When starting the trek of redesigning and building a new website, one of the more cumbersome tasks is gathering access to the various accounts which help us see a complete picture of the current site and where we can improve. Often a developer from several redesigns ago set up one of these accounts and is the only one with access. Or perhaps Google has rebranded and renamed one of the services (as they often do), and no one remembers setting up the account.
Most people know that their domain name is a business asset and should be held by the organization, but many do not realize how important it is to keep all your Google assets in your name.
A cautionary tale
Financial planning website design starts with making sure your Google properites all align to help you get found online. We recently had a financial planning client who started to notice that his site stopped showing up when searching by his business name. When his new site launched, he had altered his business name. Even though the redirects to his old domain name and old business name retained all the site authority, the new business name could not pull up the site. We discovered that he had not updated his Google My Business account with his new business name which resulted in him becoming hidden under certain search conditions.
Here is a summary of some of the Google services and products you want access to before embarking on a website overhaul:
Google My Business
One of the most important tools for a local business is to claim your turf on Google My Business. Google My Business will feature your business front and center when people search for you, whether on Google Search or Maps. Users can easily get directions from here or use it as a jumping off point to learn more about your business. You can add a link to your website, images, and list your contact information and hours.
Google Analytics helps paint a picture of how your customers are interacting with and navigating through your site. It can help you identify which areas may need a little more emphasis before you even begin the redesign process. Its audience reporting offers great insights to your web developers and marketers alike.
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools)
Google Search Console monitors and maintains your site’s overall “health” and performance in Google Search results. It allows you to submit a sitemap and alerts you to any errors you’ll want to fix. Which queries lead more traffic to your site? Which other sites are linking to your site? It even helps you resolve potential malware or spam issues on your site.
It's no secret that video content is becoming more and more important to content strategy. The benefits are bountiful — higher user engagement, increased conversion, greater search visibility (video can increase the chance of your brand being on the front page of a Google search result by 53 times!). While Facebook video is rising in popularity, YouTube is still king. According to recent data from Google, users are frequently using YouTube as a search engine, with some arguing that it is the second largest search engine on the web.
Manage it all in one place, and make it easier to share
Create a Google Brand account. This allows you and others to jointly manage the account through your own Google accounts, without needing a new login. As of this posting, Brand Accounts support Google+, Google My Business, Google Photos and YouTube.
Even without a Brand Account, you can easily give permissions to other Google users to access certain products. It is important to retain ownership of your business accounts, while giving your marketing team and designers (who live for this kind of data), access to all the tools and information they need to build you a well-performing site.
We all know websites are the center of an organization's brand, but what does it really take to have a great website that drives visitors, leads and revenue? Download our free guide, 25 Website Must-Haves for Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales.