On the 5th of May Google announced the rollout of the “Search Console Report” into Google Analytics: a new report that would basically enrich the existing “Search Engine Optimization” one under the Acquisition Reports by integrating search console metrics alongside with Google Analytics metrics.
After the User Explorer Report, Google Analytics has added another very nice (free) feature.
This morning we saw this report appearing amongst our Premium and Standard GA Properties and we can finally give our personal opinion.
What is new in the Search Console Report?
Previously, if you had linked your Google Search Console to Google Analytics, you were able to see the standard SEO metrics
- Average Position
- Click Through Rate (CTR)
for queries, landing pages and country (for which average position was not available) and without the option of adding secondary dimensions other than the country. A better report was actually available within the Google Search Console itself (former “Webmaster Tools”).
With the new Search Console report, the same metrics where extended by
- Number of Sessions
- Behavior metrics (bounce rate and pages/session)
- Goal Conversion metrics (completions, value, conversion rate)
- E-Commerce metrics (conversion rate, transactions and revenue)
- A Device report
- The possibility of adding the following secondary dimensions in each report
- Device category
- Time metrics
What new insights can I get?
The most important insight that Google Analytics users will gain from the new Search Console Report is the correlation between search engine metrics like CTR or average position with actual e-commerce revenue or goal conversion value. All this simply out of the box, without having to build artificial reports (by exporting GA data and Search Console data and mapping them on the landing page).
In order to make you understand how this report will help you, I’ll take a random example from one of our GA properties. Let’s start by looking at the following landing page report.
Do you see what I see? Before that, just a little remark: you might notice a discrepancy between clicks and sessions. You can check out this post by Lunametrics, which explains where this difference might come from.
So, here is what you can learn from this report.
- Fact 1: the 4th landing page is clearly bringing lower traffic than the first 3: from over 20k impressions only 34 users clicked on the search result, which is equal to a 0.17% CTR. Compared to the overall CTR (6.21%) that is quite poor, isn’t it?
- Fact 2: without the GA metrics, you would not be able to tell that these 34 clicks generated 4 conversions (worth 4’000 USD). The organic conversion rate of this landing page (4.30%) is approx. 15 times the average conversion rate (0.28%), quite impressive isn’t it?
- Analysis: we have a landing page with a very low CTR and a very high conversion rate.
- Conclusion: there is a huge potential, it’s a golden landing page!
So, how do we act? How do we generate more money out of this scenario? Well, we “just” need to increase the CTR of that landing page. There are several way to do this
- We can try to optimize the search result snippet in order to expose more meaningful information in the organic results
- We could consider driving paid traffic to that landing page
Sneaky information: you know what the problem was? The meta-title of that page was not representing the content and the meta-description was actually inherited from the homepage. So, hypothesis 1 was actually a good guess 😉
What about the opposite scenario? Landing page 1 for instance has a high CTR but low conversion rate, how do we act? This case definitely requires landing page optimization through A/B testing. In fact, that page is the homepage and people that land on the homepage might not yet be in an advanced stage of the buying process, so that’s kind of normal. On the other side, a well-designed homepage might be optimized by encouraging conversion with few clicks.
- Unluckily nothing has changed in how queries are most of the time (NOT) passed to Google Analytics, so the majority of keywords you will see still contain a “(not set)” value
- Although available, segmentation will not work on these reports
- The Queries report doesn’t show Google Analytics metrics
Correlating CTR and Conversions is actually something that you were able to do with paid traffic (AdWords), but with this new feature Google Analytics will also allow better organic traffic optimization. Frankly that is quite smart, not only to encourage websites to improve their organic search result snippets to get more traffic, but also to make them want to invest in paid traffic to boost even more conversions on potentially highly profitable pages with low organic CTR.
Read all our Web Analytics post
I have over 8 years of experience in consulting and hands-on experience in Web Analytics, especially with Google Analytics (10+ years), Google Tag Manager (3+ years), Google Data Studio (1+ years) and Microsoft Power BI (2+ years).
I am also a proud dad, a passionate football fan (AC Milan) and I like to spend all my free time writing on my food-blog (www.cucina.li). What can I cook for you? 🙂
Latest posts by Andrea Rapanaro (see all)
- Break data silos with Google Data Studio and Supermetrics - April 25, 2017
- The Conversion Summit 2016 Highlights - September 2, 2016
- How Google Data Studio can help your Business - August 5, 2016