How to Set-Up Google Search Console for Clients

Requesting access to multiple accounts is common practice when working with a new web design client. While clients can just share their username and password, that’s not considered best practice and can cause some problems.

When it comes to creating an account for a client, it can be confusing which is the right way to do this. Many web designers want to make the process as easy as possible for their clients so they set-up their clients site on their on their own Google Search Console account. What we want to remember is, this is the client’s business not yours so they should retain full control of all accounts related to their business.

So here’s how you can gain access to and set-up a Google Search Account for your web design clients.

Why Use Google Search Console for Your Clients?

While we see Google Search Console get overlooked, there are several reasons why you should take a few minutes to set-up the account for every website you work on. The account allows you to:

  • Monitor, maintain and troubleshoot site’s presence in Google search
  • Understand and improve how Google sees the site
  • Verify Google can index your site
  • Receive alerts and warnings such as spam, malware, hacking, responsive issues and indexing errors
  • See which websites link to the site
  • Find out about broken links
  • See keyword click and impression information
  • It’s free so why not? 🙂

Two options for Accessing a Client Google Search Console Account

In order to allow the client to retain full ownership of their account, you have two options:

  1. Create a client email account that you can use to set-up all their accounts. The client owns the email account and can revoke your access anytime. This email can be used for any and all accounts you set-up for them.
  2. Have them add you as an owner or as a user with full permissions.

Let’s review these in a little more detail…

Option #1: Create an Account For The Client

If a client already has an account they use for their business or Google Analytics, you can ask them to add you as an administrator to the account. This will give you the permissions you need in order to fully set-up and access their Google Search Console Account.

Otherwise, create a new gmail account that can be used for this sole purpose.

Option #2: Ask Client to Add You as An Owner or User With Full Permissions

It’s easy to add a new user to a Google Search Console Account. Since this is completely new territory for most clients, it’s helpful to provide them with step-by-step instructions so they don’t have to figure it out themselves (or worse, the work gets delayed).

You can either request to 1) be added as an account owner or 2) be added as a user with full permission. There are only a few differences in permissions as you can see in Google’s chart:

To add a user with full (or restricted) permission, simply follow these steps:

  1. From the dashboard, click on Settings in the left hand nav menu
  2. From the settings page, under the Property Settings section select Users and Permissions
  3. Click the blue Add User button
  4. Enter the email address of the person you wish to add
  5. Select the full or restricted permission

To add a user as an owner, follow these steps:

  1. From the dashboard, click on Settings in the left hand nav menu
  2. From the settings page, under the Property Settings section select Users and Permissions
  3. Click the three dots to the right of the current owner and select Manage Property Owners
  4. In the new browser window, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Add an Owner button
  5. Enter the email address of the person you wish to add as an owner and click Continue
  6. Select the full or restricted permission

**Note: if there is more than one version of the URL set-up, this will need to be done for each URL.

How to Set-Up Google Search Console for Clients

  1. Visit Google Search Console
  2. Enter the client’s website address and click Add Property
  1. Next you’ll need to verify ownership of the property (domain you just added). For the domain property type, you’ll need to update the TXT record with your domain name provider. If you’re looking for other options, select the URL prefix option.Verification options and instructions for how to verify your site can be found here.
  1. Once your site is verified, submit your site to Google by going to Index > Sitemaps from your dashboard

If your site has less than 500 pages, you can use to generate a free XML sitemap (which is what you need for Google Search Console).

  1. Set-up email notifications so you will be notified if Google spots any issues or errors with your site so you know right away. To do this, from your dashboard click the User Settings icons > Email Preferences and make sure the Enable notification by email box is checked.

Additional Training

Google has a series of 12 short, easy-to-understand videos that walk you how to set-up and benefit from Google Search Console we recommend reviewing. Setting up an account is not enough. Take some extra time to understand how to get the most out of the account.

Removing Access

A quick note on removing a web designer’s access to a client’s Google Search Console account…

It’s also a professional move to include a line about how they can remove you as the web designer from the account. This instills a level of trust and client’s have much better things to do than to be playing around with your permissions in Google Search Console.

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