However, this data is not automatically available in Google Analytics.
In this guide, we outline the differences between the platforms, how to connect the two, and how to best use Search Console data.
Google Search Console versus Google Analytics data: What's the difference?
Search Console and Analytics each provide different insights for your site.
Analytics helps you to understand who is using your site, how they found it, and how visitors are behaving. This can be used to measure your site performance and show what content is and isn’t working.
Search Console, meanwhile, is focused on your SEO performance and the technical health of your site.
When you place these insights together, you have a powerful overview. Some of the different data sets they include are:
Keyword queries - The search queries that led people to your site, and where your website ranks against top keyword queries
Clicks - The count of clicks from a Google search results page that went to your website
Impressions - The number of times your links were seen in Google search results (even if not clicked on)
Click-through-rate (CTR) - The click count divided by the impression count
Position - The average position of your top result from your site
Links to your site - The number of times your content is linked to, what content is linked to the most, and what anchor text other sites use to link to you
Internal links - Links that exist within your own website and how Googlebot is crawling through your site
Mobile usability - How well optimized your website is for mobile devices
Index coverage - A report that helps you categorize errors Google has found
Discover performance - How your site is performing in Google Discover
Audience demographics - The kind of people who are visiting your site (e.g. age, gender etc.)
Audience interests - What your site visitors are in-market for and their lifestyle interests
Geo - The locations your audience are visiting your website from and the languages they speak
Acquisition - Where visitors are coming from and how they found your website (e.g. direct, referral, organic search, social media or email)
Landing page performance - Which landing pages are working best on your site. Understand what users are doing on-site through engagement metrics, such as bounce rates and goal tracking
Time spent - How long visitors are staying on your site
Unique pageviews - Number of individual people viewing a specific page
Both Search Console and Analytics contain many more data sets and reports, but these are some of the most commonly used.
Now that you know the differences between the two, we’ll explain how you can add Search Console data into Analytics.
How to set up Google Search Console
If you don’t have a Search Console profile already, simply follow our step-by-step guide to set one up:
1. Go to Search Console
2. Click ‘Start now’, and then sign in with the email address linked to your Google Analytics account
3. Click ‘Add Property’, then add your site using domain or URL prefix
4. Verify that you own the site
You can do this in a few different ways:
- HTML file upload - Google’s preferred method involves Google providing a file that you need to upload to your site. After doing this, you confirm the upload and verify your ownership. This is fairly straightforward but is a risk for those with multiple people accessing your site - for instance, a developer may accidentally delete this
- HTML tag - You place a Search Console-provided tag on your website. With this, Google can verify your ownership. Once again however, somebody could accidentally delete this
- Domain name provider - You choose your provider from a large dropdown menu. Don’t know who this is? Google has advice on how to identify your domain host
- Google Analytics - Place your tracking code correctly with ‘Edit’ permissions
- Google Tag Manager - You need to use the container snipper and have ‘Manage’ permissions in Google Tag Manager. With this in place, click verify
Once all of these steps have been followed, your Search Console profile set-up will be complete.
How to connect Search Console to Google Analytics
Once you have Search Console set up, you can combine this data with Analytics.
To enable the Search Console Data Import in Google Analytics:
1. Go to Google Analytics
2. Select ‘Acquisition’ > ‘Search Console’
3. Click ‘Set up Search Console data sharing’
4. Choose your Search Console account
Once you’ve done this, your data sources will be connected. It may take a while for data to come through - especially if you’ve only just set up Search Console.
Why doesn’t Search Console data match Google Analytics data?
If your Search Console data doesn’t match Analytics data, don’t worry. This is to be expected.
The reasons why these can vary include:
- Google may have not crawled your site since changes have been made. Although Analytics will report data on new pages immediately, Search Console will not include data until Google’s search crawlers have discovered your pages
- Additional data processing carried out within Search Console - for example, this automatically eliminates duplicates and visits from robots
- Google Analytics ‘organic’ data will include visits from other search engines, whereas Search Console only reports on metrics from Google search
How to use your Search Console data in Google Analytics
Now you know how to import your search console data into Analytics, let’s look at how to use it. You can already access the data in the Search Console performance report, so what are the advantages of using Google Analytics to analyse your Search Console data?
More charting timeframes
Although Search Console includes charts for viewing your data, these only show data on a daily level.
In Google Analytics, we can now view the same data in daily, weekly or monthly charts.
The option of weekly and monthly charts can make it much easier to analyse your data and spot patterns over longer timeframes. This is especially helpful when comparing data over different periods.
View engagement metrics and conversion data
One of the biggest advantages of viewing the data in Analytics is the ability to see engagement metrics and conversion data for the pages being reported.
To access this data, you need to select the ‘Landing Pages’ report within the Search Console menu.
This view will show you standard Google Analytics engagement metrics for each of your pages such as Bounce Rate and Pages per sessions, as well as conversion data.
As we can see in the example below, if you have goal tracking set up on-site, you can also display the number of goal conversations for each individual page.
In this instance, we’ve chosen to order the data using conversions so that we can see the highest converting pages first. This helps to identify your most valuable pages. Clicking on the individual pages will now show the query view for that page.
Here we can see the impressions data showing the queries people are searching for the most that are relevant to our page. Alternatively, we can identify queries we might wish to optimize our page towards by sorting the data via Average Position.
Here, we can look for the queries that we already rank reasonably well for that also have the highest level of impressions. These terms are likely to provide the easiest wins if we can improve rankings towards the top 3 positions on Google and so become priorities for optimization.
Measure engagement across different devices
We can view device-specific data via the ‘Devices’ report within the Search Console menu.
Viewing this in Analytics, rather than Search Console, enables us to spot differences in engagement across different device types.
This becomes more useful when we click through to the individual device reports.
We can now look at engagement metrics for different devices at a page by page level.
We can use these reports to look for inconsistencies in the way pages perform across different devices. For example, we can see from the above examples that conversion rates are much lower on mobile. However, bounce rates are also lower. This suggests that although mobile users are happy enough with the mobile design, we might want to look at how we can improve calls to action on mobile pages.
We can also identify issues with individual pages. From this example, we can see that the page /en-gb/training has a much lower bounce rate (18.26%) on desktop than it does on mobile (35.52%). We would definitely want to review the design of this page on mobile to consider how we could increase engagement rates.
Learn more about SEO
If you want to learn more about how to find - and how to use - data to improve your site’s organic search performance, we offer a wide range of SEO training courses.