Understand your online presence with two free tools from Google

Following on from our last post regarding Google Places and Google+, below are details regarding the two free tools from Google that help you to better understand your online presence. These tools are Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.

Both tools provide useful information on your website and website traffic which can help you to develop your website and therefore your online presence.

1.       Google Analytics

Google Analytics is free and an incredibly powerful tool.

It provides loads of information on how visitors came to your website, what pages they visited, what type of device they were using (desktop, tablet or mobile) and more.

I know there are still businesses out there that aren’t using this free tool. If you’re one of them then sign up now at http://www.google.com/analytics/, add the code to your website or ask your web developer to, and start seeing information on your website. Below you can see the ‘Sign in’ or ‘Create an account’ screen.

Once you’ve signed up and added the code to your website, you’ll start receiving valuable information on your website.  The standard dashboard is shown here.

Of course information without action is worthless. And that’s where the setting up of goals is so crucial. It still amazes me how many businesses don’t have goals set up or worst still don’t have any goals to set up!

It doesn’t matter what business you are in, your website should be working for you and should be generating enquiries and sales. One way to track this is by using forms on your website with thank you pages so you can set up goals in Google Analytics. Setting up the goals means you can track which pages and forms are generating your leads and enquiries. If you’ve got Analytics set up but no goals you are seriously missing a big opportunity.

To set up Goals, go to Conversions, Goals and Overview – if you haven’t got Goals set up, you’ll see a prompt to set them up as shown below.

Click on ‘Set up goals’ and ‘Create a goal’ and create your first goal! Create as many ‘Goals’ as there are ‘thank you pages’, ‘downloads’, etc. Basically monitor all those actions that visitors to your website make that you want them to perform.

Once you start getting the data on conversions, you can use the information to help you develop pages that convert more visitors into leads and sales.

Google Analytics really is an exceptional, free tool from Google. Why not set up your account today, or if you have one already set up some goals?

2.       Goals Webmaster Tools

With Google Webmaster Tools, Google will actually tell you what they think of your website! They give you the information! Seriously Google Webmaster Tools provides a wealth of data on how Google views your website as well as providing details of what needs reviewing or revising.

Go to Google Webmaster Tools, sign up, add the code (or ask your webmaster too), or verify through Google Analytics and over a period of time, you’ll start to see a wealth of useful information.

If you don’t want to get too technical check out the following as a starter:

  1. Under Search Appearance go to HTML improvements – here Google gives you a list of title tags and descriptions that need reviewing. There may be duplicates which definitely need to be sorted as title and description tags should be unique for each page. And if they are too short, simply make them longer and more descriptive.
  2. Under Search Traffic go to Search queries – this section contains useful information on how visitors are finding you, what phrases they are using and where you are ranked for those phrases on Google’s search engine.
  3. Under Search Traffic go to Links – you’ll be able to see which websites are linking to you.
  4. Under Google Index go to Index Status – here you’ll be able to find out how many pages Google is indexing over time. Obviously you want to be gradually increasing the number of pages being indexed.

Looks like someone has been busy adding pages to their website?

As you can see there is so much information in both Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. It is therefore very important to think about what you want to monitor and what you want to improve.

TIP: If you’ve got Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools set up then don’t forget to link the two tools.

If you need help getting the Tools set up or help getting the most out of Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools then please contact us by calling 0115 880 0211.

And please feel free to share and like this post as well as get in touch with me if you have any comments.

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