Notice something different in your Google Analytics account? The Search Engine Optimisation tab has been replaced with a Google Search Console tab, offering more detailed information on the portion of your site’s activity that stems from organic search.
Google announced the change in May, but it’s certainly worth pointing out now, for the benefit of those who have yet to pick up on this subtle yet substantive change to the Google Analytics product.
Previously, the Google Analytics Search Engine Optimisation tab simply displayed search acquisition data; the new Search Console tab shows conversions and behaviour metrics too. The result, as a Google blog entry puts it, is “a fuller picture of your website’s performance in organic search”.
The Search Engine Console within Google Analytics now displays:
- Average Position
- Bounce Rate
- Pages per Session
- eCommerce Conversion Rate
Google have always averred their commitment to making the web a better place by demanding high content quality from webmasters – but we think this subtle change within Google Analytics could reflect a growing confidence that the Google Search algorithm really can deliver that ideal. The monetary value of quality content can be measured – according to the same metrics and through the same Google tool – against the value of AdWords advertising.
On a side note, we think there’s something interesting in Google’s wording here: the change from ‘optimisation’ to ‘console’ seems to reflect a wider shift within the digital marketing industry from ‘search engine optimisation’ to ‘search marketing’. Organic search is no longer nascent platform which digital marketers can ‘game’ by optimising their content – we’ve moved from re-shaping our content to suit it, to marketing our content through it by default.
Digital marketers have always been able to assess acquisition, conversions and behaviour metrics together, outside of Google Analytics. The deeper integration of Search Console data with Google Analytics simply allows for a more convenient experience within a single platform.
Nevertheless, the extended scope of search data within Google Analytics will encourage some marketers to approach to take a shrewder approach to their organic search marketing activities. Viewing the revenue generated by a page over a certain period and measuring that against changes in the page’s average search ranking provides enlightening insight into the short-term value – as eCommerce revenue – of your SEO activities. For those of you haven’t looked at your SEO work in this way before, it just got easier to do so.