How to Setup Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools

Establishing a baseline and understanding current performance is the first step to improving your SEO. Google Search Console (GSC) and Bing Webmaster Tools (BWMT) are the best tools to get started with. Setting up GSC and BWMT for your site is one of the first things you should do when optimizing your it for organic search. Let’s dive into how it’s done.

Spoiler alert: I strongly recommend setting up GSC first and importing your site(s) into BWMT after. This is particularly helpful when managing lots of domains.

How to setup Google Search Console (GSC)

  • Step 1 – Get a Google account and sign in
  • Step 2 – Open Google Search Console
  • Step 3 – Add a property
    • I always recommend setting up a domain property first to be more scalable
  • Step 4 – Verify the property
    • If you verify the domain property, all URL prefix properties on the same domain will automatically verify

When it comes to verifying a domain property you only have one option, and that’s through your DNS provider. I strongly recommend using this option as it will provide the most data and be the most scalable later on. You can verify your domain property by copying the txt record provided and adding it to your DNS records. Adding a DNS record might sound complex but it can be as easy as a few clicks.

Screenshot of Google Search Console DNS record verification method

Here’s a list of resources to help with verifying your GSC domain property via the DNS method:

You can verify a URL prefix property by using the HTML tag, HTML file upload or Google Analytics verification methods. The HTML tag method requires access to your website code so you can copy and paste a code into the <head> section. The HTML file upload verification method requires the ability to FTP (file transfer protocol) file to your website’s server. If you’re already using Google Analytics 4 you can easily verify Google Search Console by logging in with the same Google Account. For more details make sure to check out Google’s Getting started with Search Console & Verify your site ownership articles.

Verifying GSC for your WordPress site

Verifying your website with an HTML tag is really easy if you’re using Jetpack with your WordPress site. Start by creating a URL prefix property and copying the HTML tag. Next, go to your WordPress dashboard and go to Tools > Marketing and then click the traffic tab. Paste the code into the section for “Google” and save settings. If the Marketing tab is missing it’s likely because you don’t have Jetpack installed and/or enabled. See WordPress’s guide to verifying GSC for details.

Verifying GSC with Shopify

To my surprise Shopify doesn’t have an automated process or wizard for verifying GSC. You will need to edit the code of your Shopify theme to use the HTML tag verification method. Or you can use the DNS verification method referenced above.

Verifying GSC with Wix

Verifying GSC via the HTML tag method is simple with Wix. Navigate to your SEO dashboard and go to site verification under Tools and settings. Click on Google Search Console, copy and the HTML tag over from Google and click save. Check out Wix’s guide to verifying GSC to learn more.

Verifying GSC with Squarespace

Squarespace’s guide to verifying GSC is slightly misleading. Their guide is actually for connecting Google Search Console to the backend of Squarespace to popular the Search Keywords tab. I recommend following the DNS verification method above if you’re using Squarespace.

Verifying Bing Webmaster Tools

Now that you’ve setup and verified Google Search Console (GSC), let’s take a look at Bing. Thankfully we’ve saved the easiest part for last. You can simply import your GSC properties into Bing Webmaster Tools if you login with the same account. See Bing’s guide to adding a site for more details.

Working on implementing analytics too? Check out my quick how-to guide to learn how to setup Google Analytics 4!

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