Wednesday, February 18, 2015

7 Things You Should Not Miss for Your Google Sites

Google Site is a development tool offered by Google. If you have a personal Gmail or Google Apps account, you can create an unlimited number of web sites without any fee. You can create a company website, the project site or a corporate intranet website and many more. 

In addition, you can limit the access to the site to allow only an authorized user can view or edit the site or make it as a public website.

Google Sites does not cost you a web hosting fee or maintenance fee as this is totally free and available within your Google account.

You can simply edit the website by log in, edit the contents and save so you will feel it is like a word processor software.

For example, you can give a site editing permission for particular web pages so even a non - tech person to like sales people can edit the contents.

Google Sites is not only Google search friendly site, but also it provides you a way to integrate with 60 Google Services such as YouTube, Google Drive, Google Maps, Picasa and etc. In other words, you can embed Google services in a few clicks.

There are minor but important things that you should not miss for Google Site development.

1. Favicon

The favicon (favorite + icon) is an icon that is displayed in a browser's address bar.

You can create a favicon by changing file format as .ico from square image (eg, 50x50 pixcel) of the company or product logo. And go to the 'Manage site > Attachments' and upload the file.

For example, below animation shows how to create a favicon. After uploading the file, you will see that the icon is reflected in the title bar.

2. Footer

The copyright statement, social icons at the bottom of the website are the essential. By default, custom footer is disabled, so you need to enable under 'Edit Site Layout' and add the content in the footer.

3. Online Contact Form

Using Google Forms, website visitors can enter the required information via the online form. The form is connected with Google Spreadsheet so you may receive an immediate email once a visitor submits the form. And you can embed the Google Form on a Google Site page.

You may also consider to use Jotform for beautifully designed form and embed on Google Sites, but there are limitations on a number of submissions for free version. So consider a pros and cons between Google Form versus Jotform. 

4. Page Settings

The 'Page Settings' is where you specify the 'meta tags'. In other words, this is the place for a meta description of the page for the search. Meta description and keywords are the essential element for the Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Enter 2 or 3 sentences with keywords so your website can be better exposed. 

You may also consider to uncheck 'Allow attachments' and 'Allow comments' to prevent unwanted posting and attachment by visitors.

5. Privacy for Google Sites Activities

If you develop a website alone, or build with collaborators as a team, you may want to hide site change activities showing from website visitors. Google Site is configured to show all site activities in public, so you need to adjust Access settings by choosing 'Collaborators only' under Users who can access site activity and revision history. 

Also, Check to hide 'Recent Changes' link at the bottom of the website. Go to 'Edit Site Layout' and click 'System Footer' Area to bring the pop-up as below and check it.

6. Site Analytics

If the website development is completed, it is not the end. It is very important to set up a Web site to allow for statistical analysis and search optimization. Use Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, and it is a free tool you can register and create a code for your website and paste into the entry fields.

7. Optimize for Mobile

Many users visit the website through mobile these days. Keep in mind how does your website would look at the mobile phone as well. Google Sites does not provide Responsive Web Design (RWD) so even if you have designed the beautiful website, it may not look natural on mobile phone. 

Check or Uncheck 'Automatically adjust site to mobile phones' to preview on mobile phone.

If you want the perfect website for mobile phone, you may build a Google Site for mobile phone and insert a link in the Footer section so your mobile users can choose between computer and mobile version. 

If you have questions about your Google Sites development project or learn more about the Google Site development, visit BNH Services or get a beautifully designed template at Google Sites Templates website.