Google Search Console vs Google Analytics: What is the difference?

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Google Search Console and Google Analytics are both free analytical tools created by Google. To a beginner they seem to be pretty similar but in fact they are quite different. These important tools are an integral part of any marketing campaign. However, you can’t replace one with another or ignore one of them altogether.

In short, Google Analytics shows you how users interact with your website. Meanwhile, Google Search Console provides data about your website’s visibility, organic search, and search optimization.

Let’s dig a little deeper into what these two tools are all about, their differences, and the reasons why you need to take full advantage of both.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool for all website owners. It focuses on search engine optimization, giving you an opportunity to create a website that can reach top spots of Google search results.

The platform shows how Google sees the website and offers you an understanding of what needs to be done to improve it. You can use Google Search Console to:

  • Discover technical errors, such as indexing issues
  • Review website traffic data
  • Be notified whenever spam or indexing issues are discovered by Google on your website.
  • Show where your backlinks come from
  • Troubleshoot problems with mobile versions and search features.

No matter how many useful SEO tools you are already using, GSC can come in handy. As a free program, it can become a nice addition to the arsenal of weapons wielded by SEO experts, marketing specialists, business owners, and web developers.

Here are a few things you can do with GSC for free:

1.Exploring backlinks and interlinking

Backlinking is one of the pillars of SEO. When you work on making other websites link to yours, you need to track the progress. GSC does just that. You can figure out who links to your website, how often they do it, and which content is linked to the most.

GSC also works for interlinking. It helps you understand how internal linking affects the rating of your website. You can use these insights to figure out how to adjust your internal linking strategy.

2.Google Search Analytics

GSC provides an analytics report, which gives you important information about the way your website performs on Google search. You’ll learn about queries, impressions, and click-through rates for a better understanding of how the website performs against the competition.

You’ll also learn about the ranking positions and the number of clicks. This can help you understand which keywords work the best for your campaign.

3.Mobile Operation

GSC can let you know how well the mobile version of your website is performing. As soon as any problems are discovered, the console notifies you so you can make changes.

Mobile performance is one of the most important ranking factors for Google so timely notification can make a difference for your marketing campaign.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is another free analytics tool. However, unlike GSC, it focused on how people find and use your website. You can use it to understand and estimate the ROI of your online marketing campaign.

The tool analyzes people who visit your website in many different ways, from where they came from and which browsers they use to how long they stay on the website and much more. You can use Google Analytics and Google Search Console together seamlessly.

The tool can also provide important details about keywords, which drive the most traffic and lead to the most conversions. With the data provided by Google Analytics, you can assess your marketing campaign and create comprehensive reports on website performance.

Google Analytics (GA) works by putting snippets of tracking code into your website’s code. It records various activities of your visitors as well as any information they bring with them (demographics). The code sends this information to the GA server as soon as the visitor leaves the website.

GA works with a variety of metrics. Depending on the goal of your campaign, you can track some and ignore others. This tool can do the following:

1.Evaluate landing page performance

The quality of your landing pages is the key to paid search ads conversions. Once a visitor comes to the landing page, you need to use all the power you have to convert. With a poorly designed landing page, your chances are low.

GA helps you see how well your landing pages are performing so you can make proper adjustments.

2.Analyze audience demographics

The way you design your marketing campaign depends on your audience’s demographics. When you just start out, you create a buyer persona and work with it. After some time, you can analyze the demographics of the audience that actually comes to your website and make changes accordingly.

GA helps you see who is visiting your website so you can make these changes. You can use this information to adjust your content marketing, paid search ads strategy, and other tactics.

3.Help with conversion

The reason why you work on website optimization is to convert leads into prospects and then turn them into clients. GA allows you to understand where your visitors come from to help you convert them in the most efficient manner possible.

GA can show where visitors appeared from to give an insight into which channels you should capitalize on:

  • Direct – directly from the browser
  • Referral – from another website
  • Organic – from SERP (search engine results page)
  • Social media – from any social media platform
  • Email – from email marketing messages.

4.Dwell Time Metrics

Dwell time metrics like “average time spent on page” or “average session duration” give you valuable insight into how much time visitors spend on your website. SEO experts believe that these metrics are definitive ranking signals for Google and other search engines.

The more time people spend on your website, the more they are enjoying the content, and the more likely they are to convert.

GA allows you to look into page session time, bounce rates, and time-on-site to evaluate user experience. When you aren’t satisfied with these metrics, it’s time to make adjustments to your website structure, content quality, and SEO efforts.

Google Analytics vs Search Console: Comparison

Google AnalyticsGoogle Search Console
Examines visitors’ actions on the websiteExamines how search engines view your website
How many people visited your website?Are all your pages optimized for crawling?
What are the visitors’ demographics?Are keywords leading people to your pages?
How are people finding your website?Are there any structural website errors?
What content on your website is most popular?Are there any problems with internal linking and backlinking?
What are people doing on your website?Is your website optimized for mobile operation?
How many people leave your pages quickly?Are their spam or indexing problems?

Google Search Console vs Analytics: Other differences

When you compare Google Search Console vs Google Analytics, you need to pay attention to the differences that don’t have to do with their functionality.

1.Implementation

Both tools are easy to access free of charge. However, implementing Google Analytics is somewhat more complicated than Google Search Console.

You have to install the GA tracking code on the pages you need to collect data for. With GSC, you just need to complete a simple verification process on thewelcome page.

2.Features

These two programs have different features:

Google Analytics (metrics)Google Search Console
Website traffic:
Total trafficOrganic traffic

Direct traffic

Referral traffic

Social media traffic

Verifies if Google’s crawlers can index your pages

Website traffic segmented by demographics or locationAddresses indexing issues and request Google to index new pages and content
Bounce rateChecks which keywords the website ranks for on Google
Exit rateDemonstrates CTR for different search queries
Site speedDiscovers indexing, link spam, and other SEO issues as seen by Google
User behavior (pages per session, average time on page, etc.)Ensures mobile-friendliness and responsiveness
Analyzes the backlinking profile and checks for broken links.

3.Usefulness

So how can you tell which one of these programs is the most suitable for your needs? It depends on the goals you need to accomplish. If you are worried about your website’s search engine performance then you need to use Google Search Console. It can help you get actionable SEO tips directly from the ranking giant – Google.

If you are focusing on lead conversions and user experience, Google Analytics can help you figure out how visitors are responding to your marketing efforts. It can help you find out where traffic comes from and how it reacts to your website.

Google Search Console vs Google Analytics: Conclusion

Both Google Search Console and Google Analytics are highly valuable tools for SEO marketing specialists. They give important insight into website structure and visitor behavior, both of which are vital for the success of your digital marketing campaign.

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