The Google Analytics Search Console Queries Report is key to better understanding how users are accessing your site via search. When Google and Bing started to encrypt user’s searches a few years back, the organic keyword report became obsolete. The search console queries report connects Google Search Console with Google Analytics to find a happy medium of discovering organic search traffic.
What’s Included in the Search Console Queries Report
The Search Console Queries report is a great way to better understand your organic search reach. It utilizes data from Google Search Console to understand how your site shows in Google search for different entered queries.
Better than understanding how many clicks you may have received from a certain query, this report incorporates total impressions (estimated), click-through rate, and average position that your result is listed within. This can help you determine your next steps in an SEO strategy, or confirm your latest improvements are working.
Difficulty to set up
Difficulty Meter: 3/5 (medium)
This report requires setup in a couple of different programs to get started. First you will need to create a Google Search Console account for your website and have it verified. Once that happens you can go into the Google Analytics admin menus and connect the two services via product linking. For where product linking is located, see the image below.
Where it is located
This report is located under the Acquisition tab on the left hand navigation. It is within the sub-heading of Search Console and labeled as Queries.
Analysis to Complete
While many reports are more helpful when combining information from a second report, the information in the search console queries report stands strong on its own. That is not to say it isn’t more powerful when utilizing other dimensions. Here we’ll explore two main ways to take quick inventory of your search query performance.
1. See Your Influence Through Impressions
The first thing you will want to understand are the impressions each of your known queries are receiving. I say known queries, because much like the organic search report, there will be times where you see “(not set)” displayed. This is an indication that Google cannot (or isn’t willing to) display the query that was search for when your result appeared in the results.
Don’t let that discourage you. If you have even moderate traffic, utilize what is there to better understand how users are searching for your results. This metric will give you a better idea of the search volume that is out there for specific keywords and phrases in a given time. This can help you to see the potential traffic that a certain query could generate for your posts. This will give you an idea of what posts you may want to update in the future to get better visibility and click rates.
2. Average Position is Key to Opportunities
While the impressions metric gives you an understanding of search that has occurred on queries that populate your results, the true understanding of how you are competing in those results only happens when you view the average position metric. This shows, on average, the position you are showing on Google for that particular query.
Keep in mind that this number is an average. Google search results are extremely personalized and you could be seeing something different than a friend sitting next to you for the same search.
This is where true search engine optimization opportunity shines through. When you see that you are receiving 123 impressions for the query “google data studio”, but then look over and see your average position is 48, that looks like a problem. Really it could be a great opportunity. I like to look at queries where I have a decent amount of impressions, but a lower average ranking. You don’t want your ranking to be too low (greater than 50), but you can work on improving these rankings.
If you have a ranking for a keyword that is 15 on average, and you are receiving 500 queries a month on that, working to get that up to 10 or even 5 could improve your overall clicks ten-fold. That is the key to these reports, seek the opportunity then act accordingly.
Benefit of the Demographics Reports
The benefits of the search console queries report are plentiful. While you explored two simple, in-report ways to get the most out of this information above, look to combine this data with others available to you. This will help to further your analysis and better understand your search users. Catering to organic search can deliver a strong return on your investment. Most sites have a heavy dependency on organic search, so increasing that reach will help in the long run.