So you have registered a cool domain name, created a WordPress site, played around a bit with themes and have added your very first blog post.
What should you do next?
Well, you should register your site to Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics.
If you are unsure and would like to read our opinion whether you should submit your site or not, read our article about it. You may also check out other articles on the net.
But believe me, you won’t find any better tools that you can start using free from day 1.
1. Adding your site in Google Webmaster Tools
- Go to GWT homepage.
- Login with your Google credentials.
- Actually it’s pretty straightforward, you just have to enter your website’s address and hit “Add a property”
- The next step is a bit technical, you will see a page like this and have to follow the instructions:
It is to confirm that the site is in fact yours. Step 1 is pretty straightforward, just download the file somewhere, eg. on your desktop.
Then you should upload this file to the root folder of your website. How can you do that? If you are a techy guy, you already have set up an ftp account and you can do it easily.
If you don’t know how to do it, try to follow these steps:
- Log into you cpanel account, or anything similar that your hosting company has
- Look for something like “File manager”
- Click it and look for a public_html folder, click on it:
- Look for an icon that is called something like “Upload”
- Then you can either drag and drop your downloaded html file, or will find a button like “Select file”. It should be easy from here.
Then go back to Google Webmaster Tools, confirm successful upload by clicking on the link, complete the Captcha and hit “Verify”.
There you go, you have successfully added your site to Google Webmaster Tools.
Uploading a SiteMap
What is a sitemap? Basically it’s a map that helps Google index all your pages. Uploading one is fairly easy if you know how to do it.
- First of all, go to your WordPress Dashboard and click on Plugins / Add new
- Look for Google XML Sitemaps, Download and Activate
- Go to Webmaster Tools, choose Crawl / Sitemaps
- Hit the red Add/Test Sitemap button in the upper right corner
- Enter “sitemap.xml” in the edit field and hit “Submit”
That’s it, your sitemap has been added to Google Webmaster Tools.
After some time your sitemap will be processed and you will see a graph like this.
You will always see how many pages are submitted and how many of them are indexed.
Regarding the plugin, you don’t need to do anything, it will always automatically update your sitemap.xml every time you add a new post or page.
So once you have done the above steps you don’t need to worry any more about it, everything is automatic.
Adding your site to Google Analytics
- Go to Google Analytics homepage and follow the registration steps.
- You have to provide account name, website name, website URL and accept a couple of terms and agreements
- Then you will get into the Google Analytics Console and see something like this:
It sounds very techy, but don’t worry! As always, there is a plugin which will do all the work for you!
- On your WordPress Dashboard go to Plugins / Add new
- Search for a plugin called Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, Install and Activate
- You will have a new entry on your WP Dashboard, click on Google Analytics / General Settings
- Click on “Authorize Plugin”
- Click on “Get Access Code”
- A new page will open, log in with your Google account
- You will see a very long code, select and copy it to your clipboard
- Go back to your WordPress tab (Google Analytics / General Settings), paste the code to “Access Code” and save it.
That’s it, now your site is added to Google Analytics.
Congratulations, you now have access to invaluable information regarding your site and visitors!
You have made a big step forward. Once you have discovered these two great tools you can start thinking about also registering your site to Google Adsense and Adwords.
When you do it the first time these procedures seem very long and complicated, but you will get to speed very quickly and once you see the data you can gain with these tools you will be very happy that you have spent this half an hour initializing your free analytics tools.