheap account (or wherever you’ve purchased the domain from). if it’s Namecheap only, then click the ‘Manage’ button right to your domain name.
Step 4: go to the Advanced DNS tab and scroll below to find the “ADD NEW RECORD” option
Step 5: from the dropdown menu select ‘TXT Record’; In the Host field, put @. In the Value field, paste the entire verification record that you’ve copied in step 3.
Step 6: go back to the Search Console. Hit the VERIFY button on the screen in Step 2.
That’s it. if you’ve done everything right till here you should see a confirmation message ‘Ownership verified‘
In case if the verification process fails then you can either wait for a day and try again, or you can just use any of the other options available. Only thing is you’ll have to start over.
Let’s do the HTML file upload method to verify the domain ownership.
For this method you’ll need to log in to your hosting Cpanel; so, have your control panel username and password handy.
When you click on the option HTML file upload in search console. Google already tells you how to do it and it’s pretty straightforward.
But you if you still found it tough to understand then here is my version of the same:
Step 1: Open Google Search Console on a new tab, log in if you aren’t already.
Step 2: On the welcome screen, instead of the Domain box, type in your blog’s URL in the URL Prefix box (make sure you enter the domain with https://) and hit ‘CONTINUE’
Step 3: Download the HTML verification file on the next screen.
Step 4: Log in to cPanel (your hosting provider account).
Step 5: Find File Manager and click it. A small window will pop-out.
Step 6: Select the radio button that says “Document Root For” and select your blog’s URL if not selected by default.
it will directly take you to the root directory of your site. Just make sure you are seeing the wp files and folders, almost all file names should start with “wp-”
Step 6: Find the upload button inside the file manager and upload the HTML file you downloaded from the search console.
Step 7: Once the file is successfully uploaded, head back to the search console and click the VERIFY button.
Step 8: Now you should see the ownership verified pop up, given that everything was done correctly.
Note: To stay verified, don’t ever remove the HTML file, even after verification succeeds.
Finally, the third method, by adding a meta tag to the blog’s header. here is how to do it:
Here is how to do it:
On the Google verification page, switch the tabs to see the alternate method and select the option that says, HTML Tag.
Now, Google will give you a meta tag which should go in the <head> section, before the first <body> section.
Copy the meta tag and login to your WordPress dashboard.
Goto Appereance>Editor> and on the right side, you will see a list of templates; Click on the theme’s header.php template.
Inside the <head> section, you will see there are one or two meta tags already exist. Just press enter after the tags and paste the code you got from Google.
Now, head down to the bottom of the editor and click on the button update file.
Warning: before you make any changes to the codes, first save a copy of it to a Word file or text file so that if anything goes wrong you can always revert it back.
Once the file is edited and saved successfully, go back to the webmaster’s tool and click on verify. Now, your blog must be verified successfully.
Alternatively, if the above option looks too technical to you then you can also use the inbuilt feature that comes with Yoast SEO plugin.
First, go to Google Search Console and select verify with HTML tag.
When Google presents you the meta tag, just copy the code found in the content tag without the quotes. Refer to the image below:
Now, come back to your WP dashboard and navigate to Go to>SEO>Dashboard>Webmaster Tools>
Here paste the copied code inside the box against Google Search Console and save the settings.
Now, go back to Google Search Console and click on verify (make sure you’ve selected HTML tag as the verifying option.)
If you did exactly as suggested, you should now see the congratulations message from Google.
Technically you have now successfully connected your blog to Google search console.
The Google bots would now crawl down to your blog and start to index the pages and posts, but the bots don’t know your site that well yet, so to make it easier for them, it is important that you submit a sitemap of your blog to the search console.
Here is how to do this:
Step 1: Install this plugin Google XML Sitemaps and activate.
Step 2: Go to Settings> XML Sitemape>
Leave the Basic Options and Additional pages as it is.
Next, you can set the Post Priority as you want, see the descriptions given below each option; it’s pretty much self-explanatory.
On Sitemap Content section you can decide which pages you want to show up on Google. If you are not sure just leave it as it is, we will discuss it later.
Scrolling down, you will have the Excluded items section, here you can skip specific posts and categories. So, if you want some posts, page or categories to stop showing up in Google then here you can add them.
Next stop is the Change frequencies. This section is important coz here you can define how often do you want the search engine crawlers to crawl your blog. However, the crawlers might not consider the rules you set but it will still give them a hint about how often you make a change on your blog.
If you publish a post every day then keep it to daily and similarly, you can set it to weekly or monthly as per your schedule.
Coming to the last section Priorities; here you can set the priorities for the specific pages, posts, categories, and archives. The higher the number the highest the priority. It simply means when the web crawler comes to your blog, you are telling it to crawl the page first that has the highest priority.
Once everything is set properly click on Update options.
Step 3: To find your sitemap XML file go to http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml. Replace “yourdomain” with your own domain name.
Step 4: Log in to the dashboard of Google webmaster tool. Click on Crawl > Sitemaps>
You will see a button at the right-top that says “ADD/TEST SITEMAP”
Click that button and once it asks for the sitemap address, type in the slug from your sitemap URL after the ” / “. Some cases the slug might be different if you are using some other plugin.
Click Submit or you can even test if the sitemap is working properly before submitting it.
That’s it if you have followed all the instructions right then your sitemap is now successfully submitted to Google and the Google bots will start to index your blog soon.
Congratulation! you have now successfully connected your blog to Google Search Console.
Visit your webmaster account after some time or maybe a day later to check how the indexing is going.
Now you just need to install an SEO plugin and start optimizing your posts and pages.
And you should also connect your blog to Google Analytics. Read the post to find out how?
If you have any query related to the topic we discussed today or anything related to blogging just leave a comment, I will get back to you asap.
Have a nice weekend. I will see you soon.
P.S. If you liked what you read today, please share it with your friends and family who you believe might benefit from this.