In June 2021, Google released Search Console Insights, a free, easy-to-use tool that specifically measures your content’s performance.
Today, we’re telling you everything you need to know about this new tool and why you should try it.
In this article, you’ll find:
- What is Search Console Insights, and why is Google Analytics important for it?
- Why you should use this tool.
- The steps you need to take to get Search Console Insights.
- How Search Console Insights looks.
- And more!
Let’s get to it, shall we?
- Search Console Insights release
- Why use this tool
- Search Console Insights and Google Analytics
- How to start using Search Console Insights
- How it looks
- Search Console Insights: A work in progress
Search Console Insights release
Google first introduced Search Console Insights in June 2020 by sending email invitations to some people to participate. However, it made it available to all publishers just in June 2021, a year later, with its beta version.
Search Console Insights provides you with data to know how your content performs. What piece of content is the more engaging and it’s bringing more revenue, which other sites are linking to your content, besides other things that we’ll talk about later. These data will lend additional clues for SEO to help support creating valuable content.
Where does this data come from? Well, the tool takes data from Search Console and Google Analytics and blends them into a measurement dashboard that focuses on your content’s performance over the past 28 days. More importantly, what sets apart Search Console Insights from other tools is its simplicity: it delivers data organized in easy-to-read graphs. That’s because SCI is one of the first tools Google specifically builds with individual creators in mind.
Have you ever seen those online courses that teach you how to use Google Analytics?
That’s because understanding tons of data and graphs and menus it’s not easy! People hire experts for that job. But Search Console Insights gives you the top-level information right away. You don’t need to decode your statistics. SCI gives you the information in a visual format that’s easy to understand, so you get what your audience wants and know how to build a better strategy. That’s exciting!
Why use this tool
Content is the most effective way to build an audience organically, and therefore it’s a key aspect of your business. A good click-through rate is only gained through quality content that meets people’s needs. But crafting this type of content takes time and effort. Especially, it requires you to pay attention to your audience’s response.
Content is about emotion, and these things are constantly changing. Thanks to Search Console Insights, you don’t need to be guessing what your audience wants. They help you understand what resonates more with your audience easily and quickly by answering high-level questions for you at a glance.
That said, of course, you don’t have to forget about Google Analytics or Search Console. They are still very useful for going in-depth with your data. Plus, improving things like speed load and security issues can be what makes your quality content stand out from the rest.
But if you are just starting out with digital analytics, Search Console Insights will be the best option for you.
Search Console Insights and Google Analytics
Search Console Insights is part of Search Console: this means that anyone with a verified Search Console property can use it.
If you are new to Search Console, keep in mind that Google recommends you link your site’s Google Search Console property with your site’s Google Analytics property to get better insights. This is super important for Search Console Insights: you’ll find the content tab only if you connect your Google Analytics to your Google Search Console.
The first time you open SCI, you may even get this message recommending you to associate your Analytics account with your Search Console account.
Currently, Search Console Insights only supports Analytics Universal Analytics properties (properties with an ID that starts with “UA-”), which uses a new standard on how data is collected and organized. However, they are working to support Google Analytics 4 too.
Once you link them, you’ll see analytics data on Search Console Insights and Search Console information on your Google Analytics, like how many search impressions you’re getting in Google Search and how many clicks you’re getting from those results from specific countries.
How to start using Search Console Insights
If you are already a Search Console user, just go to the dashboard and find the “Search Console Insights” bar. If you are new to it, however, follow these steps:
- Go to Search Console and click “Start.”
- Select your property type. Copy your domain or URL and wait for Google to verify it.
- Once your property is verified, create an association between Search Console and Analytics, visiting this page.
- Sign in to your Analytics account and go to “Admin.”
- In the “Property” column, click “Property Settings.”
- Scroll down to “Search Console” and select the reporting views in which you want to see Search Console data.
- Click “Save.”
- Go to the Search Console dashboard, and you’ll find a yellow bar at the top of the Overview that says “Search Console Insights.” Click there and tada!
Search Console Insights it’s available on your browser and on iOS. Just go to your Google app, tap on your profile picture and select Search Console Insights. Android users, however, still have to wait for it.
How it looks
Search Console Insights shows you data from the past 28 days. In the upper right corner of each section, there’s a help icon (a graduation hat) that explains how to read the data and gives some tips for improvement. It couldn’t make things easier.
The first thing you’ll see once the page loads are the All-Time Page Views. Below them is your site overview: a daily graph with page views and average page view duration in the last 28 days. The metrics will show whether they are trending up or down. We’ll hope they trend up up up.
Then you’ll find data that answers two questions:
- How is your content performing?
- How do people discover your content across the web?
Let’s see them in detail.
Site overview: How your content performs
1. New content
This window tells you how’s performing the content you uploaded in the last 28 days: how many views it had and for how long people stayed there.
2. Most popular content by page views in the last 28 days
Besides views and views durations, you might find a tendency badge in case the tendency is particularly high. It also highlights your high-performing pages. For example, you’ll find a “High average duration” badge that signals you have low bounce rates.
Page Overview: How do people find you?
This one is both for particular pages and for your whole site. By clicking on one of your pages, Google will show you more details like:
1. Top traffic channels
Where’s all this traffic coming from? See which percentage of visitors come directly to the website (typed your URL), find you through an organic search or by a referral. The next windows will elaborate on each one.
2. Google Search
This one answers a few questions. How do people find your page on Google? What are the search queries that lead to your site? How are you ranking for each keyword? Are there any relevant keywords for you? If you aren’t ranking for your brand name or the product you sell (transactional intent), you need to work harder on your keyword strategy.
You can choose to see the results according to the most search queries or the most trending queries as well. To see all the 50 queries, click on the right arrow and move to the next group.
3. Inbound links from other websites
This section displays the top 15 referring links from other websites. When someone links to your website, that’s really good for Search Engine Optimization. You can also choose to sort this by the top referring links (the default) or the newest referring links.
4. Social media
The final window is social media. It tells you how visitors get to your page from individual social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and possibly more to come.
This is new: it’s the first time that a social media report is included within the Google Search Console. It’s not surprising, though: social media has become a very powerful tool to reach audiences of all kinds.
If you are using WordPress to manage your content, you should also check out Site Kit, Google’s official plugin that comes with tons of insights. It makes verifying in Search Console and connecting analytics much easier.
Search Console Insights: A work in progress
As we mentioned before, Search Console Insights is in beta version. There are still things Google is working on like including Analytics 4. Moreover, they are open to suggestions. The company welcomes user feedback and provides a dedicated “share feedback” link at the top and bottom of SCI if you want to offer some ideas.
Search Console Insights is a data tool as smooth as it gets.
We encourage you to check out this new tool that will surely give you some fresh ideas to optimize your content and improve its performance.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve already tried this new Google tool!