If you intend to invest time, effort, and money in SEO, you must have proper tools to track your progress and measure your return on investment. If you are a business owner that understands the potential of SEO traffic, there is a good chance that you have heard about Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
They are free tools from Google which help web owners to track their online traffic, including organic search traffic.
In this guide, we will explore some of the known features of Google Search Console and Google Analytics, and how they can be used to improve your SEO.
What are Google Search Console and Google Analytics?
The first tool, Google Analytics tracks, and reports website traffic on a variety of levels. It can be used to measure how users interact with website content, which is then used to make decisions about the website’s performance.
It helps website owners, bloggers to better understand their visitors and make more informed decisions about future site design and content.
The second tool, Google Search Console collaborates with Google Analytics. While Google Analytics, reports on what happens on your website, Google Search Console reports on how your website performs in Google’s search index.
How to Connect Google Search Console with Google Analytics
If you want to improve your SEO strategy, then the first thing that you should do is to set up Google Search Console and Analytics on your website. The Google Analytics and Search Console integration allow you to see your organic ranking data from Search Console together with page-level data from Google Analytics, and it simply takes a few minutes to set up.
Isn’t it true that the more data you can gather in one place, the better? Absolutely! 😎
This integration allows you to combine Search Console data into your Analytics reports. Organic search behavior metrics, such as goal completions, for landing pages, devices, and countries, are all in one spot.
Configuring Search Console data in Analytics
First of all, you need to make sure that your website is verified because Google wants to ensure that you actually own the site before you can have access to the data.
Here is how you can check out your verification:
- Go to Google Search Console Settings
- If you see a green checkmark, you know you’re a verified owner
If you want to use the Search Console you will need to enable the Search Console Data Import in Google Analytics.
- Sign in to your Google Analytics account
- Click the Admin icon
- Click Property Settings
- Scroll down to the Search Console and click Adjust Search Console
- Click Add
- Click the down arrow and select your property
- Google Search Console will open, and you’ll be asked to associate your property
- Click Continue. Next, you’ll see a screen asking you to confirm your associations
- Click Associate. Now your accounts are associated
Keep in mind: Your data won’t be available until about 48 hours after you’ve verified your Search Console account.
How to use Google Search Console to improve your SEO
If you have Google Search Console set up, there are some ways/things that you can do in Google Search Console to help you understand how your website is performing in organic search and enable Google crawl and index for your site.
With Google Search Console you can monitor the following metrics:
- Internal and external links
- Mobile usability
- Top Keyword queries
- User clicks and impressions
- Click-through Rate, etc
Now let’s go through some ways that we can use to improve SEO:
Check Google Search Console Performance report
One of many of the basic pieces of data you’ll need to rely on for SEO is the keywords that your site and pages rank for.
To see your keywords in Google Search Console, log in to Google Search Console, click “Performance”. Google made some changes in the Performance report. When you click the Performance tab below it will appear two more tabs Search results and Discover.
When you click the Search Results tab you’ll see the Queries tab. Below it, you’ll find every keyword you show up in search results for across your entire website.
You’ll need to take a few more steps if you want to check what keywords your particular pages rank for. To begin, select the Pages option and then the page you wish to review.
Analyze How Users Interact to Your Results
On the other hand, when you click the Discover tab, there will appear four metrics: total clicks, total impressions, average CTR (click-through rate), and average position.
- Total clicks show the total number of times someone clicked on your search results during the timeframe you select.
- Total impressions represent the total number of times someone saw your search results within a specific time.
- The average CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions.
How discover is different from search?
Users enter a search word to get relevant information for their query using Search. But, Discover provides info mostly based on what Google’s automated systems believe to be a good match with a user’s interests, rather than providing results in response to a query.
The data displayed in this area when you first access the discover report is data for your whole website. However, if you choose a page from the “Pages” tab, the report will refresh to provide the statistics for that specific page.
When you pick a metric, Google Search Console displays the data for that metric in the performance graph as well as in the table below the graph.
See How Many Pages of Your Site Are in Google’s Index
You can view how many pages of your site Google has crawled by using the “Coverage” report in Google Search Console. Select the “Valid” tile after clicking “Coverage.”
Submit a Page for Indexing
If you discover that a specific page on your site is not indexed by Google, you may submit it for indexing using the “URL inspection” tool:
Copy and paste the URL you wish to enter into the search bar, then wait for Google’s test to finish. If Google finds no problems, click “Request Indexing.” Google may take a few hours to a few days to review your request, crawl the website, and add it to its index.
Identify Crawl Errors and Unindexable Pages
Developers will sometimes add canonical or no-index tags to a page to temporarily block Google from indexing it, but they may fail to remove such tags afterward. Sometimes you delete a page and then forget to redirect it to a new page.
Fortunately, Google Search Console tracks issues of this nature.
You can find these errors in the coverage report by clicking “Coverage” and selecting “Error” and “Valid with warnings.”
Excluded pages are typically not indexed. These pages are either duplicates of indexed pages or blocked from indexing by some mechanism on your site, or otherwise not indexed for a reason that we think is not an error.
This report also includes 404 issues found on sites submitted to Google using a sitemap or the “Request Indexing” service.
Submit a Sitemap
If you have a sitemap for your website that you keep up to date, you can upload it to Google Search Console to make it easier for Google to search your site and notify it of new pages you’ve published.
To submit a site map you go to Sitemaps, enter the URL for your sitemap, and click submit.
See What Other Sites Have Linked to Your Site
The “Links” report in Google Search Console shows you which sites have linked to yours, which pages other sites link to the most frequently, and which pages have the most links.
To view all of your inbound links, select the “Links” tab, then “More” beneath “Top linking sites.”
How to use Google Analytics for SEO:
You can monitor the following using Google Analytics:
- Track organic traffic
- User time spent on the website
- Bounce Rate
- Customer Acquisition and Return of Investment
- Webpage performance, etc
Here are some ways of how to use Google Analytics to improve SEO:
Track Organic Traffic
These days, organic is all the way.
When it comes to analyzing the performance and effect of your website, organic traffic is one of the most significant metrics to consider.
The organic traffic section displays the number of visitors coming to your website from non-paid search engine results. It measures how many people are actively engaged with your content. Organic traffic is important for any business because it’s the only way to know how much of an impact their content has on their audience.
There are two ways to check your website’s organic traffic:
- Search for “site:www.yourdomain.com” in the Google Analytics search bar and press enter to see your web traffic,
- Go to “Audience” > “Sources/Mediums” and click on the “Organic Search Engines, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! etc.”
The first method will give you more accurate results but the second one is easier to use when you do not know the IP address of your site or how to decipher Google Analytics code.
Analyze landing page traffic
Analyzing your best-performing pages provides insight into what information is popular and engaging for your audience, as well as which content should be updated. Landing page data may be sorted by clicks, impressions, average position, or all three.
This great opportunity just needs a little attention to improving.
Track visitor conversion rates
This section is about conversion rate. Conversion rates are typically defined as the number of visitors who complete a desired action divided by the number of visitors who visit a page or website. A conversion rate can be tracked in various ways, including set time periods, traffic sources, and web pages.
A high conversion rate can increase your success on search engines and social media sites. This is because Google treats high-quality content more favorably than low-quality content on its SERPS (search engine result pages).
There are three main methods for measuring conversions: Click-through Rate (CTR), Conversion Rate, and Cost per Click (CPC). Let’s take a look at each one.
The Click-through Rate is the percentage of visitors to the web page that click on a link. It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks on a link by the total number of visitors. The higher the CTR, the better.
Conversion rate measures how many people who visit your page convert to customers; it is calculated by dividing total conversions by total page views. For example, if you have 10 visitors to your site and 3 converts into customers then your conversion rate is 30%.
Cost per Click (CPC) measures how much an advertisement cost per click; it is measured in Dollars per Thousand Impressions (DPM).
Track visitors bounce rates
When a visitor visits your site, if they don’t instantly find what they’re searching for or aren’t interested in the content, they may leave. This is referred to as ‘bouncing.’ Every website has some bouncers, but it’s important to keep the number as minimal as possible.
High bounce rates can happen for many reasons, including slow page loading, poor landing page content, or irritating UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). User bounce rates may be found under the audience » overview.
Set up alerts for 404 pages
We’ve all seen the “404 — Page Not Found” warning. On large sites, it’s unavoidable, so it’s worth keeping an eye on. This is simple to do using Google Analytics.
To begin, make sure all of your 404 pages have the same page title, such as “404 ” or “Page not found.” Then, do not redirect them; the URL should remain unchanged.
Enter your page title for 404 pages, beginning at the bottom and working your way up. Remember that some 404s are unavoidable due to typos, therefore this figure should be high enough to rule those out.
You now have all you need to properly monitor and alert on 404 issues. Once you’ve discovered the 404s, you’ll need to analyze what’s causing them. As previously said, this might be a mistake or an internal or external link going to the URL.
Track social shares
Getting your content shared online is a big deal.
This not only helps with brand awareness but may also result in wonderful backlinks. Especially if it’s shared invaluable places.
Open the acquisition menu. From there, select all traffic » channels. Now you can view the website’s sources of traffic, which are sorted by channel. You’ll be able to view the sources of Search, Social, Direct, Referral links, Backlinks, Email, PPC, and “Other.”
So, what is the role of Google Search Console vs Google Analytics for SEO?
Let me sum up all of this once again: Google Analytics can help you understand who is visiting your site, how they got there, and what they are doing there. It’s a terrific method to see how well your online efforts are performing and where you might improve.
Google Search Console, on the other hand, allows you to monitor your SEO performance/rankings as well as the technical structure of your site. They give a wealth of information on what’s working well and what’s not, allowing you to better update and customize your website for the greatest possible SEO and content development plan.
However, both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are important tools for SEO. They will make your website perform best. As a result, your business site will look like a secure, user-friendly, and reliable website and will be the best choice for the audience.