B School | Business | Marketing | Life ...

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Getting started with essential tools for your new blog! (Google Analytics, Search Console, GTM, etc.)

Analytics - its everything when it comes to Digital Marketing! If you are setting up a blog or a website, it is important that you set up the analytics and measurement foundation effectively. Usually, Google Analytics and Search Console belong to this arsenal. Considering, we may have to implement multiple tracking tags for various objectives like analytics, A/B testing, advertising and more; its recommended to use a tag manager. Google Tag Manager is a free offering from Google that helps you meet this objective. In this blog post, let's see how to get these three implemented for your new WordPress site!
Implementing Google Tag Manager
    1. If you don't have a Google account, create one as the first step
    2. Login to Tag Manager UI and create a new account
    3. Accept the Terms and Conditions (after reading it of course ;))
    4. You will be shown a GTM container JavaScript tag. This the core and only tag you need to install in your website. In the case of implementing this for a WordPress site, we need to enable one more plugin. Download and install the plugin - Insert Headers and Footers. This plugin enables you to append the tags. You may want to remove the iframe from the code since it's not valid in HTML5 (for more details, read Simo Ahava's blog post)

Implementing Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager
    1. Login to Google Analytics and create a new property and get the tracking ID. All you require now is the ID like UA-XXXX-YY
    2. Go back to Google Tag Manager and select Add New Tag and choose Universal Analytics tag. Since we are implementing the site side analytics tool, the event to be selected is page view. No additional custom or advanced settings are required since we are implementing a basic GA tag. We will later look into installing additional GA tags when we track events or transactions.
    3. Choose the Trigger as All Pages (Page View)

    1. Publish the tag
    2. Visit your website
    3. Go to Google Analytics account and Real Time section. If you are able to see at least one visitor shown, Congratulations! Your set up of Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager for a WordPress site is complete.

Claiming ownership in Google Search Console
Search Console is the offering from Google to understand how fairly your website is doing in search results. Claiming ownership in Search Console is easy and straightforward.
  1. Login to Search Console and add a new property
  2. If you were following along this blog post, unfortunately there are only two methods that will work to claim your ownership -- verifying the website using your domain name provider or adding an HTML tag. Verifying via the domain name provide is the automatic and easiest method. If you choose the second one, go-to the Insert Headers and Footers plugin and add the meta tag provided by Search Console.

Claiming Ownership in Bing Webmaster Tool
Bing Webmaster Tool is similar to Search Console giving insights into how your website is doing in Bing Search results. Since these two are the market leaders, they continue to add/revamp features provided by these tools. It's always a good idea to get a non-Google view of your website's performance.
  1. Login to Bing Webmaster Tool
  2. Click Add Your Site
  3. Since posting an XML may not be possible directly for a WordPress site, we need to follow either of the following two options -- add a meta tag to header or add CNAME to DNS. If you opt the first option, follow the same step as we did for implementing Tag Manager. In case you choose to add the CNAME, follow your domain registrar's requirements. Most of the cases, it would just required to add a CNAME value with host as the alphanumeric provided by Bing Webmasters tool and pointed to verify.bing.com
  4. Once verified, you will be able to see the dashboard in Bing Webmasters; don't worry if you don't see any data yet. It will show up eventually.

Congratulations! You are now up with three important foundations pillars in digital analytics!
Note 1: There is a plugin available for WordPress (https://wordpress.org/plugins/duracelltomi-google-tag-manager/) created by Duracell Tomi to easily implement Google Tag Manager; seems to handle some of the challenges mentioned above; but I haven't used it.
Note 2: You can also use easy to implement plugins like Yoast to connect the website with webmaster tools


Post a Comment