Now that your website has the minimum items required to Protect Your Referrals, we need to make sure that Google knows that it exists. We also want to setup Google Analytics so that you can track different metrics about your websites performance.
There is a lot of advanced data analysis that you can do with Google Analytics. It is a very powerful tool, and ten years ago you would have had to spend tens of thousands of dollars a year to have the level of analytics that Google provides to everyone for free now.
However, for this challenge, we are just going to focus on making sure you have things set up correctly and we will not get into the actual Analytics reporting.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console provides a number of services that allow you to make sure your website is running properly, and that Google is seeing your website the way you want them to see it.
Google Search Console used to be called Google Webmaster Tools and although the name change was three years ago, you may still hear many digital marketers refer to it by that name.
Google Search Console is also where Google is able to provide any warnings about your website. If there are issues with pages being indexed or if there is concern from Google about spammy links, this is where Google communicates that information. If you don’t have
Time needed: 20 minutes.
How to Set Up Google Search Console
- Go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home
Make sure you are signed into Google with the account you want to use to manage your website. We recommend you use the same Google account to set up your Search Console and Google Analytics.
- Once you are logged in, you can enter your website to start setting it up.
- Enter the URL of your website and select ADD PROPERTY button
It will start the process to add your website to Google Search Console. But, we have to verify to Google that we can control this website. This is a good thing, because we don’t want someone to be able to see all the data Google has about our website if someone just knows our URL.
- Verify the website
There are a few ways to verify the website. The easiest way if you are using a standard CRM like WordPress is to us the
HTMLtag. Google will give you a snippet of code and you just need to place that in WordPress on the page that allows you to enter information in the <HEAD> tag. For our website, because we use the Genesis framework, this is located in our Theme Settings for Genesis.
Once you save this to your website, double check the code on the website (typically, you can inspect the source of the page in your browser by
right clickingon the page and selecting view source). Now go back to Search Console and click “Verify”.
If the site is verified you are all set, but DO NOT remove this script in the HTML as it will disable your search console.
Once you are logged in to Search Console there are a few things you will want to do. For each of these steps, we will include the Google help page for the instructions.
- Set your preferred domain—if someone visits www.gngf.com vs. gngf.com in their browsers, that is two different websites to Google. Therefore we want to tell Google that any traffic from one should be assumed to be traffic to the other. In order to do this, we need to tell Google what our primary domain is. If you are brand new to this, we usually recommend the non-www site to be the preferred domain. However, if you have already set it up the other way, don’t change it.
- Setup Email Notifications setting— if you used a new Gmail account and not your main email, make sure to
setupyour email notifications so you can see any warnings Google has about your website.
- Connect Google Analytics and Search Console—once we setup Analytics next you want to associate these two platforms. Some data will carry through and help out your analytics data.
- Add Sitemaps to Google Search Console—(see section on When Your Content Changes)—if you are using a tool like Yoast SEO that we recommended yesterday, then you can authorize it to automatically post updated sitemaps and robots.txt to Google Search Console. While they are critically important to tell Google about your website, with the automated tools available, few people manually create and uploads sitemaps any more.
As we are focusing on just getting set up and started with Google Search Console, you have the basics now and that is all you need for today’s challenge. But this article from Google provides a general guide on how they recommend a webmaster use this tool.
Google Search Console focuses on how people are finding your website. Google Analytics focuses on who is visiting your website and what they are doing once they are there.
As you continue to focus on growing your leads from online marketing, Google Analytics will provide information to help understand which pages are performing best so you can adjust other pages or plan correctly for new website pages.
You can also set up goals for your website in Google Analytics. For example, you could set a goal for someone visiting a certain number of pages, or someone who fills out a lead form on your website. That way you can begin to figure out which pages on your site are generating the traffic that ultimately gets someone to raise their hand as a prospective client.
But, today we just want to make sure your website is setup correctly in Google Analytics.
Like the Search Console, as Google makes changes, the best source for step by step how-to is their own documentation. You can review more information on Google Analytics here.
To get started, be sure to be signed into the same account you used to set up your Search Console above and then visit https://www.google.com/analytics/ to get started. Click Sign In and then
You should be in the analytics screen now. You will then be required to create a “Property” for your website. Now we need to add some code to your website to allow Google Analytics to track everything that happens on your site.
To add the tracking code, go to the Admin page, then in the Property column, click on Tracking Code.
Copy the snippet of code you are provided, replace the UA (your unique analytics ID) in the code and then paste it into the <HEAD> section of your website, the same area we used above for the Search Console. Click here for more help.
Once the code is installed on your website, if you navigate to the Real-Time area of Google Analytics and then visit your website you should start to see data show up.
That’s it! You now have Google Search Console and Google Analytics setup on your website. You should read about setting goals on your website here.
We are done with the website portion of Protecting Your Referrals. Tomorrow we move onto helping you with your online reviews.