For law firms that want their websites to be found online, Google Search Console is an extremely useful tool. It gives you access to some unique reporting metrics, allows you to submit your sitemap, and helps you perform other tasks vital to your lawyer SEO strategy.
But to make sure that you really are the owner of the website you’re trying to add to Google Search Console, you’ll have to be verified by Google. To learn more about what Google Search Console is and how you can go through the process of verifying your website, continue reading.
What is Google Search Console or “GSC”?
Verifying your law firm’s website in Google Search Console is necessary if you want access to the data that Search Console can provide. But first, it’s important to understand what exactly Google Search Console is used for and how it can help you manage your law firm’s website.
What Google Search Console Does
Google Search Console is a collection of tools that website owners can use to make sure their website is searchable. It can diagnose technical SEO issues, give you feedback on the most popular pages on your website, assess your click through rates (CTRs), help you increase your traffic, and more.
You can also connect Search Console to Google Analytics and Google Data Studio to help you get a complete understanding of how your website is performing, and if you want more insight into your law firm PPC campaign, you can integrate Search Console with Google Ads as well.
It’s completely free and available to be used by any webmaster.
Who Should Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is useful for anyone that has a website. It’s especially useful for law firms that own and operate their own websites, since it gives them the tools they need to make sure their website is being seen by the people that need their services.
Google Search Console can also be used by SEO specialists and marketers, web developers, site administrators, or anyone else that is responsible for making sure a website is getting the traffic it needs.
How to Access Google Search Console
To access Google Search Console, sign in to your Google account and open Google Search Console by typing in search.google.com to your browser.
Then, click “Add a property” and choose “Website” from the drop-down menu. Enter the URL of your law firm’s website and click “Continue.” Then, you’ll be asked to verify your website, which you can do using the steps below.
Getting Your Law Firm’s Website Verified in Google Search Console
You can verify your law firm’s website manually using a few different methods, or you can do it using a WordPress plug-in. We’ve outlined all of the ways you can verify your law firm’s website below.
Verifying Your Law Firm’s Website Manually
There are a few ways to verify your website in Google Search Console manually. One is by using an HTML verification file. To use this method, you will upload an HTML file to your website’s root directory.
You’ll download an HTML verification file through Google Search Console, connect it to your website’s root file (usually through an FTP, like FileZilla), and then go back to Google Search Console and click Verify. You may want to get your web developer’s help when you do this.
Another popular way to verify your law firm’s website in Google Search Console is to use an HTML tag. You can do this by copying an HTML tag from Google Search Console, pasting the tag into the Header.php file of your website, saving it, and going back to Google Search Console and clicking the Verify button. If you have a WordPress site, you can access your header.php file under the “Appearance” tab on the left sidebar of your WordPress dashboard.
It’s also possible to verify your law firm’s website by adding a .TXT record to your domain name service (DNS) provider. Since you don’t have to add any code to your site to use this method, most people say it’s the easiest way to verify your site with Google Search Console. To verify your site using this method, go to the Alternate methods tab in Google Search Console, select Domain name provider, and select your domain provider from the drop-down (if your domain provider isn’t listed, you can choose Other). Then, add the TXT record you receive to your domain registrar and click Verify on Google Search Console.
Let’s say you have a GoDaddy hosting account. You’ll want to 1) log into GoDaddy 2) Click “My Products” 3) Click “Domain” 4) Click on the DNS Records option of the domain you’d like to verify 5) Click “ADD” a record 6) Select TXT 7) Add the TXT record provided by Search Console.
If you have already set up Google Analytics, you can use it to verify your website in Google Search Console. Go to the Alternate methods tab in Google Search Console, select the Google Analytics button, and click Verify. If you’re using Google Tag Manager to verify your website, just go to the Alternate methods tab in Google Search Console, select the Google Tag Manager button, and click Verify.
Verifying Your Law Firm’s Website Using a WordPress Plug-in
If your law firm’s website is hosted on WordPress, you can use a plug-in tool to easily verify your site in Google Search Console. If you have Yoast (a popular WordPress plug-in for SEOs), you can verify your website by going to General on your WordPress dashboard and then selecting the Webmaster Tools tab. Go back to Google Search Console, select the HTML tag option, and copy the HTML tag into the box in the Webmaster tools section and click Save in the Yoast interface. If you’re using a different plug-in, the process is virtually the same — you can get the HTML tag from Google Search Console and paste it into the appropriate area to verify your website.
Note: Majux Marketing recommends avoiding plugins as much as possible, even if you have a WordPress site. They are liable to break during site and WordPress updates, so if you can easily accomplish a task without involving a plugin, we recommend doing so.
Get Your Website Verified by Google Search Console
Having data about your website’s performance is an important tool; you can improve your search rankings and make informed marketing decisions once you’ve taken the steps to get verified by Google Search Console. We’re available to answer any questions you may have about what Google Search Console is used for and how you can get your website verified. Call us at (215) 309-1631 to chat.