3 Essential Web Tools Every Website Should Have

Filed in Digital Marketing by on April 13, 2015 0 Comments

The online world gives businesses the ability to do things easily what was once laborious to do offline and that’s to track how people found out about the business. If your business lives at all online, there are 3 must have Google web tools that should be setup to tie in with your website. Those 3 web tools are Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Google Alerts. We’ll go through each one and why it’s so vital to have for every business website. One of the most enticing things about all of these products is that they are all absolutely free to use.

Google Analytics
gaThis is by far the number 1 ‘must have’ for any website. Google Analytics is a website tracking platform that gives detailed metrics on a variety of interactions with a website.  Through Analytics, you’ll be able to see how users were able to find your website, how they interact with your website and all sorts of other useful metrics.  One of the most beneficial features is the ability to track revenue and sales being generated on the website.

In the offline world, it’s difficult to know how someone found your business. But online with Google Analytics there is no more guessing. The data is right at your fingertips. This is invaluable so that more resources can be devoted to those areas that users seem most interested in on your website. For example, let’s take a online retailer that sells sports equipment and has Google Analytics setup for their business.  They have ecommerce tracking setup which allows them to see what products they are selling and how much revenue is being generated. The owner reviews the data for a specific month and discovers that there has been a 20% increase in traffic to his tennis products page but sales have not increased.  So he puts on the page a 20% discount to try and generate more sales. The following month he checks Google Analytics and finds that with the discount, his sales and revenue both increased. Without Google Analytics to see that there was an increase in traffic, this business owner would never have seen this opportunity to improve his sales and revenue.

One of the great things about Google Analytics is how easy it is to setup with your website. All it takes is simply adding a few lines of web code that Google provides and placing it on your website.  However, to track revenue and sales data, additional coding is needed that may require a web programmer to customize the default Analytics code. If you don’t already have a Google Analytics account, you can create one for free by going to www.google.com/analytics.

Google Webmaster Tools
The next tool that every website should have attached to it is Google Webmaster Tools. This product is provided by Google to monitor and report on how Google interacts and indexes your website. Webmaster Tools will tell you if there are issues with the site.  If you have ever wondered how Google is crawling your website, this is the tool that will tell you.

gwt-imageIn order for Google Webmaster Tools to function with your website, you will need an email address that will serve as the verification of ownership of the website. There are several methods for verification but the best way is to use the same email address as your Google Analytics account. As long as that email address is an admin on the Analytics account and the Analytics code is placed in the head section of every page of the website, you can use Google Analytics as verification of ownership. Now this may seem like a lot of steps but it’s worth it because by verifying Google Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics, you will be able to link the 2 accounts together and pull Webmaster Tools data into Google Analytics. To get started with Google Webmaster Tools, log into the Google Account that you want to associate with your website and then go to www.google.com/webmasters.

Google Alerts
The last web tool you want for your website is Google Alerts. This tool is basically an alerts and notification system for any keywords that you want to keep track of for ‘movement’ in Google’s search results. The keywords you specify can be a topic, your website or business or even your competitors website. It’s keyword based so you can get notifications on just about anything you type.

To get started, just go to www.google.com/alerts . Be sure to log into a Google account that you want to use for alerts. There are different settings that you can set up to customize the alert.

My recommendation is to use a single Google Account to manage all 3 so that you can manage all 3 web tools easily. Having all 3 of these tools in your web management arsenal are essential for keeping on top of your web presence. Keeping your site in top shape can give you an advantage over competitors and, at the same time, keep it in good standing with Google and it’s search algorithm.

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