In Website 101: Set-up for Success you will be completing very important tasks around setting up your website to be a key building block in establishing your presence online and claiming your organic real estate on search engines; primarily Google and Bing.

In this post, we want to make sure that you implement Google Analytics, Google Search Console and a number of foundational items to monitor and measure the health of your website now and over time. These are quick check tasks and any issues will be resolved in future sections.

It’s optional to submit a site manually. Search engine spiders discover most webpages automatically by following links. So even if you do not submit site URLs to Google and Bing directly, the search engines will most likely find them eventually.

It’s more important to make sure the spiders can access all the pages within your site once they arrive. (This is why we cover XML sitemaps and other technical SEO tips to keep your site running smoothly.)

Still, there are times when manually submitting your content to a search engine can help. There is a ton of work, but it is well worth it. Help this seems too time consuming, remember that Monkeyhouse Marketing is here to help you get it done.

Confirm that Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) has been implemented on your website.

About Task

Google Search Console is a free service provided by Google that allows you to better understand how the search engine views your site. Using the tools within Google Search Console will help to optimize your site’s performance and keep you aware of any problems with your site.

How To Complete

There is no foolproof way to determine if Google Search Console has been implemented on a website. Instead, go to the Home screen while signed in to a business’ Google account. If the site is listed here, then Google Search Console has been implemented.

If the site is not listed, follow these instructions from Google to add your site:

  • Sign into Google Search Console with your Google Account.
  • Click the Add a site button, and type the URL of the site you want to add. Make sure you type the entire URL, such as http://www.example.com/
  • Click Continue. The Site verification page opens.
  • (Optional) In the Name box, type a name for your site (for example, My Blog).
  • Select the verification method you want, and follow the instructions.

Confirm that Google Analytics has been implemented on your website.

About Task

Google Analytics is a free web analytics solution that gives you insights into your website traffic and, if applicable, online conversions. It is relatively easy to implement and provides many benefits to your online marketing initiatives

How To Complete

If you install the Google Analytics Debugger Chrome browser extension, you can easily audit for proper Google Analytics implementation. The extension will tell you if the tracking code has been implemented correctly as well as walk you through any troubleshooting necessary for proper tracking.

Confirm that Bing Webmaster has been implemented on your website.

About Task

Similar to Google Search Console, the Bing Webmaster account allows you to understand how your site looks to Bing as it relates to crawlability and links to your site.

Find out more about Bing Webmaster here.

When you own a website, it is essential to keep it consistently optimized and ranked in search engines. Owning a Bing Webmaster Tools account will help businesses better understand their website’s performance, from crawlability to links status to overall search engine presence. The Bing toolbox hopes to ultimately drive an increase of free Bing and Yahoo traffic to your site.

There is no foolproof way to determine if Bing Webmaster Tools has been implemented on a website. Instead, go to the Home screen and sign in to your Microsoft account. If the site is listed here, then Bing Webmaster Tools has been implemented.

If the site is not listed, follow this “Get Started Checklist” from Bing to add your site:

  • Step 1: Open a Bing Webmaster Tools account
  • Step 2: Add & verify your website
    • Option 1: XML file authentication
    • Option 2: Meta tag authentication
    • Option 3: Add a CNAME record to DNS

Confirm that your domain name is listed in Google.

About Task

For your website to be ranked in Google, your website must first be able to be found by Google and included in its massive database of websites. This is more commonly known as getting in the Index

Although Google crawls billions of pages to populate its database, it’s inevitable that some sites will not be found by Google. If Google misses a site, it’s frequently for one of the following reasons:

  • There are not many other websites that link to your website (more on this subject later).
  • Your site launched after Google’s last attempt of crawling and databasing the websites on the Internet.
  • Your website design made it difficult for Google to effectively crawl and database the content. (more on this subject later).
  • Your site was temporarily unavailable when Google tried to crawl it, or Google received an error when they tried to crawl it.
  • You are telling Google not to crawl your site (more on this later)

How To Complete

The simplest way to submit your new and updated URLs is to register your site and app with Search Console. In fact, this is the first task Monkeyhouse suggested you complete.

However, you now need to understand how Google finds your content. Google, in its own words, uses a huge set of computers to crawl billions of pages on the web. This crawler, called the Googlebot, essentially begins with a list of web page URLs generated from previous crawls and then augments those pages with sitemap data provided within Google Search Console. During the crawling process, the Googlebot — also known as a “spider” — looks for new sites, updates to existing pages, and any broken links.

You need to check your sitemaps to see what Google bots are crawling. So, after you register on Search Console, use the Sitemaps report to see which sitemaps were processed for your site, any processing errors, or to submit a new sitemap for your site. For help with the Sitemaps report, see the Sitemaps report in the Search Console help center.

Confirm that your website is listed in Yahoo! and Bing.

About Task

Yahoo! and Bing share the same search results and are both powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine. For your website to be ranked in Yahoo! and Bing your website must first be able to be found by the Bing web crawler and included in their database of website, also known as an Index.

Submitting a URL from your website can be an important first step to being indexed. Webmasters can do that using the Submit URLs feature in the Configure My Site section in Bing Webmaster Tools or through the Submit URL API.

Although Bing crawls billions of pages to populate its database, it’s inevitable that some sites will be missed. If Bing misses a site, it’s frequently for one of the following reasons:

  • There are not many other websites that link to your website (more on this later).
  • Your site launched after Bing’s most recent crawl was completed.
  • The design of your site makes it difficult for Bing to effectively crawl and databse your content (more on this later as well).
  • Your site was temporarily unavailable when Bing tried to crawl it or Bing received an error when they tried to crawl it.
  • You are telling Google not to crawl your site (more on this later)

How To Complete

You can submit up to 10,000 webpage URLs per day to Bing. When you submit your site to Bing, you also submit the website to Yahoo automatically since Bing feeds Yahoo’s web search index.

Sign into Bing webmaster tools and claim your site.

Confirm that permalatt.com has long-term domain registration.

About Task

Long-term domain registration is the time period that you are the registered owner of a domain. Long-term domain registration is a indicator to search engines around the quality and relevancy of your website. Google has acknowledged that registering your domain for 2+ years or more as a trust signal.

How To Complete

You can extend the number of years a domain name registration is active through your domain name registrar. It is important to visit your domain registrar’s website and make sure that the expiration for your site is not less than 3 months and is ideally 2+ years.

At Monkeyhouse Marketing we host all domains via GoDaddy.

Confirm that your URL has a blog.

About Task

Blogs have become increasingly important to communicate and engage with customers and have become extremely important platforms to improve your relevancy and thus exposure on search engines. Ensuring that your site has a blog will allow you to create content for customers and search engines alike in future posts.

How To Complete

Blogs are typically included in a site’s main navigation bar. If it is not in the navigation, manually check for the most common blog locations in your browser:

  • example.com/blog
  • example.com/blog/
  • blog.example.com

Confirm that permalatt.com passes Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

About Task

Google gives a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in mobile search results. For that reason, it is imperative that your site passes Google’s pass/fail Mobile-Friendly Test.

How To Complete

Simply enter your URL in Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site passes the test.

If your site is deemed “Not mobile-friendly,” follow Google’s recommendations for correcting the issue(s).

Confirm that the Google PageSpeed Insights score for your website is 85 or higher.

About Task

Google’s PageSpeed Insights analyzes your web page’s content and loading performance in an effort to give actionable recommendations on how to improve the speed of your site. Learn more about PageSpeed Insights here.

How To Complete

Visit Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and enter your web page’s URL. After clicking “Analyze,” you will see a summary score along with a list of the top issues affecting your page speed for both mobile and desktop.

Confirm that your domain is not currently penalized by Google.

About Task

If your site is not appearing in search results or is performing significantly worse organically, you may have a Google penalty.

Google penalties can be site-wide or partial (only affecting specific portions of your site).

Your site can be penalized due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • Unnatural links to or from your site
  • Thin content with little or no added value
  • Hidden text and/or keyword stuffing
  • Hacked site
  • Pure spam

How To Complete

There are two things to consider when checking if your site has been penalized:

  • Check Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). Search under “Manual Actions” to see if Google sent a message regarding a manual penalty.
  • Look for a sudden or steady drop in rankings. While rankings will consistently fluctuate as Google updates their ranking algorithm, look for a correlation between your movement and a major Google update. If the timing adds up, you may have been penalized.

Confirm that your website has all the needed plugins.

About Task

Depending on your Content Management System [CMS], there may be plugins available that help streamline and automate the optimization process.

A content management system (CMS) is a software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content.

For web-development there are 3 primary CSM.

WordPress — Another free and open source WCMS based on PHP and MySQL. WordPress can be utilized as part of an internet hosting service (WordPress.com), or it can be deployed on a local computer to act as its own web server (WordPress.org). At Monkeyhouse Marketing, we offer custom web design and then implement the front-end site development using the back-end CMS of WordPress.org. This is especially common when building websites for manufacturers and their distributor websites.

It is highly customizable with a large amount of themes and plugins available. It is immensely popular amongst the blogging community.

How To Complete

We recommend the following plugins for the most popular CMS solutions: