What are performance reports in Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a powerful tool for website owners, offering insights into how Google’s search engine sees your site. It provides valuable information about your site's performance, indexing status, and issues affecting its visibility in search results.
One of the most valuable features of Google Search Console is its performance reports. Here's a guide on how to interpret and use these reports.
Getting Started with Performance Reports
1. Access Google Search Console: Log in to your Google Search Console account. If you haven't set up your website with the console, follow the on-screen instructions to add and verify your site.
2. Select Performance: On the dashboard's left side, click "Search Results" under 'Performance'. This will take you to the Performance report for your website in search results pages.
Understanding the Metrics
The Performance report features four primary metrics:
• Total Clicks: This shows the total number of clicks from a Google search results page that landed the user on your website.
• Total Impressions: The number of times a user saw a link to your site in search results. This doesn’t mean they clicked on it, just that they saw it.
• Average CTR (Click Through Rate): This is the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click. It is calculated by dividing total clicks by impressions and multiplying by 100.
• Average Position: The average position of your website in the search results when it appeared for a queried search term. The lower the number, the better, as a lower position corresponds to a higher rank on the search results page.
Understanding the Report Filters
You can apply various filters in the performance report to drill down into your data.
• Search Type: This filter allows you to look at the data based on the search type, such as web, image, or video search.
• Date Range: Here, you can set a specific date range for the data you want to view.
• Query: This filter lets you see users' specific queries to find your site.
• Page: You can view the performance of specific pages of your site.
• Country: This filter allows you to view the data based on the user's geographical location.
• Device: Check how your site performs on different devices, such as desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.
• Search Appearance: You can filter your data based on specific search features, like rich or AMP results.
Using the Data
Here's how you can use the data provided in the Performance reports:
• Identify High- and Low-Performing Content: By checking the performance of specific pages, you can identify which pages are performing well and which ones need improvement. For example, you might need to optimise low-performing pages with better SEO practices.
• Understand User Queries: The Query data can help you understand what users search for when they find your site. This can inform your content strategy and help you create content that aligns with user search intent.
• Optimise for Devices: If your site's performance on mobile devices is poor, you might need to improve your site's mobile optimisation.
• Identify Opportunities for Local SEO: If a significant portion of your traffic comes from a specific country or region, you might consider optimising your site for that location.
• Monitor CTR: If you have a high number of impressions but a low CTR, you might need to improve your meta titles and descriptions to make them more attractive and relevant.
Remember, Google Search Console is a tool to aid your SEO efforts. The Performance report gives you valuable insights, but implementing those insights requires careful planning and execution. For a more in-depth understanding, consider taking a course on SEO or hiring a professional to help you optimise your site.