Google Search Console and Google Analytics are two very different beasts. They both give you important data for your website but with a different focus.
You need both to make sure that you have a website that does well in search results and encourages people to come back.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console shows you data about your site’s performance in Google searches. Here you’ll find information on how people interact with your site when it appears in search results. As well as which keywords they searched for before landing on your site and more.
You can see which of your web pages Google knows about and tell it about any not in it’s index. If you want to submit a sitemap (which I recommend you do) this is the place to do it.
It’s a great tool to help you pinpoint which areas of your site aren’t optimised for search engines. Along with which need improvement and which are doing well.
If Google finds errors with mobile usability or in indexing any pages on your site, it will notify you immediately so that you can sort them ASAP.
Google Analytics gives you data on your site’s traffic from all possible sources including social media, search engines or email campaigns.
You can see reports on the number of page views, visitors and bounce rate for a certain time period. This is useful to keep track of month by month so that you can see how your traffic changes over time. Especially if you’re putting a big focus on attracting visitors from a certain social media platform or if you’ve been running an email marketing campaign.
Some other really useful information is when your users visit, where they are in the world and which devices they use to visit your site. The devices report is a crucial one in this day and age because more and more people are using the internet from their phones and tablets. Knowing which devices people used most to access your site helps you make sure that your site is optimised for that view.
It’s a great tool to keep track of how people get to your site and what they do while they’re there. Which are your most popular pages, how long do people spend on your site on average and how often do they view a single page and leave (bounce rate)?
This is all really useful information to help you work out which parts of your site are most appealing to visitors and which aren’t.
Having a list of your top performing pages will help you work out where to put opt-in forms for your email list and where to promote your latest products.
Both tools provide a variety of reports to monitor your website’s performance.
Google Search Console and Google Analytics are both broken up into a series of reports where you can adjust the time period.
Google Search Console gives you info on a site’s performance in search engines. Google Analytics gives you information on visitors to a website.
Both provide a list of most visited pages. But Google Analytics will give you an overall picture of most visited pages from all sources of traffic. Google Search Console will show only the most visited pages from search engine traffic.
Google Search Console sends email notifications when it finds problems with mobile usability or adding a page to it’s index.
You can submit sitemaps to Google Search Console.
Google Search Console allows you to submit new pages to be indexed.
You can track conversions on your site via Google Analytics.
Do you need them both?
As you can see from the last few sections on this blog post, Google Search Console and Google Analytics do very different jobs.
In my view you definitely need both tools. They give you a wealth of information in specialised areas. You won’t find the info you get in Google Analytics in Google Search Console and vice versa.
Google Search Console is a tool to measure a site’s performance in search engines. But Google Analytics tracks all visits to your site and gives you detailed information.
In my view a successful website needs the information from both tools.
Business websites especially need the high quality traffic that search engines provide and so need the information from Google Search Console to see where they need improvement.
It’s important to know what visitors do on your website once they get there. That’s where Google Analytics comes in. You need to know which parts to focus on for lead generation and which parts need to be improved either from a user experience or content point of view.
Google Search Console vs Google Analytics – verdict
These are two very different tools with different purposes.
Google Search Console shows you how your website performs in search results. Google Analytics gives you a more general view of your site’s traffic from all sources.
Both these areas of information are vitally important to the success of a website, especially one for business. I definitely recommend that you use both tools on your website.
You need to know how your website performs in search results and how else people get there. Then what they do once they’re there.