Importance of Google Search Data
Within the organic search category, Google is far and away the largest Search Engine out there, accounting for 88% of all search queries according to Statista. Based on this, it is critical to collect and utilize as much search data from Google as possible.
Where can this data be found? Let's take a look at the tools Google provides to gather and analyze search data.
Sources of Google Search Data
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC), formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is the primary source of search-related data that Google provides site owners. It is also the tool you use to manage your sites and make Google aware of the content you've published.
Valuable metrics available from GSC:
- Top performing search queries
- URLs submitted
- URLs indexed
- Internal Links
- Crawl Errors
- Mobile Usability Errors
- AMP Errors
While there is a significant amount of Google search data and metrics available in GSC it can be limiting at times, only allowing users to only see the top 999 keyword queries referring traffic, for example.
Google Analytics (GA) is Google’s Web Analytics offering. Web analytics used to be the primary source of Google search data because it provided specific information about how much traffic each keyword was referring to a website. This capability was removed with the introduction of secure search in 2013, reducing GA’s usefulness as an organic data source.
It does still provide a lot of valuable data for the site content and channels and conversions, which can be valuable to search marketers. Here are some examples of valuable metrics you can find in Google Analytics today:
- Traffic to your site from Organic Search or other channels
- Landing pages that have high numbers of visits
- Geographies that are driving significant traffic
While Google Analytics doesn’t have as direct a connection to search queries as it once did, it is still the central way to understand how people are getting to your site and what they are doing once they arrive there. It is incredibly difficult to make a real business case for search without using data available in GA.
Google Trends is a tool that Google provides to help people understand what topics and keyword queries are popular in the market at any given time. It has a significant amount of data on different stories in the news as well as trending research topics and the relative popularity of searches within a given industry.
Interesting metrics you can find in Google Trends:
- Trending queries by region
- Related queries to one you identify
- Relative popularity of different queries within the same space
The only concern with Google Trends is that it doesn’t give you very much specific data on how many people are searching for a given query. Instead it focuses on relative popularity within a given industry or space. This makes broader comparisons more difficult.
Google Keyword Planner
Part of the Google Ads suite is the Google Keyword Planner (GKP), a tool that can provide excellent data to marketers focused on organic search.
GKP is a solid source for identifying keywords that are related to each other and for understanding how many people are searching for any particular keyword over time.
Metrics to look for from Google Keyword Planner:
- Related Keywords
- Suggested Bid Value
- Search Volume
Trying to do demand planning without data from Google Keyword Planner would be very difficult, since it is the best available source for Google search data on volume.
Driving Business Value from the Data
There is a huge amount of Google search data as we’ve shown up to this point. You can find in a variety of places and all of it seems like it could be useful. The next key step is how to turn all of this data into actionable insights that you can use to drive business value. Having data which is spread out across so many sources can make it difficult to consolidate it and mine for insights manually. This is where BrightEdge can help.
The most obvious way that BrightEdge can help in leveraging the Google search data mentioned above is through data integrations. From the list above, BrightEdge supports direct integration with your data for both Google Search Console as well as with Web Analytics platforms, such as Google Analytics, Adobe Experience Manager, and Coremetrics. BrightEdge will pull in this data and associate it with other data across the platform so that you can easily tie Google search data back to true business metrics.
BrightEdge also helps you with gathering and understanding Google search data with its keyword reporting framework. We collect not only keyword rankings data for your domain and your competitors, but we also pull in Search Volume Data from Google in order to help you understand your performance compared to the demand seen for any particular keyword or group of keywords.
To cap it all off BrightEdge has StoryBuilder, which allows customers to take any data that you have available across the BrightEdge platform and create powerful visualizations and dashboards that you can use to drive performance and report on success across your organization. Demo the BrightEdge platform today.