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Site Tools

Manage your Website Like a Boss - Part 2

It’s a fact; You can’t restrain yourself to just one attempt at the Diet Coke and Mentos eruption reaction. Just as we couldn’t help but continue with the “Manage your Website like a Boss” post series.   

If you haven't read Part 1 already, you can catch up on the series here: Part 1.

So wipe away the Diet Coke foam from your eyes, grab your most authorized outfit and suit up, because here comes our continued breakdown of tools to help you run your websites like a boss.

6: How do I monitor my site's rankings?

Google Pagerank is a blessing in disguise. Ever since Google took control of the search engine market,  Pagerank has completely changed the way we track and collect data on a website’s success for Google’s search results. Pagerank is however, only one of the methods Google uses to calculate results, so it’s advised not to put all your eggs in this one basket. Still, it is one of the oldest, and considered the strongest starting point when you’re looking for feedback on your website or your client’s website in terms of ranking successfully in Google’s search results.

raventools.com (free - 30 days|$99/mo) is a great tool to start your SEO and page ranking improvements with. While Raventools.com doesn’t offer a straight Pagerank checker tool, it does offer tools which, accumlativly, will improve a website’s Pagerank over time. For example, the inbuilt keyword analyzer and site analyzer allows you to understand which keywords are being targeted for a said page and check if your website’s layout and coding is helping search engines to pick up on your site’s keywords. In addition it will check for the effectiveness of anything already in place.

For a pagerank checker, you cannot go wrong with the Google Chrome PageRank checker add-on or the Firefox add-on Pagerank and Alexa Toolbar. For those who do not use Google Chrome or Firefox browser, there are hundreds of in-browser pagerank checkers out on the internet: prchecker.info, checkpagerank.net and smartpagerank.com are a few to name.

7: How do I prepare and submit a sitemap?

Ah the sitemap. In my opinion this is the most ignored and undervalued element to SEO. If you ask anyone who likes to deem themselves knowledgeable in SEO methods and improvements, they will agree that a sitemap can make a huge different to how Google and other search engines find, view and crawl your website. Trouble is, creating these little .xml files of magic is quite confusing. Never fear, however, the internet and Lean Labs have come to rescue!

There is no way we can write this post without sharing the amazing list of Sitemap generators and creators, which Google themselves actively share and contribute to. There are plenty of options including server-side, downloadable, CMS integratable and much more. If you’re looking for the best Sitemap Generator, it’ll be somewhere on that list.

Ok, so now you have your sitemap, feel free to emulate Kermit’s excitement dance.  But hold on there partner, we’re not done yet. Now that we have our sitemap, we need to do two more things:

  • Submit the sitemap to Google Webmaster tools.

  • Add a link on your site to your sitemap for other index crawl bots to find.

So first, head over the Google Webmaster tools and submit your sitemap to your registered site on Webmaster Tools, using their comprehensive guide for submitting the sitemap.

Finally, we just need to add a link on your site to your sitemap.xml file so all other search engine bots can find it. To achieve that, all you need to add to your website is add a HTML anchor link anywhere on your page which links straight to your .xml sitemap file. For example:

<a href=”http://www.mywebsite.com/sitemap.xml”>Sitemap</a>

Make sure the link is accessible globally throughout your website, it’s advised to place it in the footer alongside any supporting links you have there such as Privacy Policy links and Terms and Conditions links.

8: How can I have better control over dns?

When Edvard Munch painted Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature) or The Scream as it’s better know as, I like to think it was based on the facial expression of a colleague who had just been asked to update DNS settings for five different domains on five different provider's websites. Then told to switch back the settings.

DNS are tricky, even though the method of switching a domain to point at a different server sounds simple enough to do. Each time this task is attempted however, there is always the underlying fear that something will go wrong, and Google will penalise your site for going offline for a period of time. Not to mention the sheer horde of tweets, emails and facebook messages you will receive from your customers or your client’s customers if the site should go down.

dnsmadeeasy.com ($29.95|$59.9|$124.95/yr) helps to make this process less stressful. Dnsmadeasy.com offer easy to use and quick to master tools and options to help make the process of switching DNS and domain settings between servers easier to understand. Dnsmadeasy.com is a tool we actually use here at Lean Labs and we can confirm, that it really does make a difference when managing multiple domains on multiple servers, especially when it comes to server migraton time.

Another worthy mention is dnsimple.com ($8|$18|$50/mo) which offer a similar service to dnsmadeasy.com and is managed and run by Anthony Eden, Darrin Eden and Simone Carletti. Keep up the awesome work guys!

9: How do I monitor my social media reach?

Social Media is the most bizarre and most wonderful experiment and society changing piece of technology ever created on the internet. It has helped changed the way we communicate, how we communicate, how information and data is spread, and spawned hundreds if not thousands of imagery based jokes. It’s also helped us, the internet users, make super stars out of normal, everyday people, who have been caught on camera, overnight. Besides it’s amazing possibilities, it can be almost like trying to track a pooh stick as it heads out into sea. However, there are a few tools that can help you get a clearer idea about how your company and the information shared on social media is doing

First up is Hubspot’s Social Inbox which is available for current Hubspot users. For those who haven’t signed up to Hubspot yet, you can request an early demo preview here. Based on the power of Hubspot’s COS with content customization, the Social Inbox should be a game changer in Social Media management.

socialears.com is also worthy of a mention here as socialears.com is based around the purpose of listening to what your customers are saying about your company on social media. It is a very important tool in the wall of noise that is social media. In addition, we advise checking out socialoomph.com which can help advise you on how to write and create information and data that, in turn, will help your productivity on social media platforms.

10: How do I generate more leads?

Generating leads for your website and your client’s website is tricky; you’ve got to make sure your websites and it’s content is setting up leads that are begging for you to knock out of the park. In fact, you’ll want to guarantee yourself a home run for each lead that’s presented, otherwise all the resources you’ve put into your site have been for nothing. So how do you know if your company and it’s site is doing this? Easy! Come to talk to us.

We work with our clients to ensure that their site is bringing leads like a well-trained dog brings it’s master the slippers and newspaper. We’ve worked with a wide range of clients to help optimize their online presence, their workflow, web marketing, and web strategy. We’d love to have a chat with you and your company to see what we can do with you. Head over to our contact page and drop us a message, we’d love to hear from you.

That, our dear readers, concludes this round’s edition of tools to help you Manage your Website like a Boss. If you want to make sure you’re on the ball when the next round is published on our blog, why not subscribe to our blog and an instant notification when a new post lands. In addition, don’t forget to checkout our new downloadables available in our resources department. We have some exciting new additions for you to download for FREE!

Written by Callum Hopkins / January 13, 2014

Callum is full stack developer at Lean Labs, with strong ties to web and graphical based design. He lives in the North East of Scotland and is a huge Football (Soccer) supporter. In his spare time, Callum enjoys reading up on the latest web trends and visiting art museums and galleries.

Articles by Callum Hopkins