Search engine optimization takes many forms, but today we want to focus on something that all webmasters should do. One important step in optimizing your site for search engines is adding your WordPress site to Google Webmaster Tools. Using Google webmaster tools along with other tips that we have provided can be a huge help. In this article, we will show you how to add your WordPress site to Google Webmaster Tools.
What is Google Webmaster Tools
Google’s Webmaster tools is a set of tools offered by Google to give publishers a look at how their website is seen by the search engine. Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google. By submitting your WordPress sites to Google Search Console, you can find out quickly if Google is having a hard time accessing or crawling or site or distinguishing the content on your site.
How to Add your WordPress Site to Google Webmaster Tools
If you don’t have a Google Search Console account, visit Google Search Console. You will be asked to sign in with your Gmail or Google account or create a new account.
Once you are signed in, do the following to submit your site:
- Click the red Add a Site button in the upper-right corner.
- Enter the URL for your website, for example: example.com
- Click continue.
- You will be prompted to verify the domain.
- Click the Alternate Methods tab to verify the ownership using an HTML tag:
&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;meta name="google-site-verification" content="VerificationKeyCode" /&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
- In the All in One SEO plugin, Ultimate SEO plugin, or WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast (recommended), there will be a field in the plugin settings for you to verify your Google Webmaster Tools account. Copy the HTML tag from the Google Webmaster Tools page and paste it into this field. Here’s what it looks like in the General (Dashboard) Settings page for the WordPress .
- Click Save Changes
- Go back to Google Webmaster Tools and click the Verify button.
- Once the site is verified, click the red Add a Site button again. This time, add your site using the www version of the site, e.g. www.example.com.
Setting the Preferred Domain with Google Search Console
If you followed the steps above, you will now have two versions of your website verified with Webmaster Tools. The next step is to tell Google which is your preferred URL, which you can do by navigating to Configuration > Settings in the sidebar
You will want to repeat this process for both versions of the site (obviously, each preferred URL should point to the same version).
It doesn’t make a difference which one you go for — it’s an aesthetic choice more than anything. However, it is important that the version you pick matches the URL defined in the General Settings of your blog
Submitting Your WordPress XML Sitemap To Google Search Console
To create your sitemap, we recommend using one of two plugins
The first option is just a straight-up XML sitemap generator, with no other hassle. SEO by Yoast, on the other hand, is a fully-featured SEO optimization plugin.
To create an XML sitemap with SEO by Yoast, just install and activate the plugin, then navigate to SEO > XML Sitemaps in the sidebar. On the resultant screen, just check the box to enable XML sitemap functionality, and you’re done!
To submit your sitemap to Google:
- In Google Webmaster Tools, click on your website, and then click on Crawl.
- Click Sitemaps.
- Click the red Add/Test Sitemap button.
- Enter the file name for the sitemap. If you are using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, the URL is: sitemap_index.xml.
- Click Test Sitemap.
- If the test is good, click the Add/Test Sitemap button again and enter the filename for the sitemap again.
- Click Submit Sitemap.