Keeping up with technology today has become a Herculean challenge, and yet if a business wishes to succeed, they will have to make an effort.
Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console are among the most powerful available to businesses, but they are often misunderstood.
We’ve compiled an insightful user guide to help you use these tools effectively for your business.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Google Analytics and Google Search Console
With so many tools out there, it can be challenging for managers and business owners to key in on the ones that matter. Google Analytics is a web-based analytics tool produced by Google. It tracks and makes reports on web traffic. These reports generate detailed information that helps businesses make better decisions and improve their websites.
Google Search Console is a different animal entirely. It was designed for webmasters to use to monitor performance by checking indexing status and supports features that can help increase visibility.
Both tools provide businesses with robust and genuinely useful abilities. The key to getting the most out of both of them is to know how to use them to leverage the most value. Not every business owner is equipped with the technical knowledge to handle them effectively on their own. Savvy business owners turn to more experienced third parties firms like digital marketing agencies who are well versed in the use of both Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
How to Use Google Analytics
On the surface, Google Analytics is relatively simple to use; however, understanding the results often proves to be much more complicated. When you’re using Google Analytics, you will be presented with an interface from which you can view a variety of statistics.
The statistics will show you valuable insights into different parts of your website. For example, Google Analytics will show you the number of page views, new visits, unique visits, and your bounce rate, among many other metrics.
Another useful feature available on Google Analytics is the ability to view statistics on different time slots. This ability can be particularly helpful when wanting to learn more about your website’s performance over the holidays.
When you check the number of views you had over different holidays, you can quickly determine which holidays brought in more sales. You can also use the information from your Google Analytics reports to help understand why certain products sold more than others.
Websites selling lingerie will perform better over Valentine’s Day while light strands will sell more over Christmas etc.
Being able to see how many people viewed your website and when including which pages they clicked on and how long they stayed on them yields valuable and actionable information. The kind of information can help drive sales and attract more customers by telling you more about your website’s performance.
For example, if you have products that aren’t selling well, it could be because your customers are having a hard time finding them. Take a look at the number of people who viewed the page the product is on and see which path those customers took to get to it.
If the number of page views is low and the path most customers took looks unintuitive, you can improve sales for products on that page. This is one of many cases in which Google Analytics has proven to be invaluable in web design. Websites can be improved and modified based on what you learn from your Google Analytics reports.
Google Analytics also helps you see how visitors found your website in the first place. By tracking how visitors found your site makes it possible to identify opportunities. If you notice that visitors are finding your website after using specific keywords, you can produce more content containing those keywords to rank even higher in search results.
It is worth noting that Google Analytics reports used to contain much more information on which keywords were used to get to a web page. Presently, you can still find some of the keywords used, but many others will come up as “not provided.”
Despite the nominal limitation mentioned above, Google Analytics remains one of the most powerful analytics tools available to businesses. You can recover some of those keywords by linking Google Search Console to your Google Analytics. To do this, start by clicking on the Admin button from your Google Analytics account. Next, you will click on the link to Property Settings. Click on the Adjust Search Console button next and then click Add.
Finally, scroll down to your website, check the box next to it and hit Save. that’s it! Now that you have linked Google Search Console with Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see more of the keywords that visitors used to find your web pages.
You can also use Google Analytics reports to identify new markets to target. When you examine the geographic distribution of your views, sales, and interactions, you may see which parts of the world are showing the most interest in your website and your products.
Even if the area that you have been targeting is not responding well while a completely different part of the world is, don’t be afraid to change your target market. By all means, keep trying to capture your primary target market, but whatever you do, don’t ignore the market that you are currently resonating with.
Google Analytics makes it easy to see which pages are keeping visitors interested and ultimately generating sales. Savvy businesses make an effort to produce content that is similar to the pages that have the best performance. Stick with what works and keep it up.
What Bounce Rate Means for Your Website
One of the single most important statistics to look for on Google Analytics is the bounce rate. A website’s bounce rate tells you the percentage of people who leave your site after viewing a single page.
When there is an unhealthily high bounce rate, it means you should adjust the page in question. If there is a large number of people fleeing from your site after viewing only one page, that page needs to be upgraded. Essentially it will tell you which pages need better content to keep customers engaged.
In addition to the bounce rate, you should examine the behavior flow, which refers to a visual representation of visitor’s behavior on your site. You can see diagrams showing which pages visitors interacted with and helps gain insight into their intent.
You should also use bounce rates and other statistics from your Google Analytics reports to measure the success of your blog content, social media posts, and ads. By examining the source of your traffic and what they clicked on to get to your page, you can quickly determine which strategies are paying off and which ones aren’t.
Firms can see whether the majority of visitors are coming from your blog posts or paid ads on social media etc. If your blog posts are bringing in more visitors than your paid ads, you have two options available. The first option is to stop paying for ads on social media, double down on blog posts, and save money. The second option is to work on developing more effective ads while continuing to crank out the same quality blog posts that have been bringing in visitors.
Both options have some pros and cons to consider. If you choose the first option, you’ll be saving money, but you’ll also be missing out on a massive number of potential customers by not placing ads. While riskier, the second option will most likely be your best bet. With the second option, you’ll be risking more money on ads, but you’ll also be reaching a large number of customers.
Turning back to which statistics you should be looking at in your Google Analytics reports, be sure to pay attention to the number of times customers are spending on your web pages. You should be looking for the pages that keep visitors engaged for the longest time.
If visitors are spending large amounts of time on individual pages, you can use that information to modify your other pages and make them more like your best-performing pages.
Google Analytics can also tell you the number of visitors who used a desktop to view your site versus the number of mobile users. If the number of mobile users strongly outnumber desktop users, you should ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. In the past, most sites were built initially with the desktop user in mind. Today, that trend is changing rapidly and shifting towards favoring mobile users as more people use their phones to surf the web.
If a website isn’t designed to be mobile-friendly, it won’t display correctly on the screen, and visitors will quickly lose interest and keep surfing and ultimately buying from a competitor.
When using Google Analytics reports to make business decisions, the most important thing is to look at the stats as a whole. Many people make the mistake of only keying in on each statistic individually. To get the most value out of Google Analytics, you need to understand what the stats mean together and look at the big picture.
For example, don’t get thrown off by focusing on one page because it has the most views. If the page with the most pictures also has the highest bounce rate, something needs to be improved.
Finally, one of the smartest things you can do to boost the value of Google Analytics data is to enable Google Search Console. When you allow Google Search Console on Google Analytics, you will be empowered with a treasure trove of information.
How to Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a great tool that webmasters use to see a website’s indexing status and optimize it for higher rankings. The power of the Google Search Console is immense and quickly became a favorite among savvy marketing teams.
In the marketing world, Google Search Console is widely considered to be a must-have. The service is free, which gives businesses no excuse to use it. Google Search Console is essentially a collection of tools and reports that enable users to optimize their websites and develop effective strategies.
Anyone serious about SEO needs Google Search Console. Truly effective SEO is not achievable without using Google Search Console.
When using Google Search Console, there are several essential aspects of the tool to understand. First, we’ll take a look at Search Appearance, which mainly shows you what your website looks like in search results. You will be presented with Structured Data and given the option to make improvements in the code. It will show you where your rich snippets coding needs to be modified and allows you to test live data. For example, it can show you HTML improvement reports highlighting any issues in your HTML that are affecting your site’s ranking.
By optimizing your use of AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, and making corrections to the HTML, your website will show more prominently in search rankings. Making effective use of AMP will also help make your website mobile-friendly. In addition to higher rankings, your website will also look more professional and give the trained eye of your competitor, something to envy.
One thing you should know about Structured Data is that to get the most value out of it, and you will need to work with a skilled developer. Structured Data gets pretty arcane, which is why so many firms turn to experienced experts like AlchemyLeads.
Digital marketing agencies like AlchemyLeads have plenty of technical talent under the hood and know how to leverage the complexities of Structured Data.
GSC (Google Search Console) has a Search Analytics Report containing vital information, including a breakdown of clicks per keyword, click-through ratios, and how keywords performed geographically.
Although Google does a great job of determining which country you are targeting, you can set it to a country of your choice. Simply hit the International Targeting link from Search Traffic. Then just go under Countries and check the box next to the country of your choice.
One thing that vexes many business owners when trying to use Google Search Console and Google Analytics is the disparity in the number of impressions that they see. Someone using Google Analytics may see a figure that is hundreds of thousands of impressions off from what the value they see on Google Search Console.
As a business owner, you shouldn’t have to untangle the stats and got through the highly technical process of determining which figure is the most accurate. The tech pros at AlchemyLeads can quickly tell you which value is giving you the most accurate representation. It’s imperative to have a precise idea of how many impressions you have when reading Google Analytics reports and stats from Google Search Console. The number of impressions is directly related to how well your site is performing and how much attention it’s getting.
Solving Indexing Problems with Google Search Console
One of Google Search Console’s greatest strengths is its ability to help webmasters identify and correct indexing problems that are preventing their site from ranking higher in search results.
To start looking for indexing issues, you’ll need to pull up your Index Coverage report from Google Search Console. This report will tell you which Google has indexed web pages of yours. If you want your website to perform well in search rankings, you need to make sure that all of your pages are indexed!
If any technical problems are preventing a page from being indexed, the report will tell you. Keep in mind, however, that while incredibly useful, fixing issues that are outlined in the Index coverage report is often quite complicated. Here’s a quick rundown of how it works.
Once you’ve accessed the report, you will see four tabs:
- The Error tab.
- Valid with warnings.
- The Excluded tab.
For the most part, you will want to focus on the contents of the Error tab, which shows you the number of indexing errors on your site. The Error tab will also feature a brief description of each failure that is present. You can also click on a particular error to see how many of your pages have the same problem.
The part that most people struggle with is the ambiguity of some of the error descriptions. The “Submitted URL has crawl issues” error, for example, has at least a hundred possible causes. Similarly, the report may say that there are redirect errors, which means that the redirect for that page is not working correctly. That kind of ambiguity makes many indexing errors incredibly challenging for business owners to diagnose by themselves, let alone fix them.
One error that is easy enough for a beginner to fix is “submitted URL not found *404)” which means that the page is not being found. Before you roll up your sleeves and dive into it, check the URL on a browser to verify that the page is down.
If the page is down, you may proceed by clicking on the URL in question from within the Index Coverage report. You’ll be presented with a side tab containing four options. Click on “Fetch as Google” then hit Fetch. After running Fetch, you’ll see the page’s “404 Not Found” status. From here, you have two options to fix it with.
If the page is outdated, such as a page for a product that you no longer sell, simply leave it as is, and Google will deindex it in due course. The second option is to redirect that 404 pages to something like a page with closely related products.
How to Make Sure Your Web Page Is Displaying Correctly with Google Search Console
Remember that nifty Fetch as Google button that we talked about in our indexing error troubleshooting example? It turns out, and you can use it to Fetch and Render. What does that mean, you ask? It shows you what Google and users will see when they view your page.
The most significant advantage of using Fetch and Render is to get a glimpse of what users see when they pull up your page. A quick compare and contrast can quickly identify any significant visual differences between this representation of your page and how it looks on your end. For example, you may notice that your images are not showing on the user’s end.
Fixing errors like missing images can take quite a bit of skill and technical expertise. If you’re partnered with a reputable digital marketing agency like AlchemyLeads, all of those pesky errors will be fixed for you.
Using Google Analytics and Google Search Console for Keyword Research
Keyword research is becoming more valuable by the day as more businesses go online and compete for attention on the web.
Finding the right combination of keywords has become an art form that, for the most part, is best left to the pros. While business owners should learn enough about keywords to get by, most of them won’t have time to become full-fledged experts.
It’s essential to learn the basics so that you can converse with digital marketing professionals and get the most value out of those conversations.
Choosing the right keywords can be harder than you might think. Many business owners simply want keywords based on what they feel suits their topics and the nature of their business.
For example, a florist might choose keywords like flowers, florists, roses, etc. On the surface, these keywords look like they might be applicable; however, a closer examination will reveal that they could be optimized to achieve a much higher ranking.
The florist from our example should be using more specific phrases such as “florists in Jackson Florida”. That way, the search engine will pick up their shop when people in their area are searching for florists. By using keywords that are too general, your site will be pitted against all of the other places in the same business across the country.
It is much easier to compete against websites of businesses in your local area.
To make the most out of your keywords and choose the best ones for your business, you should be using Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These tools can provide the insights you need to select highly effective keywords.
First of all, make sure you have linked Google Analytics to Google Search Console. You will only be able to see a fraction of the keywords visitors used to find your site until you’ve connected the two tools. Look back over the past 3 to 6 months and take a look at which keywords visitors used.
Put those keywords in a list and think about which ones would fit naturally into the content you are producing. If several of the keywords your customers have been using will blend well with your blog content, start incorporating them into your next few posts. Try to understand the intent behind what your users may be searching for to find your website.
After you’ve started using those keywords in your blog posts, take a look at your Google Analytics reports, and see if there have been any significant changes. Are more people clicking on your site or less? Are they finding your website from your keyword laced blog posts?
The most important thing when plucking keywords from Google Analytics and Google Search Console is to use them naturally. While keywords are relevant, your focus should be on producing high-quality content.
Even the most casual reader will notice if a blog post was overstuffed with keywords. Keyword stuffing can make a blog post sound unnatural, which is off-putting to most readers.
In addition to running Google Analytics reports on your site to mine for keywords, you can also gain some valuable insights by finding which keywords work for your competitor. Roll up your sleeves and start bashing away at keyword combinations and see which ones pull up your competitor’s websites.
Essentially, if you can find the keywords that are working for your competitors, you can and should use the same keywords. Once you’ve started using the corresponding keywords that pull your competitor’s websites in search results, you should start seeing your site coming up closer to theirs. While it may take time to see results, getting your name closer to your competitor’s in the search results is worth the effort.
Selecting keywords is as much an art as it is a science. Whichever way you look at it, choosing the best keywords is difficult and takes the kind of mastery that comes from years of experience. AlchemyLeads has been perfecting the art of keyword research for years and has what it takes to pick the right formula for your business.
By turning to the expertise of digital marketing firms like AlchemyLeads, you can save yourself a lot of time. We’ll take the guesswork out of it and help your content rank higher in search engines to reach more customers. Don’t lie awake at night thinking about keywords, let us do it for you, we love it! Everyone working at AlchemyLeads loves the field and is intrigued by the intricacies of things like keyword research. Some may find it baffling, and we find it fascinating!
To Get the Best of Both Google Products, Leave the Hard Work to the SEO Professionals.
If you think we’ve covered most of the details on how to use Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you might be surprised to hear that there’s a lot more to learn. These tools are powerful and sophisticated, requiring excellent technical skills and years of experience to get the most value out of them.
If Structured Data, Accelerated Mobility Pages, bounce rates, click-through ratios sound arcane, confusing, or overwhelming, there’s a simple solution available.
That solution is AlchemyLeads, the premier digital marketing agency in the Los Angeles area.
Most business owners should read enough to familiarize themselves with Google Analytics and Google Search Console to understand the significance of the results better. Instead of trying to master the intricacies of these tools overnight, business owners should outsource that expertise to experienced professionals.
Why You Need to Partner with a Digital Marketing Agency
It just isn’t worth taking the time to learn everything yourself. These tools are highly sophisticated and require years of practice to use effectively. Hiring someone specializing in Google Analytics and Google Search Console to work in-house full-time is not a cost-effective option. Doling out a salary with benefits to keep on someone who can leverage those tools would be expensive.
Fortunately, there’s a much more attractive option. Working with a digital marketing agency is going to be the most cost-effective option. When you work with a digital marketing agency, you’ll get all the expertise you need for a fraction of the price. Moreover, you won’t just be getting technical talent, you’ll know experienced marketing teams at your disposal.
When it comes down to it, Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two tools in the extensive toolbox of digital marketing.
In the fast-paced and tech-centric market, companies face today, having a complete digital marketing plan is key to your survival. Developing digital marketing plans in-house is time-consuming and expensive. Digital marketing agencies like AlchemyLeads help businesses modernize, save money, grow, and ultimately succeed. The advantages of working with a digital marketing agency include access to top-notch technical and marketing talent that’s cost-effective. Instead of wasting countless hours trying to learn the ins and outs of sophisticated digital marketing tools like Google Analytics, all you have to do is discuss your goals.
A talented digital marketing agency can take a company’s goals and turn them into reality.
Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console play a big part in achieving business goals. We’re talking about purposes that go far beyond ranking better on search engines. Do you want to capture a more significant market share? How about taking customers from a competitor? Or do you want to achieve more consistent revenue growth and start expanding? All of these goals can be made with help from a digital marketing agency.
AlchemyLeads Has the Right Mix of Art and Science to Achieve Improved Revenue Results for Your Online Business
Now that you know how important it is for businesses to partner with a digital marketing agency, it’s time to start thinking about who will do the best job. Los Angeles is awash in digital marketing firms but is home to only a few that are genuinely effective.
You don’t just want any firm handling your digital marketing, and quality makes a huge difference in the value of these services. Part of what makes alchemyLeads a cut above the rest is that we are as invested in your success as you are. We only work with a select number of clients, which allows us to provide a level of concierge-grade service that’s hard to find.
We take great pride in the quality of service we provide and the talent that we offer to the Los Angeles business community. When you work with AlchemyLeads, you get a partner that can take your company to greatness.
By working with only a select number of clients and delivering excellent service, we have differentiated ourselves from our competitors. There are far too many digital marketing firms out there who hound after customers for their business and then drop the ball after they’ve signed the contract. (We don’t use contracts and never will, we have to earn our fees monthly.)
This is a common occurrence in other industries as well. There are all too many businesses out there who make a great effort in the beginning and then start slacking after the customer has been acquired. With AlchemyLeads, it’s a different story, and we don’t just want to get your business, we want to keep your business by helping it grow exponentially.
We make it easy for business owners so they can keep on doing what they do best and let us take care of the rest. AlchemyLeads has unparalleled expertise when it comes to leveraging technology like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to help businesses make more money.
AlchemyLeads has some of the best and brightest minds in digital marketing. They are true professionals with elite skill levels and a passion for art. Leveraging technology to meet business goals is an art form, and like alchemy, you have to find the right mix for the job. That’s what we do. We take advanced technology and use it to help businesses grow. You won’t have to fully understand Google Analytics or Google Search Console to realize the spectacular benefits of partnering with AlchemyLeads.
Partnering with AlchemyLeads is an investment in your success. No one else will put the same amount of effort into helping your business succeed. AlchemyLeads has proven itself as a trusted industry leader in serving companies in the Los Angeles area and beyond.
We have the talent, and you have the dream, get in touch with AlchemyLeads today, and prepare to soar ahead of your competitors.
Whether your business is just getting off the ground or has been around for a while, AlchemyLeads can make your small business dreams come true.
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