Setting up Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

After a new or redesigned website is completed, the next step is to set up Google’s free tracking (Analytics) and site submissions (Search Console) for the site.

  • Analytics gathers and process site statistics and data. Huge amount of data and statistics are made available to the site owner. This information and feedback can be used to continuously improve the site’s ‘SEO’.
  • Search Console is where the site owner informs Google of the site, and ‘helps’ Google index it. Google also offers diagnostics and reports any errors it may find while crawling the site. Making Google aware of the site is important to help improve the SERP’s.

A Google account is needed to sign up for Analytics and/or Search Console, but a Google Account can be associated with an email address from any provider. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Gmail or Google Mail account.

====== GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE ======

To set up the Search Console, set up a new account. Follow the instructions to add a new website “Property”. Next step is for Google to “Verify” that you are the ‘owner’ of the site. (IE: have the credentials to access the hosting account.) Access to the site’s hosting plan is needed to upload a file into the root of the site’s hosting plan. There are several options to verify a site, but the easiest is to download a .html file, and place it in the root of the site. Once uploaded to the server, click the link to have Google find that page to verify it’s live. Do not remove that page, it needs to remain.

A critical advantage of having a site listed with Google Search Console is that Google will email the owner the moment it senses a site has been hacked – and therefor penalized in Google’s SEO rankings. It is imperative a hacked site is cleaned as fast as possible, before serious SEO damage and loss of reputation occurs.

To sign up for the Search Console:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dashboard

Google Help pages for Search Console:
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6258314? (Basic information for site management)
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96568#2 (Information regarding crawling)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aozclsavSu4 (Good short video with basic set-up information)

====== GOOGLE ANALYTICS ======

To sign up for Analytics:
https://www.google.com/analytics/

Setting up Analytics is relatively easy, sign in on the above page, and go through the prompts. Google gathers the data from a short script that needs to be placed on every page you want tracked on the site. Google will display the JavaScript code for the registered website, this needs to be copied and placed inbetween the <head> and </head> tags/section of every page, or a header file that is called on every page. Once this is in place, Google will start gathering data. Wait at least a week or so before significant data starts to appear!

Learning how to interpret Google Analytics data can be daunting, but it’s helpful to go through the lessons on Google’s Academy:
https://analyticsacademy.withgoogle.com/
Start with the “Fundamentals” course to become familiar with the interface and how to get the most from the data.
There are also many YouTube video tutorials on Analytics.

====== FROM THE GOOGLE HELP FILES ======

In Google Search Console:

Ask Google to re-crawl your URLs. This is necessary when a site’s URL’s have changed. (For instance, when updating a website from static HTML pages to dynamic PHP pages.)

If you make changes to a URL on your site, you can update your web page in Google Search with the Submit to Index function of the Fetch as Google tool. This allows you to ask Google to crawl and index your URL.

Before you submit a URL, you want to fetch (or fetch and render) it first to diagnose and debug any crawling or rendering errors with the page. Once Fetch as Google finishes processing your fetch, you can click Submit to Index to notify Google that your URL is ready to be re-crawled. Note that this function appears only if your fetch meets these criteria:
•Your fetch must have a complete, partial, or redirected fetch status.
•Your fetch must use the Desktop or Mobile Smartphone Googlebot type.
•Your fetch cannot be more than 4 hours old.

Google crawls and indexes the URL content as it is, after you click Submit. If you change the contents of a URL that has a pending submit request, your re-crawling results can differ from your current Fetch as Google results.

Start the submit process by clicking Submit to Index to open a dialog in which you can request for Google to re-crawl and re-index your URL by following the steps below.

Ask Google to crawl and index your URL

1.Click Submit to Index, shown next the status of a recent, successful fetch in the Fetches Table.
2.Select Crawl only this URL to submit one individual URL to the Google for re-crawling. You can submit up to 500 individual URLs in this way within a 30 day period.
3.Select Crawl this URL and its direct links to submit the URL as well as all the other pages that URL links to for re-crawling. You can submit up to 10 of requests of this kind within a 30 day period.
4.Click Submit to let Google know that your request is ready to be processed.

 

 

Share