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How to Use Free Google Tools to Improve & Grow Your Website

How to use Free Google Data Tools to improve your WordPress Website

Google offers several free tools that are chock full of data that you can use to improve your site. Not using these tools yet? Follow the links below and then come back. I’ll wait…

Once you have your accounts setup, we have to get the tracking code in place on your WordPress website.

Get Your Google Tracking Code

  • In Google Analytics, click on Admin (or blue cog) lower left sidebar.
  • On the next page, you’ll see < > Tracking Info in the center column. Click on that.
  • You’ll see the Google tracking code — copy that so you can paste into your WordPress website.
Adding Google Analytics tracking co

Now that you have that code, go to Appearance > Customize. Depending on your theme you should have an area to add Header/Footer Scripts. Being I use StudioPress that is located in Theme Settings > Header/Footer Scripts.

Paste the entire Google Global Site tag snippet and save. Google analytics is now tracking the activity on your website.

Getting Google Monthly Snapshot Updates

Next we want to make sure that we have email reports activated so you can get information delivered to your inbox. Again, still in Google Analytics, click on Admin > then the “User” tab.

Make sure your email address is correct. Then page down to the Enabled tab and make sure that box is checked in the Monthly Snapshot box.

You’ll want to also activate the snapshot report in Google Console:

  1. Go to Settings > Users and permissions.
  2. Select “Add User.”
  3. Enter email address. Important: the user must have a valid google account connected to the email address used.
  4. Permissions: choose Full.
  5. Select “Add.”

Now, you’ll get two summary emails each month highlighting the basic stats for your website.

Google Console vs. Google Analytics

You may be asking do I need both console and analytics? And, what’s the difference?

Yes, you want to be setup in both because each have a different purpose when it comes at looking at the provided data about your website:

  • Google Search Console is about the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) — in other words your rankings. Console gives you the insights and tools to work towards improving your visibility.
  • Google Analytics is more about your users and their activity on your website. Including how they interreact once they land there.

Every Which Way from Sunday

When logging into either analytics or console it can make your head spin. So many menus and data areas to weed through. That’s why it is pretty common for my clients to mention that they get overwhelmed when they login.

If you catch yourself thinking that — you are not alone. But try not to ignore that there is a ton of great data there for you to review and act upon if you so choose. When you are ready to lean in to both dashboards here ae a couple links to bookmark:

But, to get you warmed up, let’s get back to how you can use some bite-sized data emails to improve your WordPress website.

When Your Monthly Snapshot Emails Arrive

Your monthly snapshot emails, one from console and one from analytics, will provide you with some targeted manageable data. Data that you can focus on without distraction — or your head spinning.

Your Google Console monthly search performance email will show you:

  • Clicks, Impressions and Pages with first impressions (estimated).
  • Top growing pages compared to the previous month.
  • Top performing pages.
  • Top growing queries.
  • Top performing queries.
  • Devices by clicks.
  • Top countries by clicks.
  • Google search type: Web, Image, Video

The above metrics will display the top 3 results for the previous month. Look at each and then think of ways to you can improve upon or take advantage of. For instance:

  • Clicks, Impressions and Pages with first impressions (estimated).
    Did your clicks and impressions improve or decline? Investigate the answer to each so you know the “whys” behind the data.
  • Top growing pages compared to the previous month.
    Can you identify why those pages grew? Promotions, time of year, topic in the news? Now you know what works and what to do more of.
  • Top performing pages.
    Review those pages and see how you can make them better. Find ways to take advantage of that traffic with strong calls-to-action.
  • Top growing queries.
    That shows what folks are interested in.
    Are you covering those topics comprehensively? Focus more on those topics.
  • Top performing queries.
    These are the queries you know are money and deserve your attention.
  • Devices by clicks.
    Let’s you know which display to prioritize.
  • Top countries by clicks.
    Are they the countries you want to cater to? If so, what do you need to do?
  • Google search type: Web, Image, Video
    You now know what format your visitors are searching for. Create more!

Your Google Analytics Snapshot will show you:

  • Top Performance Metrics: Users, Sessions, Bounce-Rate
  • User Acquisition: Organic Search, Direct, All other sessions

Use the above to…

  • Top Performance Metrics: Users, Sessions, Bounce-Rate:
    Did user metrics increase or decrease and can you correlate those numbers to any activities (advertising, promotions or even time of year).
  • User Acquisition: Organic Search, Direct, All other sessions:
    Investigate any ranking changes (organic) to build upon. Direct visits correlate to any off-line activity or campaigns? Investigate other sessions for hints of new opportunities to check into.

For all of the above, digging deeper into the correlating data provided within your respective dashboards will give you nuggets of data that you can use to grow exposure for your WordPress website. While also making your site more user-friendly.

Take Baby Steps

Don’t drive yourself crazy wondering what to do with all that data. Even for folks like me who love data, there’s just to much you can absorb all at once. Often I don’t have the time to interrogate it all.

Instead, start with your monthly snapshot to focus on any improvement or growth areas you can take advantage of. Most importantly, know that all you have to do is login to get any additional data points you may be wondering about or want to focus on.

When my snapshot email comes in, I also use that as a trigger to login to my analytics account and poke around. You never know what information may stand out and inspire you to create, modify or try new things.

At your service,