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Module 5: Launch Your Online Store

What we'll cover in this module:

Introduction

In the previous modules of this free store building course we decided on a store modelchose a niche, sourced wholesale products, and then built our store, and here in Module 5 we'll finally launch our store the right way!

HINT: Just like in Modules 1-4, each step below contains a 'Learn' section (indicated by the icon) that teaches you why the step is necessary, then an 'Execute' section (indicated by the icon) that indicates how to actually complete the step. We'll again indicate the differences between model 1 and model 2 stores, and if you need a definition of each you can see that here.

What's our goal in this module?

The goal of module 5 is to get your store launched the "right way" so Google & Bing (and other search engines) are aware of it. We also want to install tracking code so you can watch visitor behavior and make improvements over time.

Let's get started.

5.1 Must-Have Apps

LEARN

There are some apps that you really want to have in place before you launch, just so you can maximize your chances of closing as many visitors (from the pay-per-click ads you're setting up later) as possible. In the Execute section below we'll walk you through installing each of these apps and configuring them correctly.

EXECUTE

5.2 Set Up Google Analytics

LEARN

Before we "flip the switch" and turn on paid advertising for our store, we need to get set up to track which paid ads work (have a positive ROI) and which ones don't. So in this first section we'll get all the core tracking code installed and set up before we start our pay-per-click ads.

Let's start off by talking a bit about each account we're going to activate & configure in this section, and then in the EXECUTE section below I'll walk you through the steps of actually activating & configuring them.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a program that's used to track all of the visitors to your website and their behaviors while there. It's a vital tool for determining where you should spend more time, and where it's probably not worth the efforts or costs. In our opinion every site that launches on the web today should be set up to track traffic, and our default is Google Analytics (aka GA) because it's quite robust and doesn't cost anything. Having GA in place can also make tracking each paid advertising platform's performance a lot easier, and it's easy to set up within your existing Google account.

EXECUTE
  1. Activate Google Analytics inside of the Google account you already created for this project, then install the tracking code in your Shopify admin.

5.3 Set Up Google Search Console

LEARN

Before we "flip the switch" and turn on paid advertising for our store, we need to get set up to track which paid ads work (have a positive ROI) and which ones don't. So in this first section we'll get all the core tracking code installed and set up before we start our pay-per-click ads.

Let's start off by talking a bit about each account we're going to activate & configure in this section, and then in the EXECUTE section below I'll walk you through the steps of actually activating & configuring them.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console (aka GSC) is software that provides tips & insights for improving your exposure within Google's organic (free) results. It's also great for identifying errors or misconfigurations within your website. Every site that cares about getting free traffic from the major search engines (Google, Bing, & Yahoo) should use GSC, and it's free & easy to set up within your existing Google account.

EXECUTE
  1. Log into the Google account you previously created for this project and go to Google Search Console and click 'Start now'
  2. You should be sent to a page with two options to verify your site, choose the option labeled 'Domain' by entering your domain name and clicking 'CONTINUE' within that box (i.e. mycoolwebsite.com)
  3. Complete verification of your domain (there are numerous options for doing so)
  4. Once your account is set up, submit your sitemap.

That's really all that's necessary at this point. Your Google Search Console account is mainly in place for the purposes of a) providing Google with a sitemap for easier indexing of your website's pages, and b) for GSC to inform you of potential issues on your website later on.

5.4 Set Up Bing Webmaster Tools

LEARN

Even though Bing doesn't get nearly the traffic that Google gets, it's still the 2nd biggest search engine in the world and also worthy of your attention. So it's definitely worth taking the few minutes it takes to also get set up with their Webmaster Tools (their version of "Search Console").

Bing Webmaster Tools

Just like Google's Search Console interface, the Bing Webmaster Tools (or BWT) provides valuable insights regarding how Bing's users are interacting with your website. You will be alerted to potential webmaster issues that need to be fixed, and you can also provide Bing with a sitemap for your site to make crawling & indexing it as easy for them as possible.

EXECUTE
  1. Go to the Bing Webmaster Tools sign up page and click 'Get started'
  2. Choose the 'Google' account sign up option and then provide your Google account email & password (note this account in your project's MASTER sheet)
  3. You will be presented with two different options for verifying ownership of your domain name, and we recommend choosing the 'Import from Google Search Console' option (this will also bring in your sitemap location and a few other pieces of info automatically)

Once you've completed these steps your account will be in place with a sitemap location already provided (because of the import of data from your GSC account). That's really all that's necessary at this point.

NextModule 6: Handling Daily Store Operations