I was perusing Google Analytics the other day and almost choked – my “Search Engine Optimization” reports were missing!
I desperately looked to Google for answers – and it seems that the SEO reports have been replaced by “Search Console” reports. While both draw data from the GA/Search Console integration, “Search Console” reports offer most of the same info plus a few COOL added bonuses.
Google Search Console Reports
While the original “Search Engine Optimization” reports included Landing Pages, Queries, and a Geographical report, the new Search Console includes Landing Pages, Countries, Devices, and Queries.
Top 3 Things to Look At in Search Console Reports
Click through rate by landing page by keyword
It used to be that you could look at the CTR for the landing page or query, but now you can narrow it down to the landing page by query.
To do this, go to your “Landing Pages” report, and click on the page you want to look at. You’ll then be taken to a screen showing you the queries that have brought users to this page, as well as the CTR. The majority of queries are still listed as (not set), but especially when you manage a site with a high traffic volume, the available sampling can give you awesome insight into which keywords have good CTR, and which don’t for any given page.
How to use this insight: There’s no use in data alone if you don’t act on it. This report is awesome because you can see the effectiveness of your SERP results by keyword.
Perhaps you have a page on “blogging services”, and it has a high click through rate for the term “advice on blogging” but not for the search term “services for my blog”. The page is designed to drive sales of your services, so you will find that the intent of the searchers does not necessarily match the purpose of the page.
Click Through Rate By Device
If you go to the “Devices” report, you’ll see a breakdown of the number of impressions and clicks on Google, by device. It is helpful to be able to see if there is a major difference in queries by device (example: are more people searching long-tail, natural language keywords on mobile?)
It’s also helpful to see the effectiveness of your SERP results based on device by looking at the CTR. Perhaps you’ll find that pages with shorter title tags have a higher click through on mobile than desktop.
How to use this insight: This report will help you better understand your audience. Perhaps the majority of purchases on your site come from mobile users, but your e-commerce pages have a low CTR for mobile devices. You may decide to alter your SERP (title and/or meta description) to better meet your mobile users preferences.
Average Position of Landing Pages for Specific Queries
Search Engine Optimization reports in Google Analytics used to show you the average position of a query… but what if you have multiple landing pages ranking for the same term?
If you have a website about plumbing in Los Angeles, your “Los Angeles” page ranks #1, your homepage ranks #7, and your “Plumbing Tips” page ranks #32, all for the same search term. In the old system, all of these would be averaged out for your final “average position” number.
Now, you can see how each landing page ranks for a specific query. To do this, go to the Landing Pages report, click on one of your landing pages, and you will see a breakdown of queries and the average position for each.
How to use this insight: Knowing the average position of your landing page for specific queries will help you better understand how your pages rank for specific terms. Perhaps your e-commerce pages are ranking high for terms with low commercial intent and lower for terms with high commercial intent. You can try optimizing your page to rank better for keywords with high commercial intent by altering your copy and building links.
It’s also helpful to know your CTR by position. There should be a close relationship between the average position and click through rate. If your page ranks #1 for a high traffic keyword and only has a click through rate of 3%, you might want to consider optimizing your SERP result by changing your meta description or title tag.
The new Google Analytics Search Console reports are very similar to the older Search Engine Optimization reports, but they allow for a bit deeper insight, allowing you to better optimize your website.