Setting up your website foundation with Google
If you just launched your new website, congrats! We know how excited and accomplished you must feel. But now what? Your site is beautiful, easy to navigate, and has lots of great content, but you want to convert prospects by having a beautiful tombstone in a deserted land. You now have to garner traffic.
Here are a few steps for setting up what we like to call the “Search Foundation” of your website:
- Set Up Google Analytics
Setting up a Google Analytics account is one of the first things K+C does after we launch a new website. The main incentive of this is to accurately track your website traffic so that you know who is visiting your website. Not only do you get to track the number of people and where they came from, but you get to track the activity on your website. This is becoming extremely important with cookie tracking becoming obsolete soon.
Among other tracking capabilities, you’ll be able to see the geographic reach, the source (such as direct, paid search, organic search, social, etc.), as well as the length of time users spend on each page, which is also important for pages that are meant to convert or pages you spent time writing great content for.
These awesome insights help you understand how your website is performing and gives you the data to help you optimize your online presence.
If your site is built on WordPress, you can easily add the Google Analytics code to the head of the site once your account is set up. You can also do this through Google Tag Manager if that is a platform you are comfortable with.
- Set Up Google Search Console
Once you have your Google Analytics account set up, you’ll need to think about how people can find your website. Yes, your site is live and accessible now, but it’s important to understand that it’s not automatically showing up in Google’s search yet.
K+C hears this disappointment from clients very often. But don’t fret! To inform Google that your site is ready for visitors, you will need to submit your sitemap to Google so that it can index the pages. You will have to create a Google Search Console account to do this. This can be used as a reporting tool to cover several SEO metrics and allow you to capitalize on the visibility of your website (remember no tombstone), and most importantly, improve your search rankings. The reporting even gets as granular as website speed and mobile performance.
- Connect and Add Google Search Console to Google Analytics
Yep, you guessed it! Time to tie the last two steps together.
No one wants to jump back and forth between platforms when you can look at all the reporting and data in one place. At K+C, we breathe simplicity! Which makes this extra step worth it in the long run.
Just make sure you are logged in with the Google Account associated with the Google Analytics Account you want to link with Google Search Console.
- Set Up your SSL Certificate
Even if Google isn’t ranking your site yet, hackers can already have eyes on your page. It is very important to purchase your SSL certificate and implement it on your site as soon as you can. Once you’ve done this, by default, your website will begin to use HTTPS. This is not only a very important protection for your website, but it also helps with your SEO ranking. Google will reward you for making your website secure.
Cookies, HTTPS and SSL might sound like a confusing combination of letters and sweets, but when it comes to web security, these protocols are actually fairly straightforward. Knowing their differences and how they can each protect the integrity of your website is crucial. They can be easy to implement, and most users are already familiar with seeing the terminology of “HTTP” and “cookies.” Learn more on our blog “What you should know about web security protocols.”
Again, this is just the foundation of getting your website ready for traffic. Continued support and maintenance are important factors in making sure your website remains an effective tool for driving new business and keeping customers coming back. Contact us today if you’re interested in our web maintenance or Search Engine Optimization services!