After your have purchased your URL, hosting and installed WordPress.org, your next tasks are to start a GMail account, install Google analytics and register your site on WebMaster Tools.
All these are Google products, are free and require a Google/Gmail account.
Get a Google Account
Go to Gmail.com. There will be a link to create your new Google Account. It is free.
“Create an Account” and follow the directions. This will now give you a username and password for all of your Google products, e.g. Google Analytics and Webmasters Tools.
Google Analytics Gives You Data About Your Patients
Installing an analytics package onto your website is one of the first things you need to do with your new site.
Analytics allows you to monitor your traffic and behavior of your visitors. Good analytics can tell you;
- Number of visitors (usually unique visitors during the previous 30 days)
- Time spent on site
- Page/Articles Viewed
- Average Time Spent
- Traffic Sources
- Location of Viewers
- Browsers Used
- Site Speed (slow download speeds decrease your ranking)
In short, analytics allows you to find out about your readers: what they like to read.
Remember, your goal is to rank your website high to get new patients. Valuable, highly ranked sites get there by providing information relevant to the users’ (patients’) search query.
For instance, I found that many of my followers like information on retinal detachments. I noticed this by reviewing my Google Analytics data. Articles on retinal detachments are read more often than any other topic on my site.
Thus, I know that I’ll attract more readers if I continue to write on retinal detachments.
Submit Your Site on Webmasters Tools
Google also offers this free tool. Webmasters tools can do many things (see below), but this is the best way to submit your site to Google. If your site is new, you want to tell Google that you have a new site so you will be indexed. Google can not rank your site if it does not know you exist.
If you have an older site, it is may already be indexed.
With Webmasters Tools, you can;
- Verify that your site is operating properly (e.g. do all hyperlinks work?)
- Determine Incoming Links to Your Site (important for SEO)
- Identify Popular Search Queries (what search phrases were used to get to your site)
- Verify a Sitemap
Perhaps the most important function second to allowing Google to index your site is to verify that you have a sitemap on your webpage and that it works. A sitemap is basically a file on your site that functions as a table of contents for the search engine bots.
Search engines look for a sitemap, without a sitemap your pages may not get indexed. Without indexing, you may not rank. It’s important for your SEO rankings.