How to register your Joomla website with Google Search Console
Recently, I have seen many people in our Joomla community, asking questions about Google Search Console (GSC) and how to register their site with the tool.
I, myself have some experience with the process when registering our own JoomlaShine website with GSC. And in this article, I’m gonna show you the steps and some tips that I have gathered during the process.
Let’s see what I got for you guys!
What is Google Search Console?
Previously known as Google Webmaster Tool or Google Webmaster Central until 2015, Google Search Console is a free service that provides different types of resources and information serving the needs of website owners, webmasters, marketers and SEO professionals to monitor and analyze the performance of their websites in the Google search engine.
You don't have to sign up for Google Search Console to be included in Google Search results but the tool helps you to understand and improve how Google looks at your Joomla website.
Why does every Joomla website need Google Search Console?
Google Search Console lets you learn a great deal of information about your website and the users who visit it. The tool helps you:
- To track the search ranking
- To track how many people are visiting your website and how they find it
- To find out which search phrases are driving the most traffic to your website
- To find out which pages are the most popular among visitors
- To add sitemap
- To find and fix website errors
- And many more
Beside a wide range of functions that Google Search Console offers for you and your online business, it also notices you when new errors occur through mail notifications. These notifications are the early awareness, notifying you to fix the issues.
These above mentioned functionalities are the reason why every Joomla website needs it and, entrepreneurs and marketers need to learn how to use it!
Adding your Joomla website to Google Search Console
The first thing you need to do is to create an account on Google Search Console official website. After typing the website's address into the address bar and press enter, you will find the "Start Now" button. Click on it.
Next, you need to log in through your Gmail account. Once you have successfully logged in, you need to add your property. Within the Google Search Console homepage, click on the main menu icon and "add a new property".
After clicking on the "add a new property" button, a pop up will appear to select the property type. Here you can add the website you want to use Google Search Console with.
There are 2 options you can choose from:
Option 1: Domain
If you choose this option, the only thing you need to add is your domain. This means adding without "www" or any subdomains. Choosing this option will allow you to track everything that is related to the domain you submit.
Option 2: URL prefix
This is the "older" option where you have to add the right URL. This means that you have to add the URL with "https" and with or without "www". It's crucially important to insert the correct URL in order for Google Search Console to collect the right data.
Note: Keep in mind that Google considers HTTP and HTTPs are 2 different protocols and websites with and without “www” are 2 different websites.
After adding your website, you need to verify that you are the rightful owner of it.
With the domain option, the system only allows a DNS verification, while using URL prefix allows you to verify in different methods.
If you want to learn more about the differences between the 2 options, have a go with Google documentation on adding a new property and verifying your site ownership.
There are 5 different ways you can verify your Joomla website:
- Using HTML Verification File
With this method, you need to upload a HTML file to the root directory of your Joomla website.
However, the downside is that you are required to have access to your server to upload the file.
- Using HTML Tag
With the HTML Tag, you need to add the meta tag provided by Google Search Console to your Joomla site's homepage.
The Tag should be placed in the <head> section, before the first <body> section.
- Using DNS TXT record
This method allows you to add a TXT record at your DNS provider side instead of your own Joomla website. And this method will come in handy, especially for a "performance fanatic", since there will be no coding involved in your Joomla website.
To get the TXT record, go to the "Domain name Provider" section and select your domain provider.
Afterward, you should be able to find a specific instruction from your domain provider to add the TXT record into the DNS configuration.
- Using Google Analytics
If you already have a Google Analytics tracking code installed at your Joomla website, then you can simply go to the Alternate methods tab and select Google Analytics button to verify.
If your Joomla website hasn’t installed Google Analytics tracking code, then check out this article with a step-by-step guide to install Google Analytics.
- Using Google Tag Manager
Similar to Google Analytics method, if you are already using Google Tag manager, you can verify your Joomla website with a single click.
So … which method you should choose?
In my opinion, whether or not you already have Google Analytics installed into your Joomla website, adding your site to Google Search Console using Google Analytics method seems to be the best option. As Google Analytics is also a very important and useful tool that you don’t want to miss out if you want to run a successful website.
Just a quick reminder, Google will regularly check your Joomla site’s verification. Therefore, no matter what method you use, it is essential to leave it in place after finishing the verification process.
What do you think of this article? If you have any questions regarding the verification process, please leave a comment under this post and we will try our best to support you.
Check out other articles:
- How to install Google Analytics in Joomla - Step-by-Step Guide
- [Google Analytics tutorials] Detailed guideline to improve traffic to your Joomla site
- How to track your Joomla e-commerce website using Google Analytics