Google’s always up to something, right? From expanded text ads to (not provided), updates are the norm and the rest of us simply brace ourselves for change. Sometimes the updates are a major pain in the you-know-where, but other times I want to fly to Silicon Valley and hug whoever is responsible. This one’s the latter.
You may have noticed something different in the Acquisition tab in Google Analytics recently. No, your Search Engine Optimization report is not gone. Actually, the powers that be did some serious feng shui. The result? A whole new level of harmony between Analytics and Search Console. Get excited.
What are the Search Console reports in GA?
Allow me to introduce the new and improved Search Console reports: Landing Pages, Countries, Devices and Queries. What were once home only to acquisition data from Search Console (for those who have synced their Search Console and Analytics properties), these reports now show Analytics and Search Console data side by side. Check it out:
As you can see, organic search acquisition metrics, like impressions and average position, are now integrated with behavior and conversion metrics, like bounce rate and conversion rate. Before, organic search performance metrics were shown in GA in a silo. Helpful, but not super actionable. Now, you can see how users get to you and what happens next on your website—by landing page, by country and by device.
Between the four reports, you now have a window into your organic search visitors’ journey from beginning to end. Google connects your Search Console and Analytics data at the landing page level. So while the first three reports show data from both properties, the Queries report, which shows all the queries you’re showing for in the SERPs like you see in Search Console, does not tie in GA data. We’ll take what we can get.
How can you take advantage of the Search Console reports?
The true value of data is not found in its availability or quantity, but in its utility. So how is this new information useful to your brand? The deeper integration of Search Console and Analytics means your data just became significantly more comprehensive, bridging gaps we had all previously become accustomed to. While you’ve always been able to see data on what happens in the SERPs in Search Console and data on what happens on your site in Analytics, you couldn’t really connect the dots.
With an end-to-end view of organic search data, you can:
1. View your organic landing pages’ CTR alongside pages/session and goal conversion data.
Scenario: One of your product pages has an awesome CTR, but few visitors actually add to cart. Instead, they end up shopping around through other pages on your site.
Ask yourself: Are these low-intent visitors? How can I merchandise the page better so visitors find what they need?
2. Better understand organic performance in each device category.
Scenario: Your homepage ranks really well in mobile, but your bounce rate is discouragingly high.
Ask yourself: Are there elements of the page that do not load well or translate well to mobile that I need to fix?
3. See all of the search queries ranking each of your landing pages.
Scenario: One of your highest priority category pages has an average position of 10 for your target keyword.
Ask yourself: Do I need to rewrite meta data to better incorporate the most relevant search query?
4. Evaluate your most valuable landing pages’ average position and conversion metrics in different markets around the world.
Scenario: Many of your product pages rank well for searchers in Canada, but have poor Ecommerce conversion rates.
Ask yourself: How can I better merchandise this page’s shipping information so my Canadian customers are more inclined to purchase?
I could go on and on about how useful these new insights are, but I think you get the point. Marrying organic search acquisition metrics to behavior and conversion metrics in the Search Console reports paints a clearer picture of how your organic visitors reached your site and what those visitors did when they arrived.
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