Many tools can help you to analyze your website audience data and improve your SEO strategy; in fact, you may be using a combination of them—and maybe even paying to use them.
Enter Google Search Console Insights (GSCI), one of the more recent, and most asked about, SEO improvement tools by Google.
Keep reading to learn how you can grow your brand using GSCI!
What is Search Console Insights?
Google Search Console Insights is a free platform that helps you optimize your SEO results using data collected from Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
It gives an overview of website statistics and analyzes content performance from a technical standpoint. It also allows you to pinpoint issues with your webpages while helping you tailor the website to your users' needs.
It's a useful tool that Web content creators, marketers, and SEO specialists need—and tend to love.
Google Search Console Insights helps business and website owners on their search engine optimization journey. It is a guide for improving metrics, such as...
- Keyword positions
- Average page view duration
- Content quality
- Website usability
If you are still new to this topic and want more details to understand the basics better, check out this guide for Google Search Console.
How do I get started on Search Console?
To get started, sign up for Google's Search Console, then add and verify site ownership! It's simple, but it takes a few steps:
- Log in to Google Search Console with your Google Analytics account so they sync. (As noted earlier, GSCI retrieves the website's performance data from both).
- Click Add a property.
- Choose a domain or URL (preferably a domain).
- Confirm you own that property, whether domain or URL, with your DNS provider. However, the easiest way to verify your property (the URL option) is by using your Google Analytics account.
How do you access Search Console Insights?
- Click on the Overview tab in the Search Console and select Search Console Insights at the top of that page. In the Google app for iOS, click your profile picture and select Search Console Insights in the account's menu.
- Access from Google Search in Search Results.
Once you have access to this tool, you will need to check in occasionally to make sure everything is running smoothly—once a month, or whenever you post new content. If GSCI notices any unusual activity on your website, you will receive an email alert.
How do I turn GSCI data into SEO solutions?
Let's now move on to how to use the data GSCI collects to optimize your website's organic ranking in search engines.
Instead of making you arrive at your own conclusions by looking at plain charts and graphics from the analytics, GSCI will automatically answer important questions you have probably been asking yourself about your website, including the following five.
1. What are your best-performing pieces of content?
"Your most popular content" report shows the best pages by performance. Based on that data, you can prioritize work on the pages. You can find out what type of content garners the most attention and which ones have been trending.
GSC uses three badges to help you identify relevant info for your content:
- Top 5 Results shows which content's average organic search position is in the Top 5 spots.
- Trending x% compares your content's previous 28 days with how the content performed before that period.
- High average duration highlights high-duration content vs. the website's other content.
2. How are your new pieces of content performing?
Google Search Console Insights is also helpful for analyzing your new pages. Check which of the recently published content quickly receives impressions in Google search results. Use "Your new content" report. It shows which new pages received its first views within the last 28 days, sorting from most to least recent.
If there were tests or strategies that worked well, you can extrapolate from the results. We now know which pages Google likes, and therefore we can build hypotheses and develop strategies to keep delivering similar content.
3. How do people discover your content across the Web?
By knowing where people are discovering your content, you can drastically change your marketing game to focus on those traffic channels. To understand how people land on your page, GSCI shows your three most popular traffic sources, such as organic search, paid search, direct, social, and referral.
But to get the most detailed information, you still need to check on Google Search Console, where in the "Performance" report you can open the chart to show you the metrics for impressions, clickthrough rate, and the dimensions for queries and even countries.
You can go through the available filters to check the performance of your page in a specific area.
For example, you can determine where your traffic is coming from by entering a search type filter. If you want to know what pages are bringing traffic from image search results, select "Image" when browsing through the filters. From the displayed chart, you'll be able to see the queries, pages, and countries that are bringing in the most traffic for that particular search.
4. What do people search for on Google before they visit your content?
Here you have access to the section that brings up the Top 50 search queries sending people to your site from Google's search engine. The queries would be ranked by the number of times they were clicked on in a Google SERP.
You have a rank position under each query, and by default the list showcases the "Most Searched Queries." You can also switch the list to the "Most Trending Queries" to learn which search queries grew the most in terms of clicks in the current vs. previous 28 days.
5. Which article refers users to your website and content?
The GSCI has a report section called "Referring links from other websites" that shows you how many entries to a certain webpage a specific referring page generated. There, you can see which of the websites linking to yours are the most relevant to your users. You can then decide whether you should still post articles on that referring site or promote the page from which the traffic is coming from.
Moreover, knowing which links work well can help inform your future link-building strategy.
What Else Should I Consider With GSCI?
Track the data over time to see how your website has improved since using this tool. Consistent tracking of growth is how you can sustain it, so keep the following in mind:
- Confirm that Google is associating your content to your target keyword. The SE Ranking keyword tool can help you choose the best keywords for your niche and optimize your content with those keywords. You can also find out what new pages you should create by using this keyword suggestion tool.
- Give priority to the important webpages. Check which ones are performing the best in terms of search organic growth, and analyze which efforts bring the best SEO results.
- Pay attention to how much time visitors spend on your website (average pageview duration metric). If this metric is too low, check your content relevancy and website structure. (Keep in mind that the data for Google Search Console Insights is different from that of Google Analytics. GSCI combines data such as pageviews and average time on page from Google Analytics with Search metrics such as clicks and average position. Basically, one represents the activity happening on Google's search bar, and the other what happens on your webpage.)
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Ultimately, it's your audience that decides whether your content and website strategy work. Google Search Console Insights helps you understand what your audience likes and doesn't like on your website. It's a great tool for marketing beginners and experts alike.
GSCI can help you improve your content strategy, increase your visibility in Google's search engine, and grow your audience.
More Resources on SEO Strategy
You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Search:
- A Complete Guide to Anchor Text Optimization in Four Steps
- An 11-Step Plan for Improving Your SEO Strategy [Infographic]
- Five Ways to Get Keyword Ideas for Your Website: A Beginner's Guide
- A Marketer's Guide to SEO in 2022: Franco Valentino on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- How Many Words Do People Use When Searching Online?
- Three SEO Trends Marketers Need to Know in 2022