Understanding analytics is important to any SEO strategy and there are resources that will help. Google Webmasters Tools (GWT) is a valuable (and free!) resource that helps users uncover information about their site and those who visit it. Within GWT are two resources: Google Analytics and Google Search Console. What’s the difference between the two?
Basically, Google Analytics gives you data points about the performance of your website. Who is using your site, and how are they finding it? Google Analytics provides information on the number of visitors to your site, where visitors are coming from, how much time they spend on your site and the nature of their visit.
Whereas, Google Search Console is used to improve and optimize your website. It provides information on who is linking to your site, if there are technical errors on your site, and insight to keyword queries.
What Can Be Tracked With Google Analytics?
Who is visiting your site? Are they businessmen in their 40s and 50s, women, retirees, or young professionals? This information will help you update your site and reach your target audience. On Google Analytics, you can see age and gender demographics of those who visit your site.
Acquisition means attracting visitors to your site and increasing traffic. This part of Google Analytics helps you understand where visitors are coming from and how they found your website. Google Analytics splits visitors in the following categories
- Direct: This accounts for users that type your domain name directly into their browser. These are the visitors that intended to go to your site.
- Referral: The user found your site from another resource, such as a blog or another website.
- Organic Search: The user conducts a search and your website appears in the results, which they click on and are led to your site.
- Social Media: The user is coming from a social media platform such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
- Email: The user is coming from a link on an email, such as your newsletter.
Unique pageviews are the number of individual people who have viewed a specific page at least once during a visit. Keeping an eye on this metric will help show how many times each of your pages is visited.
What Can Be Tracked With Google Search Console?
This is the place to get SEO information on your website directly from Google. Simply installing it will not improve your SEO, but it can be used as a tool to improve your SEO efforts and organic traffic. Here are some of the insights you’ll get:
Your search analytics report within Google Search Console will tell you helpful information about how your site performs in Google Search. It will break all of these sections down for you:
- Queries: The keywords that users searched for in Google Search.
- Clicks: The count of clicks from a Google search results page that landed the user on your property.
- Impressions: The amount of links to your site a user saw on Google search results.
- Click-through-rate (CTR): The click count divided by the impression count.
- Position: The average position of the topmost result from your site.
Google Analytics vs. Google Webmaster Tool
Google Analytics is free tool that provides website traffic statistics including total visits, average time on site and bounce rate. In addition, Google Analytics shows you a website’s audience and demographic. When you want to know how people are finding your site and how they are engaging with it, Google Analytics can tell you.