Whether you are setting up your site for the first time or already have one up and running, make sure to prioritise the following:
Google Analytics: Analytics measures website traffic and other important metrics. From which pages are getting the most visitors to which traffic sources convert the best, Analytics reveals a goldmine of actionable information. Start by installing the tracking code to be able to set up goals and pull traffic reports.
Google Webmaster Tools: If there are any crawling errors or other issues with your site, this is where to check it. The tool also provides data on search queries and incoming links, both of which are useful for marketing campaigns. Login to your Google account to connect your site.
Sitemap: A sitemap links to all the pages of your site, and helps search engines find and index your content. Use a tool like XML sitemaps to build a sitemap and submit through Google Webmaster Tools. If your site is powered by WordPress, there are also a number of plugins that make this easy.
txt: The file helps to improve the efficiency at which search engines crawl and index your pages. The file can also be used to instruct search engines not to index certain pages. Once the file is created, you can submit it via Google Webmaster Tools.
Mobile design: As more consumers connect online through mobile devices, the importance of mobile application development cannot be stressed enough. Responsive website design addresses this by automatically adjusting the content whether the user is on a desktop or tablet. Use the Mobile-Friendly Test to test the design of your site.
Loading speed: How fast your site loads for users is important. The PageSpeed Insights provides a detailed overview including recommendations to improve speed for the mobile and desktop site.
WordPress SEO plugin: WordPress SEO by Yoast is a powerful tool that adds incredible functionality from helping you write highly optimised content to optimising other technical aspects for better SEO. If your site runs WordPress, this plugin is a must.