See what’s in Google’s new Search Console Insights Beta reports that combine your Google Analytics and Search Console data into at-a-glance metrics.
NOTE: Some info is redacted in the screenshots as I’m not wanting to share my metrics with competitors.
Single Column Report
Instead of a dashboard with lots of overview sections like Google Analytics, or a sidebar with tabs to navigate sections like Search Console, this new report is simply a single column of sections.
That makes for a lot of scrolling and there is no way to simply jump to your favorite metrics.
I’m hoping they add some type of jump links to improve that.
And I’m guessing they did it this way to be primarily viewed on a phone instead of desktop.
All-Time Page Views
The first metric it gives you is your all-time page views. I guess that’s over the life of the site and I guess that data comes from Analytics.
While that’s an interesting metric to know, it’s not the first thing I want to see, as it’s not actionable data.
It’s almost more of a vanity metric, and that’s not what I’m after when mining for data in these reports.
How Your Site is Doing – Section
The next section contains modules with reports over the last 28 days for how your site is doing on:
- Page Views
- New Content performance
- Most Popular Content
Page Views Report
It shows total page views and average page view duration.
All of these reports are for the last 28 days and I didn’t see a way to customize the date range.
I hope that’s something they add as well.
The graph makes it easy to read the raw numbers, but you can’t correlate it to which posts caused the traffic surges.
Your New Content
This report shows you what content received its first views in the last 28 days.
It only shows 3 at a time, which means a lot of clicking an arrow to see all of them.
It gives you a green High average duration sticker on any content that is performing significantly better that way.
You can click on any row to get more data.
It shows a graph of the days when the post was most visited.
Below that are modules that give you much deeper info for that post on:
- How people find your page
- How that page performed in Google Search specifically
- Referring links from other websites
- Breakdown of social media traffic to it
I’ll cover more on these other modules in the overall reports.
And there are also links at the end of these deeper reports to take you to either Analytics or Search Console for even more info, so that’s handy.
Your Most Popular Content
The next report module shows you the most popular of all your content over the last 28 days.
Again, it only displays 3 at a time. And again, you can click on each row for deeper data.
Plus, it gives you the High average duration sticker on the posts that are doing well with keeping visitors on your site the longest out of that batch.
How People Find You – Section
The next major report section covers how visitors are finding your posts.
Top Traffic Channels
This report shows your top 3 traffic channels. For me, those including:
- Organic Search
What you see may be different if you have other ways of sending traffic to your site.
For each of those it shows Page Views and Average Duration.
However, you cannot click on each one to get deeper stats.
Also, the Organic Search may not be entirely from Google. It includes visits from all search engines lumped together.
This module breaks out how your top posts are being found specifically in Google Search.
At the top, it gives you an overview of:
- Page Views
- Average Duration
- Total number of Clicks
By default, the rest of the data is sorted by the Most Searched Queries, and then filtered by number of Clicks.
You can see the page/posts Average Position.
And you get a green sticker if it also displayed in the Top 5 Results for that query.
The sort drop-down includes:
- Most Searched Queries – default
- Most Trending Queries
What it leaves out in this overview is a way to see Impressions, or to sort on them. To me, that’s as important a metric as the content getting the most clicks, as it tells you what content is showing up high in search, but not getting the click, and you’d want to improve it.
Unfortunately, you can’t click on each row to get deeper metrics.
Referring Links from Other Websites
This report is Google’s best guess at which sites are referring the most traffic to your site based on your Google Analytics data.
It has a drop-down to sort by:
- Top Referring Links – default
- Newest Referring Links
If you’re on an aggressive backlink building campaign, this data is extremely useful.
This module breaks down your referred traffic from each of your top Social Media channels.
At the top is a total of Page Views and Average Duration.
And then it shows your top 3 referring social channels along with their individual page view totals and average duration.
While this is a very clean report compared to either Analytics or Search Console, it’s mostly a quick view type thing.
And it’s obviously geared to mobile users for viewing.
But, maybe doing it this way will encourage more site owners to at least check their Analytics, and especially their Search Console data more frequently.
And perhaps that will lead to deeper data mining.
And perhaps that will be their guide for how best to improve their content.
After all, that’s what these reports are here to help you do, not just serve as vanity metrics.
For me, I’m already in the habit of going directly to Analytics and Search Console and posting those metrics to a spreadsheet so I can watch traffic and trends over time and base my content creation and update decisions on that info.
And I will likely continue to do that on a monthly basis.
But, I can also say that a report like this is super handy for checking how my latest post is doing, and especially for getting a quick glimpse into hot topics or news posts.
As mentioned, all stats are only for the last 28 days. So, this truly is a short-term view of how your content is performing.
For those with seasonal traffic, you would want to check it year-over-year.
I see this new Search Console Insights Beta report as a way to get more site owners interested in the data without so much overwhelm and to get a quick snapshot of how new posts are performing.
But, for content creators who are serious about watching their metrics, it certainly does not take the place of the deeper info you get on Analytics and Search Console.