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