In a previous internet marketing tip, I wrote about how website owners should make sure to claim your “Free” Google My Business and Bing Places for Business listings since they play a fundamental part in building your SEO program by getting your business listed on the search engine maps.
Using the same login credentials you used to set up those accounts, you can now set up the next items on your internet marketing “to do” list which are your website’s analytics and search console accounts.
The three accounts you want to set up are;
Google Analytics – https://analytics.google.com
Installing Google analytics will allow you to see the traffic coming to your website and you’ll be able to gather a whole lot of information including; the source of the traffic, the demographics, location etc.
Google Search Console – https://search.google.com/search-console
Installing the Google Search Console (in the old days we called it Webmaster tools) allows Google to scan and give you feedback about your website including; broken links, error warnings, crawl updates etc. This is a way for you to keep track of the health of your website and it allows you to gain some insights on how Google views your website.
Bing Webmaster Tools – https://www.bing.com/toolbox
The same principle as Google, but it is the Yahoo and Bing search tool. Too often the number two and three search engines get over-looked by website owners which means lost opportunities. By following the links above, you will be walked through the set-up process and getting your tracking codes (called snippet codes) installed the codes onto your website.
Installing the Snippet Codes
When you set up the accounts for Google and Bing they will have a nice little piece of Snippet code that needs to go into your website’s source code so they can link to your website (talk to it).
Don’t panic, if you have a webmaster (a person who works on your website) they will know what to do with the code or if you are managing your own website chances are you have some type of platform like a WordPress, Shopify or a Wix that usually have a place for you to insert the Snippet codes.
90 percent of my clients over the years have had WordPress websites and I recommend the All in One SEO plugin for them. This plugin has fields already configured to insert the codes right into.
Once you have the snippet codes inserted into your source code (or equivalent), you’ll then go back to your Google and Bing dashboards and verify them. This will let you know that the search engines are now linked to your accounts. It’s that easy!
Submitting a Sitemap
Now that you have your Bing and Google search consoles set up you can submit your websites sitemap which will invite the search engines to send their little “bots” to crawl your website and evaluate it to start ranking it in the search engines. Of course, if you have a platform like a WordPress and are using something like the All in One, then all you have to do is check a box and the plugin does the work for you. (website owners these days sure are spoiled).
It’s also important to submit a new sitemap whenever you are making changes to the website or if you are adding new content (like in a blog). Good, ongoing content is a key to help improve your website rankings since content is considered “King” to the search engines.
Think of the search engines like your local Home Association, you want to constantly be doing home improvements, so you get recognized by them and get a good recommendation.
Time to Crunch The Numbers
While you may not get all “nerdy” looking over your analytics, its a key tool to have in place when you want to see how traffic is flowing on your website. There are internet marketers that all they do is focus on analytics and traffic patterns to forecast website So while your business might not have the level of traffic yet where you need a dedicated analytics person, keep in mind that analytics is a huge field and if it is that important then it should be an indication that your website should at least be set up for it.
As always if you are really stuck and find yourself in an internet marketing emergency you can “Break the Glass“.