Every day, countless websites are published by business owners that are looking to expand their digital footprint, build brand awareness, and sell their products online. In 2020, having a store that customers can walk into isn’t enough, you have to market your business online.
That means publishing a website that is fully optimized for the ultimate user experience. You can add catchy text and flashy imagery to your website, but that’s not where the challenge of captivating your audience ends.
Since thousands of businesses publish their websites without a clear understanding of how SEO (search engine optimization) works, oftentimes business owners fail to reach their web page’s full potential.
Luckily, we created a list of website must-haves that will help you leap headfirst into the massive lead generation pool that is the internet, and tread water without issues.
1. Google Analytics
We get it!
It’s pretty obvious we’re encouraging you to add Google Analytics on a list of website must-haves when publishing a new webpage to track incoming traffic and its source. But did you know it does far, far more than just track your website’s traffic?
You can track website analytics, understand the demographics of who is coming to your website and their locations, to better target them if you chose to start a pay-per-click campaign using Google Ads. Most important, you can create custom alerts that will email you if your bounce rate increases by a specific percentage, or set up a monitoring system that will notify you if your website traffic dips below a certain number.
Just by adding a few snippets of code to your website’s header, which Google Analytics creates for you when you sign up, you will see real-time traffic every time you log in.
- Create a Google Analytics account
- Find where it says “Admin” in the lower-left corner and click it.
- In the middle section under “Property,” click on “Tracking Info.” A drop-down menu will present itself, then click “Tracking Code.”
- You’ll get redirected to another section that will reveal your site-specific tracking code.
- Copy and paste the entire code/snippet into your website header — click “save.”
- Then, go ahead and hit the “send test traffic” to make sure you’re fully connected. Once you see your traffic numbers increase, you’re all set with Google Analytics.
2. Google Search Console
Again, another obvious website must-have that most entrepreneurs don’t know about. This tool will singlehandedly help increase your website’s traffic and help you rank for keywords you might not have thought of… if you know how to use it correctly.
There are a few ways to connect to your website to Google Search Console. One way, and our favorite, is through a WordPress plugin called Yoast. Yoast is one of the best plugins that automatically creates a sitemap for your website, but you have to have a WordPress site. Look for comparable add-ons for Shopify sites and Wix sites in their app directories by searching with the keyword “SEO.”
Here’s how to connect to Google Search Console using Yoast:
- Add Yoast as a new plugin in your WordPress dashboard. Activate the plugin and allow it to index your website.
- Once you’ve got it installed, open another tab and head to the Google Search Console and add your website’s URL in the URL Prefix section. Click “continue.”
- You’ll get a series of code to add to your website, but if you’re using Yoast, paste the code in the Google verification code section of Webmaster Tools. Then save your changes.
Using Google Search Console is going to have a massive impact. Using Yoast — which we’ll get into in a few paragraphs — you can alert Google that your website is live by submitting your sitemap and getting your website indexed sooner rather than later… which will help generate leads for your company.
Once you’ve set it up, within a few weeks Google Search Console will tell you which keywords you’re popping up for in search queries. This is a crazy beneficial tool if you know how to use it correctly, which we’ll discuss in another post. But take our word for it, Google Search Console is a massive game-changer for a small business operating in 2020.
Here’s the last bit of info for website must-haves.
Do you remember when we were bragging about Yoast earlier? Well, with this handy-dandy WordPress plugin, you can copy your Sitemap URL — that they generate for you in the “Features” tab — and paste it directly into Google Search Console to get your site indexed in just a short time.
If you don’t submit your sitemap manually, there’s no guarantee that Google will index your website’s pages as quickly as you’d like. Submitting your sitemap will significantly decrease the wait time.
Here’s the breakdown:
- In Yoast, click the “Features” tab.
- Then click on the “?” next to the phrase “XML Sitemap” (shown above).
- That will take you to Yoast customized sitemap. Simply copy and paste the Sitemap URL — which looks like this https://yoursite.com/sitemap_index.xml — in the sitemap section of Google Search Console.
There are a few other ways to achieve sitemap indexing, but we’ll chat about that in another post. It’s one of the best ways to keep your website’s content up-to-date with Google. You can also manually crawl each page of your website and request indexing, but that can be time-consuming.
We know this stuff can sound complicated because it sort of is, but that’s also why businesses use digital marketing agencies like Ceemi Agency. We do all this stuff for you with cost-efficient tactics allowing you more time to focus on developing your business’ products and services.
Feel free to contact us if you’re looking help with your digital marketing by clicking here.