Google Search is by far and away the biggest search engine on the planet. There are 5.6 BILLION searches on the platform each day. Having your website found in the search rankings is one of the best ways to get visitors to your website.
So, you have your business website up and running. It looks great and works well. It’s very easy for potential customers to buy from you and get in touch. But instead of the sounds of a cash register, you are hearing crickets.
Regardless of what product or service you are offering, you need customers. You need a way to promote your business and gain the attention of potential customers.
To do this you can take advantage of the biggest search engine on the planet. Start by creating content that solves a problem. Or provide information to potential customers, which then appears in Google’s search results.
Oh, before we get started. If you want to know how data from Google Search Console, sits within a larger data-driven marketing approach? Check out this guide I’ve put together called What Is Marketing Analytics And Data-Driven Marketing.
Google Search Console – Reaching Your Audience
You have created an amazing website. It’s a great way to introduce your products or services to customers. As well as creating a variety of information that helps and engages people.
Making sense of how well your blog posts and content are doing in Google Search may not be as rewarding.
I created my first blog way back in January of 2008. And published my first-ever post not long after. I’ve always loved blogging and I’m an avid consumer of blog posts. But, if you’re trying to get eyeballs on your articles. How do you know if they are appearing in Google’s search rankings or not?
This is where Google Search Console comes in. It shows you how well your blog posts are doing, and which keywords or phrases people are using to find your posts. But it is one of the most underused and neglected tools out there.
This is where Elementary Analytics comes in. You need to focus on the key overarching metrics from Google Search Console. Helping you see which posts are appearing in searches the most. So you can optimize these articles and test different content. In turn, this drives traffic to your website.
Top 4 Google Search Console Metrics To Track
Your website has been up and running for a good few months now. And, you have made sure it is being monitored using Google’s Search Console. You have come up with a content marketing plan, and have begun creating the content on a consistent basis.
“How do I know if my content marketing plan is working?”
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve used blogs to promote many things over the years. I used to run a paid add-in for Outlook as a side project many moons ago. My main marketing strategy was to use blog posts to get new add-in installs. Both for the free version and the paid plans. I did this by creating articles on a regular basis to engage people and drive traffic to the add-in website.
Here are the 4 metrics I looked at when reviewing Google Search Console insights. As long as the numbers were going in the right direction. For the first few months at least, I was happy.
Impressions relate to how many people see a post from your blog in their search results. Regardless of whether they interacted with the post, or scrolled past it.
This insight is an interesting one for me. You can see how your content is performing by reviewing this stat.
Google has changed how its ‘algorithm’ works over the years. They seem to reward you for making long-form, informative, and engaging content. The more people that link back to a single post or website the better. Google will ‘reward’ you by displaying posts to more and more people.
If you keep producing excellent and engaging content. Your impressions number should increase over time. It is a very quick way to see if your content marketing plan or strategy is working.
When I was promoting my add-in, I would submit new blog posts or articles to Google. Sometimes that content would start appearing in searches for keywords that I wanted. Others wouldn’t get any impressions at all, it can be difficult to see what works and what doesn’t.
Google Search Console’s clicks metrics show you how many times your post was clicked from a search.
For me, this is the most important stat from Google Search Consoles metrics. This means someone found your content interesting and wanted to read more. They clicked the link and went to your website.
If your click numbers are going up, this will improve the Page Views metrics in your Google Analytics stats too.
TOP TIP: Use Elementary Analytics to see the top 10 posts that are getting the most clicks. This gives you a “hit list” of content that you can review to see if it is getting conversions on your website. Which could be sign-ups, purchases, downloads, whatever your goal is for that post.
Click Through Rate – CTR
The ‘click through rate’, shortened to ‘CTR’ is also another interesting stat. It’s represented by Google’s Search Console as a percentage. A percentage of what though?
To calculate the CTR: divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions. Then times it by 100.
So let’s say you are getting 23 clicks and 491 impressions. Divide 23 by 491 and multiply by 100, this gives you 4.68%. Almost 5 per cent of people who saw your post in the search results, then clicked the link to view the content. Not bad, not bad at all.
At the time of writing this post, the average CTR across the whole of Google’s search results is 1.91%. That is low, very low.
If a post is getting a lot of impressions, my rule of thumb is to try and get a 5% click-through rate. If you’re hitting this number, or even higher, then you know you are doing something right.
But what if you aren’t even getting the 2% average? What if, like me, you have some posts that have had a 0.40% click-through rate? What can do you?
First, check how that post appears in the search results. Is the title intriguing? Does it make people want to click the link? Does the description also want to make people click? Is it providing enough information? The right information? Are people scrolling past it and ignoring it?
Second, are you ranking for the correct keyword(s)? If you’ve written a post about marketing reports. But the post is appearing in results for financial reporting. Then you will need to review the post and make sure your keyword strategy is right.
If all else fails, you may need to go back to the drawing board and review what audience you are trying to reach.
I try to have a lot of fun with this Google Search Console metric. This metric relates to the average position of your post in the search rankings.
Going back to the previous example of our search result that has 23 clicks from 491 impressions. Elementary Analytics shows me that the average position for this blog post was 42.74.
So what does that mean? On average, I was on page 4 of the search results. That could explain why the number of impressions is so low.
The reason I say that this is a fun Google Search Console metric to track. Is that you can ‘gamify’ by upping this stat? You want to get this stat to average 10 or above. This means you are on the first page of Google search. The page with the most eyeballs.
I’ve checked the stats on the first page of Google. If your post or article appears in the first five organic results (ones below the ads). These five results account for 67.60% of all the clicks. That’s huge.
With Elementary Analytics you can check the position for both the top 10 pages and top 10 keywords for your site. At the time of writing 5 of my top 10 keywords for Elementary Analytics are in position 9 or above. 5th place is my highest, WAHOO!
Viewing Your Top 5 Google Search Console Metrics
It can be a pain viewing all these metrics using the Google Search Console dashboard. Even more so, if, like me, you have a couple of websites that you want to keep an eye on. To see what the growth is like in the early stages of your content production plan.
This was one of the reasons I started building Elementary Analytics. I wanted a cut-down and very specific view of my Google Search Console stats. In turn, how that affected my Google Analytics stats.
“Elementary” Or Simplified View Of Your Google Search Console Insights
With our dashboard, you can view your top 4 metrics on a single widget. Create as many widgets as you need for Google Search Console as you would like to review.
Below is a screenshot of the last 30 days’ stats for Elementary Analytics.
The widget gives a total of 4 metrics over the past thirty days. These metrics are clicks, impressions, the average click-through rate (CTR), and average position.
There is also an indicator that highlights if a metric has gone up or down compared to the previous thirty days. It also shows you by what percentage the number has gone up or down.
A graph breaks down the 4 key metrics by day. There is also a more detailed view if you click the ‘View more detail’ link within the widget.
The graph displayed is the same as the previous widget. You can change the period of the graph, ranging from the last 7 days, up to the last 90 days.
Our dashboard also gives a breakdown for not only the last seven days. But stats for this month, last month, and the last ninety days. As well as any KPIs that have been set.
So you can see how your Google Search Console ranking is performing in the early days of your website.
There you have it. Elementary Analytics’ guide to the Top 4 Google Search Consoles metrics to track. This a great way to monitor and stay on track in the early days after you have launched a website.
I would love to hear your thoughts on which metrics to track and if you found this post useful.
We are always looking for people to use our service so we can gain feedback about how we can improve. If you would like to work with us to make our service the best it can be. Please drop me an email at [email protected]. I would love to work with you. We can offer an extended trial period to people who can offer excellent feedback to help us improve.
Thanks for reading.