What is the difference between Google Search Console and Google Analytics?
9 minutes reading
When looking for valuable tools to help you grow your business or at least spread your influence over the internet, there is hardly a better choice than Google’s free tools.
Google is the world’s most prominent and affluent search engine, holding more than 84% of the global market. With 86.6 billion visits each month, it’s hard to imagine running a business without aspiring to become Google’s number one choice for particular keywords of interest. And while there are dozens of tools that can help you create an overall digital marketing strategy, none are as efficient, well-designed, and maintained as Google’s free tolls. Two of them, in particular, are a must-have for any website owner who wants to grow their website and make it a social hotspot for people with similar interests. That’s right, today we will show you what the difference between Google Analytics and Google Search Console is!
What is Google Analytics
Google Analytics (GA) is an online analytics service provided by Google, which gives you various statistics instrumental for your success. The primary use of GA is related to search engine optimization and bettering a website’s marketing performance by analyzing who, when, where, and how the visitors spend time on every web page.
Google Analytics tracks every user who enters your website, showing where they came from (another website, directly, through Google Search), how long they stay, at what stage they leave, and whether they finished the predetermined customer journey. It also shows vital demographic, geographic, behavioral, and other statistics that could help you better target your audience.
Why is it important to have Google Analytics
Google Analytics will disclose every aspect of your visitors’ behavior and preferences when visiting your website. Probably the most essential information you will get is the number of visitors on any page. This will allow you to focus your resources, time, and efforts on the pages or products in which your customers show the most significant interest. Moreover, you can identify problems on your landing pages if you notice a substantial drop in visits or an increased bounce rate.
GA is incredibly useful in identifying the channels through which audiences get to your website. Typically you will be sharing your content through different media. You will have paid and unpaid spreads, so determining where your potential clients come from may give you priceless insight into which channels work best for you.
Probably if not, the most significant benefit of GA is that it tracks the visitor’s behavior while they are on your website. This can offer you a better understanding of what they expect to see, how they envision the customer journey, and why they are reluctant to purchase your product or service. Seeing where customers leave your website can identify weaknesses or issues in one or more steps of your customer’s journey.
GA is the only tool that allows you to fully understand your customers and see your website from their perspective.
What to track with GA
As it has become evident, if you want to learn more about your audience, you shouldn’t go further than Google Analytics. Knowing your audience is the first step in converting them into customers. To do so, you need to focus your attention on several key metrics GA graciously provides.
As a business owner, you already know your business persona’s importance. Thanks to Google Analytics, you can pinpoint the exact type of audience that comes to your website and, more importantly, the precise demographic that finishes the customer journey. This will allow you to customize your communication with the customer and reinforce it for the target audience already buying your product. Respectively you can also use the information, diverting some of your resources to other audiences who are interested but rarely finish the predefined journey.
Moreover, the demographics will show you where your customers come from geographically, allowing you to create more targeted and well-timed messaging and ads.
This metric can save you a lot of money and resources. It shows you through what channels your audience gets to your website. For website owners, who devoted some time to developing their SEO strategy, the most common acquisition is through Google and other search engines, also known as organic traffic. Some may even enter your website by typing your domain in their browser’s search bar.
If your SEO is working well and you spend the time to build a proper backlink portfolio, a massive amount of your audience will come through backlinks from other websites, blogs, and articles.
If your SEO is not that good, most of your acquisitions will come from social media posts, PPC campaigns, e-mails, and other similar communication channels.
Knowing these metrics, you can easily optimize your marketing strategy and utilize the most efficient media while leaving the less potent ones to use less of your time and resources.
Undoubtedly the most useful of all GA metrics is tracking your audience’s behavior. Google Analytics will follow them throughout their stay and let you know their exact moves, the landing page from which their journey began, and where they went next. Did they follow the predetermined path, or did they deviate? How long did they stay on a particular page, and where did they fall out? This crucial information will allow you to perfect your landing pages and customer journey to push more people to the desired goal.
GA also follows each user’s duration on the pages of your website. Naturally, the longer a user stays on your website, the higher the chances of him becoming a lead. This is relevant mainly for new customers, as returning ones already know their way through your website and are convinced they want your product. Nonetheless, it’s also a good idea to keep track of them.
The only GA metric you’d prefer is if it stays low. All websites have a significant bounce rate, which is between 45 to 65% on average. Blog posts and other non-commercial messaging have been even higher since it’s standard for people to come in, read the story, news, or announcement, and leave. However, when it comes to your home page, a tremendous bounce rate means people realize they are not in the right spot right from the get-go. In this case, you need to either change your homepage entirely or check your GSC to see if something in your organic traffic efforts has gone wrong.
What is Google Search Console
As the name suggests, Google Search Console (GSC) follows not the customers that are on your website but how audiences interact with your website inside the search engines. This helps you understand how Google sees your website and to fix any potential issues Google might have with any of the pages it indexes. Furthermore, GSC also provides with Mobile usability report, which means that it tests the web pages of your website for mobile devices as well.
All this allows you to focus your SEO efforts, better your organic traffic performance, fix issues, and raise your website to the top of Google Search results. The tool is invaluable in increasing your website SEO score and understanding what the general audience in your niche is looking for.
Although many amateur marketers and fresh website owners think that Google Analytics and Google Search Console are interchangeable, they have vastly different tasks. So naturally, it’s best to have them both in your arsenal.
Why do you need Google Search Console?
On the other hand, Google Search Console is much more aligned with how the search engine sees your pages. After all, if you are trying to rank on Google’s first page, is there a better way to learn what you are doing wrong than with a Google tool?
GSC will show you how you are doing in SERP for various keywords and give you the information to improve them. GSC is instrumental in finding the best keywords for your product and the precise ones you might consider for a PPC campaign. This will allow you to target your audience better and optimize your pages specifically for the proven keyword instead of trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Furthermore, GSC is irreplaceable in detecting technical issues, like broken links, pages, and buttons. This will allow you to promptly take action and reduce the negative effect of such problems. Finally, GSC will let you know which websites link your articles, webpage, or products. This information is crucial for building a proper backlink portfolio, which is a cornerstone of good SEO.
What to look for in GSC
Google search console is your gateway into the insides of how the regular user sees your website in the search engines. Other important information is when your website appears, who is sharing it, and what keywords work best for your website. Like Google Analytics, GSC also has essential metrics you must follow closely.
This is the most important metric you will find in GSC. It shows you what keywords were entered in Google before someone opened your page. This can be an eye-opening metric, showing you keywords you might not have thought of previously. More importantly, the search analysis will give you a glimpse of each keyword’s CTR, how many clicks, and how many impressions your link got in the search engine. Depending on the results, you might consider changing your metadata to push the numbers higher and make your result more clickable.
If you are not an SEO expert, you’d be forgiven for not knowing that not all backlinks are equal. In other words, you don’t want just anybody to link to your website. Low-score websites practically harm your SEO efforts, so in such cases, you should take action and sever their linki. Moreover, your links need to have an exact anchor text (the words that are actually the button that leads to your website) that mirrors your overall strategy.
Finally, the backlink analysis shows if there is a backlink that has been broken or if any landing page is not functioning. In such a case, you may want to contact the website owner who initially linked your website and offer them another link.
Keyword research tool
This tool allows you to look at all relevant keywords and how you rank according to each one. This will give you enough information to rethink your primary keywords and know which ones you should spend your time, resources, and efforts on.
So, what’s the difference between Google Search Console and Google Analytics
Both Google Analytics and Search Console are invaluable tools that give you a unique view of your website. Furthermore, as it’s become evident, they have two distinctly different tasks.
GA offers you a glimpse of how your audience sees your website, while GSC provides you with the means to learn how Google perceives every one of your pages. With Google Analytics, you can find what people enjoy on your website and what is their preferred type of content while, at the same time showing you any mistakes you might have made in the customers’ journey.
On the other hand, GSC is there to show how people find your website in the search engines, what keywords are used to find you, and how well your website ranks on Google. Moreover, it gives you information about all the backlinks to your website, which you should follow closely and maintain clean and thorough.
Both tools are invaluable, free, and extremely efficient. All you need to do is to connect them with your website, and you are ready to go.
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