Using Google Analytics & Search Console

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Analytics is essential for gathering vital information and data about your website.

You can use many tools to do this, however, the most common tool for analysing website performance and traffic is Google Analytics. You’ll find that many businesses will use this alongside Google Search Console (GSC).

However… The most common complaint that businesses and users report when comparing Google Analytics findings and Google Search Console (GSC) is that the data is “inaccurate.”

You have probably experienced this before: You try to match clicks from Google Search Console with traffic to landing pages from analytics, but the statistics aren’t even close!

While precision is essential, it is not synonymous with accuracy.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console don’t measure the same things

The quick reason is that the measurement procedures used by the two data sources differ.

Because Google Search Console (GSC) is based on query and click (or selection) logs, the data will be similar to what you’d see in your access log files (the files you get access to from DevOps for log file analysis).

Your analytics tool, on the other hand, uses JavaScript to collect data from the clickstream. That presents many variables, both in terms of how things can be measured and what those things are.

To further understand what causes the data disparities between GSC and analytics, you must first comprehend how each tool collects and interprets user behaviour data.

Query and Selection (Click) Logs: Anatomy

Google is always in a never-ending pursuit of search quality. This naturally causes them to collect a plethora of data points for each search and each searcher. This is done in hopes of acquiring a thorough picture of what’s going on in the SERPs.

Despite evidence of the contrary, Google has stated that they do not allow clicks and click-through rates to impact rankings. They have also said that they use click data for performance reviews.

One of the recurring debates between public-facing Googlers and SEOs has been this.

There are various standard evaluation measures for information retrieval, including:

  • Clicks.
  • Abandonment of SERPs.
  • The percentage of sessions that are successful.

Another common question people ask is, how many impressions do ranking tools represent?

For example, how many times have you pressed enter on autosuggest to discover that it searches for “Rumpelstiltskin” instead of “Rump steak?”

What about when you’re scrolling on your phone and fat finger the incorrect result?

These are all examples of how the data Google obtains could have a significant number of mistakes for which they must account.

So, what’s the best way to get more precise data?

As you add more specificity to how you review a website, the precision of the data given in Google Search Console improves.

In other words, the tool produces more data if you develop profiles that reflect deeper layers of the directory structure. Adding tens or hundreds of subdirectories to your Google Search Console might be time-consuming. Still, the increased data precision can be beneficial for A/B testing and identifying breakout keyword chances.

When creating many profiles, keep in mind that the GSC user interface only allows 1,000 queries per search filter.

Because the API returns 5,000 results per search filter, you should consider using it to pull your data.

It would help if you also considered looping through a series of tries as search filters to extract as much data as possible. This guarantees that you’re utilising as many subsets of terms as feasible as filters to get the most results.

You can acquire the most specific statistics by doing this by subdirectory and following your site’s taxonomy.

Let’s summarise this.

In summary, Google Analytics is user-centric. It offers information on those who visit and interact with your website rather than focusing on search engines.

For example:

Who is visiting your site? How did they find it? How long do they stay on your website?

It can also provide information on keywords, such as which generate the most traffic and which results in the most conversions.

You can develop your custom reports on website performance using this data to gain insight into crucial business decisions.

On the other hand, Google Search Console (GSC) is the place to go if you want to search for data directly from the search engine for your website. It can be utilised to help you improve your SEO and organic visitors.

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