If you are serious about growing and understanding your SEO traffic, then your should really pay close attention to your Search Console data. In this article, you will learn how to make the most of your data and gain a really deep understanding of your SEO Performance and what is (or is not) driving your growth. We recommend taking out all of your data outside of the Search Console interface, and building powerful and very insightful SEO reports that should be a must for any business serious about organic growth.
Downsides of the Google Search Console interface
- limited history
- lack of page or keywords groupings
- difficult to really understand SEO performance
- limited metrics
- limited to just top 1000 keywords or 1000 pages
- understood only by the SEO experts
SolutionExtract all of your GSC data using an API, and build a powerful, flexible, and very insightful SEO reports using Excel or Data Studio.
Advantages of Google Search Console report in Excel or Data Studio
- over time accumulate long history of data and have a better understanding of your Year on Year growth and Seasonalities
- get a full set of pages and keywords (instead of just top 1000)
- add additional metrics for measuring SEO Coverage (Number of Pages with Impressions, Number of Keywords with Impressions
- build Custom Content Grouping (Page Categories, Keyword Categories, Regions)
- see data daily, weekly, monthly or monthly
- easily share your reports across teams or clients (Excel or Data Studio)
- boost your GSC report by combining it with your Google Analytics data to identify high value pages or keywords
- use your rich Search data to understand market demands and to expand and superpower your Paid Search campaigns.
Excel or Data Studio
For websites with many thousands of pages or queries, we typically advice to use Excel for this report. PowerPivot in Excel can handle many millions of rows, and allows to build even more complex data models. Once it is built, it is very easy to use and requires less than 5 minutes to update with the latest data. The downside however is that PowerPivot is currently only supported on Windows, and Mac users would not be able to fully benefit from the report (unless using some sort of a workaround, such as Bootcamp assistant).
The advantage of using Data Studio over Excel would be the fact that once setup, it requires absolutely no maintenance (data gets auto-refreshed). The downside however is that Data Studio would not work well with many thousands of pages or keywords, especially if you create a lot of custom content groups (eg. page groups, query groups etc). So it is a quick and very cost effective solution, but less scalable than Excel is.
SEO Report in Excel (free template to download)
SEO Report in Data Studio (free template online)