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Google Search Console vs Google Analytics: Two powerful tools for SEO

SEO

20/07/2023

45

Google Search Console vs Google Analytics overview

Google Search Console vs Google Analytics are arguably two of the most common names for SEO practitioners. They are frequently used in tandem to ensure the most effective campaigns possible, but how different are they?

search console vs analytics

Google Search Console vs Google Analytics

On the surface, these two tools seem very similar for outsiders and beginners. In reality, there are a lot of factors that separate them. Before pitting them against each other to see what makes them unique, let’s learn about what they are.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a comprehensive and free web service provided by Google. It serves as a vital tool for website administrators to monitor and manage their site’s presence in Google search results.

With Google Search Console, users can gain valuable insights into how their website is performing in organic search. They can analyze key metrics such as search queries, impressions, click-through rates, and average position.

Other primary functions of Google Search Console includes:

  • Analyze sitemaps
  • Identify crawling errors
  • Monitor and optimize site performance on mobile devices
  • Manage URL parameters
  • View the index status of web pages
  • Provide data on the website’s backlinks

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a powerful and widely used web analytics tool provided by Google. It allows website owners and marketers to track and analyze various aspects of user behavior on their websites.

Through Google Analytics, users can gain deep insights into the traffic sources driving visitors to their site. They can understand which channels, such as organic search, paid advertising, social media, or referrals, are generating the most traffic and conversions.

Google Analytics provides detailed information about user behavior on websites. Users can track metrics like page views, bounce rates, average session duration, and conversion rates.

Other prominent features of Google Analytics are:

  • E-commerce tracking abilities
  • Set and monitor custom conversion goals
  • Present and report data

Google Search Console vs Google Analytics comparison

Now that you have understood the basic concept of both tools, it is time to examine Google Search Console vs Google Analytics.

search console vs analytics

Compare Search Console and Analytics

Similarities

Comparing Google Search Console vs Google Analytics will show you that they are similar in more ways than one. From the basic overview above, you can probably see that there is a certain gray area where these tools meet.

Both tools provide valuable insights into website performance and user behavior. They offer data on website traffic, including the number of visitors, sessions, and page views, allowing users to track website engagement.

You can also gain information on the geographical location of website visitors, helping users understand their audience demographics.

Google Search Console and Google Analytics enable users to track and measure organic search performance. This includes different metrics like impressions, clicks, and average position in the SERPs.

Both platforms allow users to set up goals and track conversions, providing valuable data on the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Users can analyze user behavior, such as bounce rates and average session duration with both tools.

And lastly, these two tools serve the same goal: ensuring the best performance possible for your websites and marketing efforts.

Differences

As you dive deeper into the two tools, Google Search Console vs Google Analytics differ in many different areas. Let’s go through each category one by one:

Main focus

Both tools provide invaluable data regarding website performance, so they are influential for SEO experts and webmasters.

However, Google Analytics takes it a step further. It is able to cover a significantly larger area of digital marketing than Google Search Console. Alongside websites, you can also collect and analyze data from advertising, social media, and email marketing campaigns with Google Analytics.

Significance for marketing

The main focus of these two tools affects their significance as marketing tools.

Despite being a powerful tool in its own right, Google Search Console is only important if you have a website. So unless your focus is SEO, you will not have much use for Google Search Console.

search console vs analytics

The role of both tools in digital marketing

On the other hand, Google Analytics proves to be a tremendous tool for digital marketing in general.

Metrics

The most striking differences between Google Search Console vs Google Analytics are the metrics that they analyze. These metrics will help you understand their approach and how they evaluate your digital marketing performance.

Google Search ConsoleGoogle Analytics
1. Impressions: The number of times your website appears in search results for a specific query

2. Clicks: The number of times users clicked on your website’s search result in search engine pages

3. Average Position: The average ranking position of your website’s pages in search engine results

4. Click-through Rate (CTR): The percentage of impressions that resulted in clicks to your website

5. Index Coverage: The status and visibility of your website’s indexed pages in search engines

6. Backlinks and internal links: The number of links pointing towards your site or linking your pages together

1. Average Session Duration: The average time users spend on your website.

2. (Unique) Pageviews: The total number of pages viewed by users, not counting the same page being visited multiple times

3. Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who left your website after viewing only one page.

4. Traffic Sources: The channels through which users arrived at your website, such as organic search, direct traffic, referrals, or paid advertising.

5. Conversions: The completion of specific goals or desired actions on your website, such as purchases, form submissions, or newsletter sign-ups

6. Audience Demographic: Age, gender, interests, and other traits of your users

Learning about these metrics will help you better utilize the two tools in analyzing and monitoring your campaigns.

Verification process

Both tools will require you to sign in with your Google account, but there are a few extra steps for each tool.

For Google Search Console, you need to choose your property type:

  • Domain: This will enable the tool to work for all your subdomains and you need to select your DNS provider and copy the provided text.
  • URL prefix: The tool will only work for the designated domain. You will need to verify with a HTML file or Google Tag Manager.

Additionally, it may take 72 hours at most for your site to be verified.

In contrast, Google Analytics verification involves connecting it to all your data sources manually. This code snippet collects data and sends it to Google Analytics for analysis. For WordPress websites, you can download a plugin to assist you with the setup process.

Pricing

Google Search Console vs Google Analytics differ in their pricing structures.

Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google. It offers its full range of features and functionalities without cost, making it accessible to website owners of all budgets.

search console vs analytics

The two tools differ in terms of pricing

On the other hand, Google Analytics offers both free and paid versions. The standard version is available at no cost and provides robust analytics capabilities for most small to medium-sized websites.

For larger enterprises or websites with more advanced needs, Google offers Analytics360, a premium and enterprise-level version of the tool. This paid version provides additional features, advanced data analysis, and increased data limits. The pricing for Analytics360 is a subscription, with costs varying depending on the specific requirements of the business.

Query limit

One notable difference between Google Search Console vs Google Analytics lies in their query limit.

Google Analytics will collect data and provide reports on an unlimited number of URLs per day. Meanwhile, Google Search Console has a limit of 1,000 URLs daily.

In terms of queries, Google Analytics limits you to 50,000 per day for each project. Other than that, it also requires you to limit your queries per second to 10 per IP address.

The query limits of Google Search Console are measured in queries per second (QPS), queries per minute (QPM), and queries per day (QPD):

  • It allows 50 QPS and 1,200 QPM per user and per website.
  • 100,000,000 QPD are allowed from the same Developer Console key.

Google Search Console also has something called “load,” which refers to the amount of resources needed for a query. If you go over the limit, you will need to wait a few minutes before trying again.

Reporting

Google Search Console and Google Analytics differ in terms of reporting and the insights they provide. Aside from the metrics, there is a significant gap regarding the amount of information each tool can report.

search console vs analytics

How the tools report data and findings

Google Search Console can only report results for one domain and its subdomains only. If you want to analyze multiple domains, you will have to use multiple accounts. Conversely, Google Analytics can present results of multiple data sources.

Miscellaneous

Delving deeper into the comparison of Google Search Console vs Google Analytics will show you various small differences:

  • Google My Business traffic: With the help of an Urchin Tracking Module tag, Google Search Console can separate organic traffic from My Business traffic. However, Google Analytics does not have that ability.
  • Time zones: The default time zone of Google Search Console is Pacific Daylight Time, which you cannot change. You will need to take it into account when analyzing your data. Meanwhile, Google Analytics uses your designated time zone.
  • Error monitoring: Google Search Console has the ability to provide detailed reports on website errors. Google Analytics, on the other hand, is less capable, but still able to detect data validation errors.
  • Videos: Google Search Console separates web and video data, while Google Analytics does not.
  • Handling bots: Google Search Console filter bots activity automatically. Meanwhile, you can use the “Bot Filtering” option for Google Analytics or filter them out manually.
  • JavaScript: If you disable JavaScript, Google Analytics will not be able to collect your data. However, Google Search Console will be just fine. Make sure to check this aspect when you see a discrepancy in data between the two tools.

How to use Google Search Console and Google Analytics together

Combining Google Search Console and Google Analytics allows for a more comprehensive understanding of website performance and user behavior. Here is how to effectively use them together:

search console vs analytics

How to utilize the strengths of both tools to your advantage

  • Link Google Search Console with Google Analytics: Start by linking your Google Search Console property with your Google Analytics account. This integration enables data sharing between the two platforms.
  • Explore Search Console data in Google Analytics: Once linked, you can access Search Console data within Google Analytics. In the Acquisition section, navigate to “Search Console” to explore search-related metrics and reports.
  • Combine data for comprehensive analysis: Combine data from both platforms to get a holistic view of website performance. For example, correlate Search Console’s impressions and click-through rates with Google Analytics’ bounce rates and conversions to identify areas for improvement.
  • Measure the impact of SEO efforts: Assess the impact of SEO strategies by comparing Search Console data with corresponding changes in Google Analytics.

Final thoughts

Google Search Console vs Google Analytics provide distinct yet complementary insights into website performance and user behavior. While Google Search Console focuses on search-related metrics, Google Analytics offers a broader range of analytics.

Leveraging the strengths of both platforms and utilizing their integrated features allows website owners and marketers to gain a comprehensive understanding of their online presence, make data-driven decisions, and drive success in the competitive digital landscape.

Trying to navigate the complicated landscape of digital marketing? On Digitals can be a great companion with excellent SEO services and many more. Contact On Digitals today to learn more and grow your online presence.


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