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Keeping the Google Gods happy by Ken Kennedy

By Ken Kennedy, Digital Marketing & Acquisition Manager, Rockend

So you have a website. Fabulous. But the question is: do you actually know how it’s performing? Here’s a snapshot of 3 free Google tools you can use to monitor the performance of your website – and keep the big G smiling!

1. Google Analytics

If you want access to data to help you make intelligent business and marketing decisions, then look no further than Google Analytics. The free version – which is packed with enough features for the majority of real estate agencies – can help you measure, learn and grow your online audience.

To put it simply, Google Analytics tells you how users are interacting with your website. You get access to some really powerful data, such as:

Audience: What devices people are using, where they’re based, and whether they’re a new or returning visitor

Acquisition: How people are coming to your website (e.g. organic search, AdWords, social media etc)

Behaviour: What content on your website your visitors are engaging with

Conversions: Such as a PDF download or click to call, based on the goals you’ve set up.

This is just a small snapshot – Google Analytics tracks so much rich data, it can be a bit like going ‘down the rabbit hole’. But if you focus on some key metrics that are important to your agency, you can start to understand how your website is performing. You can try it out at www.google.com. au/analytics/standard

 

2. Google Search Console

You want to be found on the web and Google wants to help. Google Search Console provides you with the data, tools and diagnostics you need to maintain a healthy, Google-friendly website.

While Google Analytics tells you how users are interacting with your website, Google Search Console reveals how your website is performing. It allows you to monitor your website’s performance and gives you access to some pretty nifty data insights, like:

  • Search Appearance: Potential issues Google has found when crawling and indexing your website
  • Search Traffic: How many Google searches show your website and who’s linking to your website
  • Google Index: Data about the URLs Google has tried to index and allows you to remove URLs from the index
  • Crawl Reports: Information on the activity of Googlebots over the last 90 days and crawl errors.

By knowing these things you can fix errors, make improvements and boost your website’s ranking in Google Search results – and, as we all know, it’s a case of ‘the higher, the better’ when it comes to search rankings.

If you want to see how your website is performing, go to www.google.com/ intl/en/webmasters

 

3. Google Test My Site

These days, speed is everything.

Website users are more likely to hang around if a webpage loads more quickly. And page speed is part of Google’s organic algorithm, which has an impact of where your website ranks in Google Search results.

Google Test My Site gives you a scorecard for how your website is performing and makes recommendations about what to fix.

To find out how your website is performing, all you need to do is paste your URL into this free tool. Check it out at www.testmysite.thinkwithgoogle. com

When am I going to find the time to do all that, you may ask. Monitoring your website is one of those things that can take a little or a lot of time, depending on how far you deep dive into the data. But you can start slowly. Try taking a peek at a few key items in Google Analytics each week and check out Google Console and Google Test My Site once a month. You’ll start to get a good feel for how your website is performing and be able to identify the things you need to fix.

 

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