Google provides a suite of tools for schools and even better, they’re free for non-profit organizations. It’s possible you already use Google Analytics to evaluate your website traffic. Other tools that are commonly used are the Google Custom Search Engine... to power your website’s search function, and Google Translate, to add multi-lingual functionality to your site. All of these services are optional, but we definitely recommend you use Analytics to watch your website traffic, and the CSE (custom search engine) to make content easy to find on your website.

To use these services, you must have a Google account. Even if your organization is not on Google Apps, you can still set up these services under an individual Gmail account. Ideally, however, your Google services should all be configured under the same account owned by your organization. This way, if you were to leave your organization, you do not have their analytics and other services configured under your personal account.

 

If your school or district does not have a google account, you can go to www.google.com/enterprise/apps/education to sign up for a free one. 



  • Google Analytics
    Right now, if your organization is already using Google Analytics, it’s quite possible it’s set up under another account. This is OK, but again, having all your services configured under a common account is a better idea. Campus Suite simply needs your individual GA Snippet to implement on your website for proper tracking. 
    • Google Analytics - The starting point for setting up google analytics. Where after signing up you will be able to find the GA snippet of code that you will need to copy to a text file and then sending it to us so that we place on your site.  After that, you will be able to see what visitors are looking at on your site.

    • There are several settings you will need to fill out for your website before getting the code and there are;
      • Account Name
      • Website Name
      • Website URL - enter the URL of your website
      • Reporting Time Zone - Verify that the time zone that is chosen is the correct one for your school/district.

  • Custom Search Engine
    The Google custom search engine is a very powerful tool that allows you to separate out the pages of your website that are already indexed in Google, and list only your results, within your website when someone searches your site. Google sends out a web bot that spiders your site pages, that is, it crawls every link, finding every page listed publicly on your site. No one has control over when the Google bot comes and crawls your site, but it does quite frequently, and so when you add new pages or content, it eventually ends up indexed in Google, and therefore, also in your website search results. 

    Note to non-profits: To hide ads and sponsored links, your organization must go through an approval process with Google to prove you are a non-profit. Click here to see the process required on Google's site. Please view the article Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) for additional information.
    • Custom Search Engine - A centralized location on Google that will help answer any questions that you may have on the Custom Search Engine and where you can generate the code that you will need to copy to a text file and then send it to us so that we place it on your site.  

      We recommend waiting several weeks after your site is launched to make Google Search available to visitors to your site, this is to let Google spider your new site. During this time you should be testing the search results by going to the page titled Search Results in your root directory or by going to your homepage and entering /search-results at the end of the URL.  There you can test various search results with terms that you or others know is located on your site, clicking on the results to see if they are valid links or 404 errors, which means that the link is broken. Continue to test until the search results give you what you find is an acceptable amount of or no 404 errors for any results.  

    • There are several settings you will need to fill out for your website before getting the code and there are;
      • Sites to search - enter the URL of your website
      • Language - remember to verify that the language that is chosen is the one read for where you are located.
      • Name of the search engine- by default this is auto-filled with the name of your website in the URL. 


  • Google Translate
    Google Translate makes it so that your site can be translated into another language. Not everyone needs this, but if you are a school that has non-English speaking constituents, then this is a cost-effective route to take. 

    There are a few concessions that you must make if you choose to use this feature, specifically, the Google translations are not perfect, but they constantly work to improve translations by allowing the public to provide better translations through public forums. Also, your website design template considers spacing and styles using the English language and when you flip to another language, words take up more or less space in another language, and this can cause odd text wrapping in various places around your site. These oddities need to be accepted in order to utilize Google Translate. Most customers feel having their site readable in another language makes up for some of the style issues that can occur. 
    • Google Translate - With a couple clicks, Google helps you set up Google Translate for your site and then generates the snippet that you will need to copy to a text file and then send to us so that we place it on your site.

      There are several settings you will need to fill out for your website before getting the code and there are;
      • Website URL - enter the URL of your website.
      • Website Language - remember to verify that the primary language that is chosen is the one read for where you are located.
      • Translation Language - by default it is set to All languages but you can choose to only show those languages that you think is most relevant. By clicking on Specific languages and choosing which one you would like shown as options. 
      • Display mode - This is the style of the box that will be displayed on your site. We recommend staying with the default and that is Dropdown only.



You might not use all three of the services we’ve covered and we’ve only covered the three most common services used by our customers. Also, please keep in mind that Google is always updating and changing their services and how they work. Since they are mostly free, you must use the tools in alignment with their terms and conditions. In regards to the methods we show on how to retrieve your code snippets, Google can change this at any time. In this event, Google provides full documentation on how to set up and retrieve your code snippets for the services you choose to use and the steps are very minimum.


Campus Suite will need the snippets to complete the setup of your selected services on your website. If you have any questions, contact us via the support panel located on the lower right-hand side of your main dashboard.