Google Search Console Integration: How to do it and why it rocks for your content marketing

Ever been faced with this frustrating screen in your Google Analytics?  “This report requires Search Console integration to be enabled.” – thanks, very helpful Google, but how do I do it? And what’s the pay off – is it even worth it? Well, we’re here to tell you how to integrate your search console with your Google Analytics account – and why you should definitely do it as soon as you can.

First off, make sure you have the basics sorted. This article’s about integrating the two tools, so please make sure you have both Google Analytics installed as well as Google Search Console (aka Google Webmaster Tools) before you get started.

How to integrate Google Search Console with your Analytics

First, log into your Google Analytics account. Once you’re there, click on ‘Acquisition’ and down to ‘Queries’. You should now be faced with this frustrating screen:

search console connecting issue

Deep breaths. Don’t panic. That’s what they want you to do! First thing you’ll want to do hear is simply click the button “Set up Search Console data sharing”. This will lead you to your Google Analytics property page. With no further instructions. But that’s why I’m here. Scroll down to the bottom of that page and you should come across a button reading ‘Adjust Search Console’. Click away my friend and we’ll get going.

search console analytics property page
This is the type of page you should land on before you hit ‘Adjust Search Console’

Your next page will show a screen like the image below. Simply click ‘edit’ and you’ll be lead to a new area.

search console settings

 

On this page, you shouldn’t have any verified sites. Click onto the “add a site to Search Console” to proceed. You’ll get a pop up reading ‘Add a web property to Google Analytics’, click ok to carry on. You’ll then get to screen like the following:

Add a property to Google console

Enter in your website and click ‘add property’. You should then get a list of different verification methods you can use to get your search console linked up.search console verification

If you have access to most of the html code in your site, it’s now simply a case of copying and the code given when you click the ‘Google Analytics’ option above. This is the easiest option if you have access. If, like me, you don’t have this kind of access due to the way your site has been built or the template you have installed, I would go with the ‘Domain name provider’ option. Click it and select the domain name provider you use. It should ask you to add a TXT record to your domain. Don’t be put off – it’s much easier than you might think!

You’ll want to go into your advanced domain settings, and then to your ‘DNS’ settings. Enter in your website address along with an ‘@’ symbol at the start in the ‘hostname’ area. Make sure the ‘Type’ is correct and showing the ‘TXT’ symbol; then paste the text given in the search console instructions into the destination TXT area. See below for a clearer picture of what I mean!

search console verification through domain

Once it’s added, you can then verify on your search console page by scrolling down and clicking the verify button. Then, voila! You should now have completed your search console integration. Check back on your analytics and you should be able to now review your ‘queries’ section. Now things are about to get exciting!

Note: If you’re really nervous to sort out your search engine integration, get your web developer to help – it shouldn’t take them long, maybe around 30 minutes max, even if they’ve not had experience with it. You can send them this article to speed the process up and help them out.

Why integrating your search console rocks for your content marketing

You’ve done all the hard, boring work – so now, how is it going to help your content marketing? Well check this out for starters:search console analytics queries for content marketing

What’s great is you can now see where you’re appearing for different search terms, even when you’re not being clicked; which is particularly helpful for 2 reasons:

  1. You’re much less likely to be clicked a lot unless you’re in the top 3 results on average (more then 50% of clicks go to the top 3 results) – so this gives you a clear idea of where you might already be doing fairly well SEOwise, and you just need a little extra push to get to the top
  2. It also gives you some idea of what Google thinks your website is about overall  – which is incredibly helpful when you’re trying to figure out what you should, and shouldn’t be writing about.

Quick note on the (not set) results – Google doesn’t like to give you all of it’s information away for free, so often holds back some queries until your link has been seen for that query multiple times. The (not set) query simply is a collection of hidden, one-off results.

How your results should look if you’re doing content marketing right

If you sort your results by lowest average position first, you’ll see what queries you’re currently ranking most highly for. These are indicators, in order of importance usually, of what Google thinks your website is about. You want them to be full of words around your brand and your services or products. So, for me at the moment, ‘pop content’ and ‘marketing guidance’ are perfect; but I probably need to work harder on my writing and promotion of ‘marketing guidance’ content.

For you, if you see a lot of terms that are not your brand name or your product/service types – it’s time to get to work on your content marketing. Chances are, if Google doesn’t think your website is about what you want it to be about – neither will your customers.

If you are looking for tips on how to improve your content marketing efforts and website in general, sign up to our  email list below for completely free advice – or why not try out our weekly content marketing guidance?

I hope this article helped with your Google Search Console integration, please leave any questions or comments below and I’ll do my best to help!

 

How to choose the right colours & branding for your website

Choosing the right colours & branding for your website might seem like a daunting task – and it certainly can be. There’s so much information out there and often the information can be hypocritical. We’re here to tell you why it can be hard to choose your colours – but also why it doesn’t have to be!

Deciding what’s important to your business

Before you dive into finding out which colour suits your brands personality, it’s a good idea to take a step back and think about why you’re choosing what you’re choosing. What’s your goal with your brand? This is a step that is often overlooked – and can lead to your brand falling flat on it’s face.

Branding isn’t about your colours, fonts or logo. It’s about the feeling your customers are left with when they interact with you. It’s about the feeling they get when your company is mentioned. Building the right feeling comes from more than just a logo or colour – but as it is a first impression, it is still an important thing to consider. When you’re deciding on what you want your brand to be, the best place to start is to think about what feeling you want your customers to be left with after they interact with your website. Is your brand helpful, honest, cheap, expensive, luxury, friendly, funny, serious, knowledgeable, exciting, fierce, laid back, family orientated? Write down 3-4 descriptive words that you want your customers to feel when they ‘experience your brand’ – and it’ll make your decision process so much easier!

Finding inspiration for your branding

deciding whats important for your businessSo you’ve decided on your brand’s goals – now what? Choosing colours, fonts and logos might be easier than you think. We found some fool proof ways of coming up with inspiration for your branding below.

1. Find brands that have similar goals to yours

You’ve come up with the feelings you want your brand to provoke. Now it’s time to see what successful brands are already doing to provoke those feelings! If you have a luxury brand for example, think about which companies in the past have made you consider them luxury. Look at their logos, fonts and colours – and check out their social media to see what kind of following they have. Whichever seem most successful and closely matched to how you want your audience to feel about your brand – use their branding for inspiration. When you’re choosing a similar brand, we certainly don’t suggest just looking for competitors – look for brands in other industries, maybe hotels you’ve visited or clothes you buy that provoke the right ‘brand feelings’ in you.

2. Stalk your target customers

Take a look at similar brands pages on Facebook and Twitter and see which customers are most interactive with them. These could be potential brand advocates of yours one day, so it’s really important to see what they like and dislike. If you can, take a look at which brands they like and dislike overall – it can give you a good overview of what is really important to them. Often it can throw up new brands you might not have thought of previously – and also branding you might want to avoid!

3. Study what’s already working

Once you’re looked up all the brands that are hitting the mark already, collect their logos, colours and fonts and look for similarities. This can be really simple to do; we like to simply use the ‘snippet’ tool and create a large paint file with all of the logos beside each other. Seeing all of the design work together can seriously speed up your decision making because you can visualise quite quickly what you like and dislike, even if you can’t yet verbalise it!

Getting a good design

design-your-brand

Now you know what’s important for your brand – how do you go about making it happen?

You have a few options, and it depends on your brand goal as to what will work best for you:

1. Do it yourself

If you have a little design knowledge and your brand doesn’t have to be fancy – there’s nothing wrong in doing it yourself. Some of the most professional & effective branding out there is just a nice font and a good choice of colours (we took inspiration from confident brands like coca cola and emirates and chose a confident red, but also wanted the look of approachability so didn’t go with an overly fancy font). Sometimes this is best left with a professional – simply because not everyone’s talents lie in visual branding – but if you’re strapped for cash, don’t be scared. A super important thing to remember – you care a lot more than anyone else; the job of your brand marketing is to get people to care and although your logo and fonts will have an effect, it won’t have anywhere near as much effect as the content you put out to your customers and the relationships you build with them. So although it’s important – don’t waste too much time worrying. Get something up there; after all, it’s not written in stone and you can always change it later!

2. Hire a professional graphic designer

Hiring a designer is the most expensive option; but it allows you a lot of control. If you’re looking for a designer, the best thing to do is to make sure you see a portfolio of what they’ve done in the past – if it looks like they’ve done logos and branding that you like and especially if they’ve done things in line with what your inspirational brands are like, go for it. Get some quotes and don’t forget to negotiate in case you can get a better deal!

3. Crowd source

There are many design ‘crowd source’ companies out there now that can help you get a brand or logo design done by multiple graphic designers – and you only have to pay for the designs you choose. It’s a very cost effective way of getting a professional design; and if you’ve used the tips above, you should be able to send your designers a clear design brief which always helps make sure you get the best quality designs to choose from. A lot of the websites also allow for you to choose to not pay if you don’t get a design that you like; so if nothing good comes up, you can still back out without losing cash. Check out 99designs and designcrowd for more information.

Don’t forget to build your brand

Building your brand is the hard part – but the most profitable when you do it right! When you’re deciding on your brand colours, fonts and logo, the most important thing to remember is – it’s not that important. Once you get something up online, there’s always going to be a breaking in period where you see what people like and what they don’t. Don’t be a perfectionist when it comes to the visuals, it’s much  more important that you get out there and start building your brand through creating better relationships with your clients. After all, you could have the worst looking logo in the world – but if your products and services provide loads of value to your customers, there’ll still going to love your brand.

I hope we helped you to choose the right colours & branding for your website. We’d love to hear what you think – and see your amazing brands! Comment below and share your website.