It’s time again for our reading list and this week, we will cover Search Console. Whether you’re new to Search Console or are an experienced SEO marketer, this handy guide will give you actionable insights & a great understanding of Search Analytics reports.
How to read the Search Analytics report?
The Search Analytics report is in the left-hand navigation under Search Traffic and shows how often a website appears in Google search results only. It enables users to see search data from different perspectives.
The filter options that are available are Queries, Pages, Countries, Devises and Search Types including sub filters within each category. Furthermore, date range can also be customised, however compared to Google Analytics data, it only shows 90 days of search query data.
At the very top of the report four boxes can be ticked which are Clicks, Impressions, CTR and Position. For each tick, the data will then appear underneath.
Although it sounds just like Google Analytics (GA), Search Console data differs from what you see in GA. This can be very confusing as the terms are not the same. For example, in GA visits to a website are called Sessions and one person can have multiple sessions. Analytics also shows Sessions data by Channels, meaning the source of the search (i.e. Organic, Paid, Referrals, Direct and Social).
On the other hand, Search Console provides click data, which refers only to the people who clicked through from the Google search engine to your website. Do not get too excited about it as Google only gives you a small percentage of these queries and as mentioned, it can be a bit confusing working with it the first time.
You can read more about the terms in detail here.
By now you should have a good understanding about how Search Analytics reports can help improve your SEO and content marketing efforts. Here are the three key steps on how you could use it:
Strategy #1: Analyse search query data once per quarter
While Google does not give all your website’s query data, the Search Query report is still a great source of information. Data can be easily grouped and downloaded into Excel. It’s recommendable to delete non-relevant queries before beginning in-depth analysis.
Strategy #2: Improve SEO/ CTR
Once the query data is downloaded, you can determine which queries had a high and a low CTR as well as the reasons why. The search query can be more generic; for example, there could be a high number of impressions but low CTR. This could mean the query is competitive and your page needs SEO work or any other factors.
Strategy #3: Determine search queries for specific pages
At the top of the Search Analytics report there is a radio button for Pages. This report will show data by landing pages. If you click on one of the pages listed in the rows, another view will be opened with nothing in it. However, this means that you have filtered query data for this specific page. Now you can download this query data to Excel to see if the queries are relevant to the page content or if there are too many non-relevant queries.
Read more in detail here.