Search Analytics

Search analytics is the use of search data to understand and improve the performance of websites and webpages on search engines. It is a tool for search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO).

Search analytics includes metrics to gauge the performance of websites and webpages. In a broader sense, it also includes search volume trends and analysis, reverse searching (entering websites to see their keywords), keyword monitoring, search result and search advertisement history and spend statistics, website comparisons and so on.

Performance Report on Google Search Console

Exhibit 13.12   Site performance report on Google Search Console.

To access website’s performance report on Google Console, Exhibit 13.12, you need to first add the property (i.e. website) at the console. The platform provides free access to a broad range of information pertaining to search traffic including performance reports and links the site.

The performance report tracks the websites performance over time, across web pages, queries (keywords and key phrases), countries, and devices. The data can be filtered, for instance, select only pages with URLs that include (or exclude) a string of characters. Comparisons too may be made, for instance, between countries.

As shown in the Exhibit 13.12, the following search metrics are provided in the report:

  • Clicks – The number of times the user clicked through to the site.
  • Impressions – The total number of times users saw a link to the site (or page) in search results.
  • CTR (Click-through rate) – the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click.
  • Position – The average position in search results for the site, using the highest position whenever it appeared in search results.

These metrics may be broken down by chosen dimension in the table appearing blow the performance chart. For instance, by selecting the page dimension one may view the average position, CTR, clicks and impressions across the pages in the site.

Google Trends – Tracking the Buzz

Exhibit 13.13   Google Trends report for Coke, Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

The numbers in the Google Trends report shown in Exhibit 13.13, represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular compared to the peak level.

The report is useful for tracking the buzz (word-of-mouth) for a brand or any subject. Below the chart, the report lists out the top/rising related queries (key phrases). This explains the reasons for the peaks. The buzz for Pepsi, for instance, peaked during the time the Kendall Jenner ad appeared online.

Importantly, from the SEO and SEM perspective, the report helps identify the keywords and phrases that users are more likely to use.

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