23 December, 2016
Y ou are a young enthusiastic IT student and have successfully created a new website. Congratulations! So the next important question - "What next?". Have you ever wondered what should be done to grow your website so that more and more people visit it? To find an answer to this question you have come to the right place. This article is especially for those students who want to know what further steps should be taken after you have created a website. It covers basics of Google webmasters tools/Google Search console and Google analytics tools, How to get started with it and grow with its help.
Google search console is a free service from google which helps you get your site indexed on google and helps you know how people are interacting with your website on search results. You can submit your sitemap to the search console to help google discover all your pages. It also gives you information like what search terms people are using before they visit your website, how many people visit your site and how many times your site showed up in the search.
How to submit website to Search Console?
Adding your website to the search console is really easy. If you are new to the search console, you will have to add a website to get started. Once you type in your website address, you will be asked for verification.
There are a few different way by which you can verify your website on Search console:
- HTML file upload
- With the help of Google Analytics
- With the help of Google Tag Managers
- Domain name provider
Every way does the same thing i.e. verifying property. It is not that one gains better search engine rankings by following a particular method to verify, you can use whatever suits you.
If you verify it via Google Analytics or Google tag manager, make sure that you don’t remove it from your site or the property on search console will be unverified.
Once you are verified, your site is submitted to google and you can now access advanced report like Number of pages indexed, Crawl Errors, Search term reports etc.Make sure you submit sitemap.xml file in the search console. Submitting a sitemap helps google to identify your pages more quickly. (It is not compulsory to submit a sitemap)
Now that you have submitted and verified your website, start exploring the advanced reports to take advantage of the search console for your website.
How to use Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is an incredibly robust, free tool for measuring web traffic data. Using Google Analytics to track and evaluate performance and draw insights to improve business.
Every blog or website needs Google analytics to answer following questions:
- How many people visit my website?
- Where do my visitors live?
- Do I need a mobile-friendly website?
- What websites send traffic to my website?
- What marketing tactics drive the most traffic to my website?
- Which pages on my website are the most popular?
- How many visitors have I converted into leads or customers?
- Where did my converting visitors come from and go on my website?
While there are many questions google analytics can answer, these were the basic ones which every webmaster have in mind.
Installing Google Analytics is a really easy task. Go to analytics.google.com and fill out the information regarding your website, you will get a tracking code which you have to install on your website. That’s it.
There are three popular way to analyze your Google Analytic data are:
- Custom Report
Custom report, as the name suggests shows you custom reporting of the data relevant to you.
- To create a custom report for your organic search traffic, go to the custmization tab in your website profile and select the metrics you want.
- For example, a custom report of your landing pages with number of sessions, average time on page and number of goal completions will look like this.
Google already provides a default dashboard, you can also create a custom dashboard with metrics important to you to get a bird’s eye on how your website is performing.
Segments allow you to filter all of your Google Analytics data.
To create a segment, you have on the Add Segment button in the explorer view of your Google Analytics reports. There are many options available there like Mobile visitors, Returning visitors, Visitors who made a purchase, Paid Visitors etc. You can also create a custom segment of visitors if you need it.
That was all about checking the data. Now we answer some of the questions we discussed above.
Determine the number of visitors and the channels which drove them
For every webmaster, the main question is how many people visit their website and where do they come from. It is really easy to access this data in google analytics, go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. Voila! You have your answers right there.
Determine where your best visitors are located.
Have you considered using advertising via Google, Facebook, Stumble Upon, or other services? If not, it might be a daunting task to determine who you should target during your ad set-ups Many of them will ask if you want to focus on a specific country or target your ad worldwide.
Thanks to Google Analytics, you don’t have fret any longer. Simply look under your Visitors menu to see the Location demographics of your visitors.
Identify your best and worst performing pages
Once you know how many visitors you get and where are they coming from, you must also be interested in knowing which page is the most visited and which is the least visited page.
To identify the most visited page, go to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. To check on the least visited page, check on the pageviews column and you will have least visited pages.
Discover if you need a mobile site
Having a mobile site is inevitable but you might be interested in knowing what part of your visitors are visiting from mobile so that you can optimize for mobile and make your website mobile friendly. To check it, you can go to Audience > Mobile > Overview.
If you have created a funnel with a predetermined goal, you must know what is the exact path a customer is taking and where exactly people are leaving the website from the point they visit the website. To get this information, you will have to check the Behaviour flow report under the Behaviour tab. If analysed properly, it can be a source of invaluable information.
These were some of the basic things which you can check from Google Analytics, there are more advanced concepts like Creating a goal and goal funnel, Attribution modelling for eCommerce and Advanced eCommerce. You can start learning them when you got your basics clear. Opportunities on Google Analytics are limitless
Do comment below if you have any questions related to Google Analytics, I will be happy to help you out.