It always amazes me to find out that a business owner doesn't know about the Google Search Console. The Marketing Clinic rates the Google Search Console as the single most important tool when it comes SEO planning and reporting.
The Search Console is a tool supplied by Google. You therefore know that the data is 100% accurate. The Search Console is also free!
The most useful Marketing Clinic reports are generated from Search Console data.
The area within the Search Console that provides the most interest is found by Clicking on the "Search Traffic" -> "Search Analytics" menu item. It is here that Google will give you extremely useful details relating to when it has listed your company on the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
The first thing you need to set is the time period. The maximum allowed period is 90 days - so let's set it to look at the last 90 days of data. Google will then give you a set of very useful information including:
- The 'Keywords' (Query) typed into the Google Search Engine which resulted in your website being listed on the SERP.
- The number of times (Impressions) Google listed your website on the SERP when this Query was used.
- The number of times someone clicked (Clicks) on your SERP listing, and therefore visited your website.
- Exactly where in the SERP list (Position) you were returned. From there, it is easy to calculate the Page you were returned on as there are approximately 10 positions per page. Therefore a position of 7 is on Page 1, while a position of 24 is on Page 3.
- The exact website page that was returned in the SERP listing (Landing Page).
An important thing to keep in mind is that when sorting the results by Query, Google will not list all the results. It holds back on anywhere between 70% and 30% of the results. That's why you'll see a difference between this number, and the total number of clicks listed in the table.
The exact percentage of the results listed should be noted and taken into account depending upon which report you are looking at.
Another very useful feature is the filter field. This will allow you to focus on the SEO results of just one niche area of your business. For example, if you are a cleaner you may want to filter on the word 'office'. You would then see all the keywords you are listing on related to the keywords office cleaning.
This filter field is also a great way to identify new keyword targets. However, we will get to that in another chapter.
Ask the company responsible for your SEO to connect your website up to the Google Search Console immediately. When they've done this, ask them to add you as a user so you can access your website SERP results directly.
Now you can access you Google SERP results anytime you want - and you know there's no fudging theses results!
In the next exciting chapter of this series we'll show you how the Marketing Clinic sucks out all this Search Console data, slices and dices the data, and produces even more powerful and useful reports.