Resources to Make Your Site Soar: Google Analytics and Your Sitemap

by Andrew Larson
Published 7-27-2015

It's tough optimizing your website, even after you've already built it and have it up and running. The goal is to bring in viewership, to make your website viral, and expand your reach to other audiences.

There are a great number of resources out there to help those who are building websites, trying to improve their SEO, SEM, and keyword ratings to get better spots on search engine queries. One of the biggest resources for a novice is Google Analytics, built from the ground up to help people understand the effects that their website design has on their website. Not only will it give you basic reports about how your website is operating, it also maximizes your online advertising and ecommerce to get you more of a return on your investment by simply using AdWords to get revenue built up through conversions and keyword optimization. Additionally, it segments the market information that you receive in different locals, targeting the various areas that you get the most traffic so that you can cater specific new static websites to garner more of a ROI on click- through advertising campaigns.

Setting up with Analytics:

It’s easy to set up- all you have to do is sign up for Google Analytics (and if you’ve already been using AdSense, just sign in with that account) and Google organizes all the data in a format that helps you understand what you’ve got, what you’re doing right, and what you could be doing better. It also consults you on your SEO as well. To use all of these features, just copy and paste your tracking info into the footer of your website which makes it incredibly easy to get started. Other similar CMS engines are using a .php file header that works very similarly, all you have to do is insert the file before the end of the head of the website. You can also search for your site, but it takes over 24 hours for Google to get all the information about you from your host, and that’s 24 hours you could have on record about your traffic patterns.

Understanding Site Maps and Their Importance to You:

Sitemaps can help you get more traffic when you’re looking for it the most- because they help search engine “spiders” crawl through your website to find important information to bring to the search list when your keywords are hit. You want to make these documents easy to find, as well as the relative powerful keyword phrases and SEO to boost the position on these searches. Like everything else in life, it’s as easy as possible these days. All you have to do is download a plug-in that generates a code specific XML sitemap to your site. After a few hours, it crawls through the entirety of your site, checking all your forward and back-links to see how far your network reaches.
After the crawlers understand the completed structure of your site, it can retrieve it more efficiently. This means that it notifies search engines immediately when you’ve created a new post that includes valuable new content. All of this content pulls you higher and higher on the list of refutable sources in any particular niche.

Hot Spots and the Value of Heat Mapping

On a side note, understanding the hot spots (heat mapping) on your website means that you'll understand where people look first, using that attention and be able to utilize that to build effective websites. The point is that understanding where people point, click and move. There is a natural path that people's eyes follow on webpages, analyzing exactly how multiple users click and move on a website, rather than understanding the path that the designers eyes take, a heat map allows you to focus on the viewers. This helps you place your information in ways that avoid viewers being confused about where to click.

Surely, you've been on a website that is overwhelmed by information, with pull-down menus everywhere, keeping you from signing up for something, or purchasing a product. Have you ever been so frustrated by this factor that you simply gave up and went to a different site all together? Mapping your web page and the "heat" that it receives eliminates this frustration. If viewers spend most of their time focusing on unimportant areas of your webpage, then you HAVE to redesign to get the most out of your webpage. Even these valuable tools are available open source, like Clickheat or OpenHeatMap. After you’ve built your site, you have to get it the recognition and marketing that it needs to help it succeed in the internet community. To do this, you need to use powerful meta-tags that benefit the use of keywords and SEO that you put into your content.