I’m sure you’re salivating right now for a big piece of the Google pie. But we can’t dig in without a proper place setting. It’s important to have these upfront tools in place before you change anything on your website.
Google Analytics is the industry standard for measuring website performance. This free tool lets you measure success and provides fresh insights into hot locations, how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site and how you can keep them coming back.
Register at google.com/analytics/, create a profile, and Google will give you a piece of code to add to your website. Ask your website provider where to place this code – usually in a Theme Settings area or in a WordPress plugin like All in One SEO Pack or Google Analytics by Yoast.
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
Each of these search engines offers you – the website owner – an area with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility in search. These dashboards show the search engine’s view of your site and include insightful SEO reports plus important messages about your search status. See a list of every site that links to you, every keyword you rank for, and more.
Soon we’ll come back here to add your sitemap.
5/21/15 Update: Google Webmaster Tools changed it’s name to Google Search Console.