Everyone has heard of Google Analytics. It is one of the best free online tools available. You add it to your site, and track the traffic to your pages. Now one of the lesser know free tools from Google is Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools).
When digital marketers meet to discuss the status of organic results (SEO), Google Analytics is usually front and center for the meeting. Now, I am about to speak heresy to some and possibly expose others in my following paragraphs, but here I go.
Search Console is More Useful Than Analytics For SEO
If I had to choose between analyzing only one of the two, I would go with Search Console. To appreciate the massive difference between these tools, think of them in this way. Analytics is everything that happens when someone reaches your website. Search Console is everything that happens before someone gets there.
Analytics is fantastic for understanding how long people engage with different pages. Where traffic is coming from. How well the site is converting traffic and other extremely useful features.
But when you are talking about SEO, you need to know where you stand. So many organizations utilize paid tools to find information that is far more accurate sometimes in Google’s free tool. Where does a particular page rank for a particular keyword. What websites are linking to yours. Are there broken links and a whole host of other opportunities.
I often run into projects where the website has been live for years and no one has ever even set up Search Console, let alone review the data. Simply put, Analytics can’t tell you the opportunities that are available and where you are missing the mark.
If you meet with your agency or marketing team regularly and discuss SEO, be sure to ask them to pull up Search Console and review some of the data within. You may find one of the biggest missed opportunities in Search Engine Optimization.