4 Steps to Get Your WordPress Site Indexed by Google

Cup of coffee with laptop

Google is hands-down the largest search engine on the planet. It operates a near monopoly share of search volume to the tune of 92.96% of global traffic.

Considering that 68% of all online experiences start with a query in a search engine, it’s clear that your website definitely needs to be indexed on Google if you want to tap into that traffic.

How Do I Know if My Website is Already Indexed?

Chances are unless your website is brand new, Google has already crawled and indexed it. If you want to be sure, a quick, easy trick to check is by searching site:yourdomain.com in Google.

If Google has crawled your website before, you’ll see a list of search results for your pages.

If you don’t get any results, first check to make sure there weren’t any typos in your query. If everything looks correct but you’re still seeing zero results, it’s time to take the next steps to index your website.

Why is My WordPress Site Not Indexed by Google?

The most likely culprit – your WordPress settings are actively discouraging search engines from indexing your website.

But don’t despair! This is an easy fix.

To make sure your website can be seen by search engines, navigate to Settings on the back end of your WordPress site, then click Reading. When you scroll down, you’ll discover the search engine visibility option.

WordPress Discourage Search Engines Screenshot

Make sure this box is NOT checked. If you made any changes, don’t forget to save.

If this box is already unchecked, we’ll cover how to get your website indexed by Google in the following steps.

How to Index a WordPress Site on Google in 4 Steps

Search engines don’t require manual submissions in order to discover websites. They usually find them on their own through the process of crawling.

However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you want to make absolutely sure Google is finding and indexing your WordPress site, follow these steps:

Step 1: Create a Google Search Console Account

If you haven’t heard of Google Search Console, it’s a free tool that Google supplies to help website owners track search rankings and monitor errors and other issues that might affect search performance. You’ll need to log in with a Google or Gmail account to get started.

Step 2: Connect Your Website to Google Search Console

Within Google Search Console (GSC), you have the option to connect your WordPress website based on the domain or URL prefix. I recommend using the latter so you don’t have to change your DNS records.

Remember that Google views HTTP and HTTPS as separate identities, as well as the www prefix. For example, http://www.example.com is not the same website as https://example.com, at least as far as GSC is concerned.

To ensure you input the correct URL for your website, go to Settings > General in WordPress and locate the Site Address (URL):

WordPress General Settings Screenshot

Once you put the correct URL into Google Search Console, you’ll need to verify ownership.

Step 3: Locate Your XML Sitemaps

In many cases, you can find your sitemap with one of these URLs:

  • yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml
  • yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml

If you don’t find it in your results, you may need to create one. This requires an SEO plugin such as Yoast or All-in-One SEO.

Step 4: Submit XML Sitemaps to Google Search Console

In Google Search Console, you’ll find Sitemaps among your settings in the left-hand column. From there, you can copy and paste your sitemap URL into Google Search Console and then click Submit. If you have multiple sitemaps, repeat this step for all of them.

How Do I Index a Page or Post on Google?

Google is generally pretty speedy, but there can be some lag time between when you publish and when Google crawls the new content. If you’ve recently published a page or post and want to make sure it’s indexed as quickly as possible, log in to Google Search Console and navigate to the URL inspection tool at the top of the page.

Paste the full URL you want to index into the tool. If the page has not been indexed yet, you can prompt Google to crawl it by selecting “Request indexing.”

If the page is already on Google, you don’t need to take any further action unless you have recently updated and/or republished content and want to make sure Google has the most up-to-date version on file.

"Need help with optimizing your website or Google Search Console? I'm here to help!"


Smart Web Design for Google Indexing Success

In most cases, website indexing happens automatically, without any need for you to take action. However, it never hurts to double-check and make sure everything is working the way it should be.

Using Google’s free tools, such as Google Search Console, is a great way to not only stay on top of any website issues but also to get suggestions from Google about how to improve the user experience on your site or address errors.

It may be time to give your website design a refresh to ensure it’s optimized for Google to easily crawl and index.

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