New website and business owners oftentimes get confused by tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools). In fact, many times these to tools are confused with one another. So here, we’ll break ’em down and detail ’em out so you can better understand what each does…and if you’d like to use them in your online business!
First, the good news: Both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are free tools that you can use for your business website. However, they’re both completely different tools that provide different services and bits of information for your website.
First, let’s talk about Google Analytics. If you don’t already know, Google Analytics is a free service that allows you to track visitor behaviour and activity on your website.
This includes things like the number of visitors your website gets for a specific period of time — day, week, month, year, and so on — number of page views, number of pages per session, bounce rate, session duration, traffic sources, the geographic location of your website’s visitors…and all sorts of other visitor information.
What’s great about Google Analytics too is that for regular users who simply want a broad overview of their website and visitor behaviour, you can stick with the fairly intuitive dashboard interface.
However, for data and analytics geeks, you can dig much deeper into Google Analytics and gain much more in depth data, like funnels, goals, and much more.
It’s important to note that in order to use Google Analytics, you’ll first have to set it up with your site.
Next, let’s address Google Search Console. What Google Search Console does specifically is help website owners manage their website and web pages as they appear in Google search.
So for instance, with Google Search Console you can check the indexing status of specific web pages and see how they’re ranking and what keywords they’re ranking for. But it doesn’t end there.
Google Search Console comes packed with a few other features: For instance, Google Search Console will list all external web pages that link to your website (called backlinks), you can submit a sitemap for your website to ensure Google crawls and indexes all the pages in your website.
What’s great too is that Google Search Console will also report any errors or security issues it finds on your website so you can quickly fix them.
Like Google Analytics, Google Search Console is free to use, but you’ll have to make sure to connect your website up to the service to ensure it tracks your website properly.