As most conferences either postpone or outright cancel, MDMC went the other route that a few have gone – full virtual.
Some quick info about the conference:
FREE LIVE 2-day virtual summit Wednesday, May 20th and Thursday, May 21st. During this event, we will be live-streaming 7 breakout sessions each day led by our most in-demand speakers. Cost: Free
MDMC20 On-Demand Digital Experience is a full access ticket to over 80 sessions and panels lead by industry experts on-demand online for 1-year, as well as access to watch all the sessions during the 2-day virtual summit live or on-demand after the event. Ticket purchasers will also have access to a special marketing resource center, network with other attendees virtual, chance to win awesome prizes and connect with our amazing sponsors. Cost: $99
The rest of the episode covers tools and ways to leverage the performance data in Google Search Console. If you are intersted in Python or building your own tool be sure to check out these articles that will walk you through some solutions.
- How to get more of your Google Search Console Data by using Python
- Connecting Search Console API to Google Spreadsheets
- Analyzing A Recent Google Update Impact via Search Console Data w/ a Segmented Google Data Studio Report
- Automatically Download Google Search Analytics Data Every Month [Updated for New API]
GSC Site Analysis Tools
GSC Reporting Tools
Google Search Console Web Interface vs. Google Search Console API
Along with breaking down some analysis and reporting tools that you can use we compared the pros and cons of the GSC website vs GSC API.
The only con to GSC API isnt just that you need 3rd party apps or that many cost money but that simply not everything in GSC is available via the API.
There are also pros and cons to using the site. Do you need more than 1,000 rows of data? Well too bad using the website.
This episode focused just on tools and some of the items that were covered in my talk so if you want the full 55 minute talk be sure to check out MDMC this week!
Full Episode Transcript
Matt Siltala: [00:00:00] Welcome to another exciting episode of the business of digital podcast featuring your host, Matt scintilla and Dave roar. Hey guys, excited to have you joining us again on another one of these business of digital podcast episodes. Grateful for you joining us as always, and we got Dave over there. I was going, bud,
Dave Rohrer: [00:00:20] it is going, it is going in, is going.
Matt Siltala: [00:00:23] All right, so. We’re just going to jump into this one. I’m
Dave Rohrer: [00:00:26] like my sub pump. Sorry. It’s been raining nonstop here in the Chicago land area. What’s rain?
Matt Siltala: [00:00:33] What’s rain and what’s a sub pump? Actually, I know what it is. At least it’s working. It’s
Dave Rohrer: [00:00:38] been, I just, there was a Jew. Yeah. It’s been working hard. I’m very grateful that it’s working.
Matt Siltala: [00:00:44] I’m just saying, because I had another friend talk about coming home to a flooded basement. So
Dave Rohrer: [00:00:49] based on the amount of rain, um, I saw someone posts that. The, uh, the Chicago river is so high that, you know, along the thing, there’s picnic tables that I [00:01:00] believe are chained down. Wow. Um, and they’re chained down as I learned today.
Um, so that they don’t float away.
Matt Siltala: [00:01:07] That’s the reason
Dave Rohrer: [00:01:12] cause it’s right along the river. I’m like, I always just thought so that no one would take it. But I go, maybe it’s for both.
Matt Siltala: [00:01:18] Well. Um, you guys don’t care about that. So let’s just jump. Let’s just jump into, we’re going to, we’re going to talk a Google search console today, but also, um, you know, we usually like to take a little bit of a time to, um, talk about what we’ve done, um, where we’re speaking and things like that.
But because the world is kind of on shutdown, there’s not a whole lot of that going on except for the fact that mr Dave here actually did do some recording for MDMC. And so I’m going to let him talk about that, jump into that, and we’ll go from there. Today for
Dave Rohrer: [00:01:49] you guys in MDMC is the Midwest digital marketing conference.
So I’ve spoken at that one. This was my third year. Oh, well, I think third year in a row. Yeah, it’s down in st Louis [00:02:00] usually. Um, so in April
Matt Siltala: [00:02:02] where you get to go down there and harass Ben.
Dave Rohrer: [00:02:04] Yup. That’s usually where I grab, um, a pint, or at least I’m a lunch with mr Ben. Mr Skitso. Um, but he doesn’t he, he goes by Ben cook on Twitter.
He does. He’s Cooper.
Matt Siltala: [00:02:19] He’s
Dave Rohrer: [00:02:19] Uber ban.
Matt Siltala: [00:02:20] He’s getting older and wiser and family man. And you know,
Dave Rohrer: [00:02:25] it’s only pictures of babies. Now he’s not arguing on Twitter. What does the world,
Matt Siltala: [00:02:29] I know,
Dave Rohrer: [00:02:30] what is the world come to Ben’s using his name and not arguing on Twitter.
Matt Siltala: [00:02:34] Of course you could say something about the Cardinals and he will argue the socket.
Dave Rohrer: [00:02:39] Season’s not even in the stock. Um, no, but it’s a cool conference and actually it’s really large. Um, up until last year, that was it. Last year or two years ago, no, two years ago was the first time they’d gone to two days, and up until then they’d been doubling, um, the number of people, and it’s run by the university or the university, [00:03:00] right downtown st Louis.
So it’s. Really, it’s actually one of the most affordable conferences, and I think for like the two days, um, I forget what nonprofit is. Um, but it’s like only a hundred dollars, maybe two at the most. And so there’s, I think the last time last year, it was like 1500, 1800, 22,000 people or so. Wow. Um, and so this year, because of everything, they actually flipped it.
I pushed it back a month or so. It, we’re recording this the week right before as it’s going live. Um, there’s two days of a free virtual conference that you’re going to kind of miss because of where you’re recording this during that. But starting next week, there’s also still about 80 sessions spread out over four or five days.
So each day. For $99.
Matt Siltala: [00:03:58] That’s insane. And just from a couple [00:04:00] of the people that you’ve talked to me that are going to be on it, yourself included, I mean, that’s, that’s very good value
Dave Rohrer: [00:04:05] and there’s a ton. And it covers social media, email. Um, I saw there’s something about VR, um, talks about business side. Last year I was on a panel and we talked about analytics and data.
Um, Google search console and Google analytics, um, all sorts of stuff, but also just like data in HubSpot and Salesforce. And there was, there was a lot of questions asked that were way beyond my pay grade and what I deal with. But, um, there was also lots of questions just kind of all over the board, but there’s a ton of stuff.
Uh, Simon Heseltine was supposed to talk on an SEO panel. Um, I believe his is going live. And if you don’t know who he is, he’s a former guest. He’s worked at AOL. Where’s he at now? Um, RV trader or something like that. He’s out. He’s out a couple of places. Um, well I was thinking of, for anyone
Matt Siltala: [00:04:55] that’s listening to this, even after this is there, you could probably find the link to all [00:05:00] the, uh, I’m guessing you’ll be able to find the link to all the.
Dave Rohrer: [00:05:03] I think, yeah, some of it will be on demand. And if even that, I think the $99 will get you everything recorded. They just sent out an email today where, um, they’re asking all of the speakers to do a 30 minute Q and a at some point during the day that your session goes live. So it’s. Non-interactive but they’re making it there.
They found out a way to make it interactive. Like we’re going to do a little zoom. So if there’s a speaker and you watch their session and you don’t get your answer, you can join the Q and a and you know, jump in there with the moderator and the, and the speaker and ask the question. Perfect. So, yeah, like $99 to see all the sessions and still have a chance to ask your question.
Um, and for those that don’t like to be in public and ask the question, you can hide, but there is no video for you. It’s, you know, it’s a zoom type of probably set up of some sort. [00:06:00] And you know, you can use a fake name and just ask your question. So totally hide.
Matt Siltala: [00:06:05] Yes. So a Google search console.
Dave Rohrer: [00:06:10] Yes. Oh, the real topic.
Yes. Topic. We should talk about that. So yeah, I did. My presentation, which was interesting because Google’s made so many changes, was 30 minutes of intro on Google search console, and then I talked for about 20 minutes on the deeper dive stuff and tools. And one of the things that I found most interesting as I looked is just how many tools are out there that use Google search console now.
It’s a really long list. Um, I think even from a MAs Raven, some of the older tools, but the search metrics, you can then go into deep crawl, screaming frog, um, on [00:07:00] crawl, uh, jet octopus. What’s the other one I’m forgetting? Um, some rush brings it in. Um, I’m looking at my
Matt Siltala: [00:07:08] wife who, no.
Dave Rohrer: [00:07:11] I don’t know if they do.
Matt Siltala: [00:07:14] Regardless, we’ll have all these listed on the website for you as always.
Dave Rohrer: [00:07:17] We’ll have a bond. Yeah. Um, but there’s just like, there’s reporting tools, there are analysis tools. So reporting tools would just be like, um, Oh, actually I’ll jump back cause we started listing off all the analysis tools. Um, anytime you do a crawl of the site, you can grab all that stuff.
Um, you can grab and figure out the. Impressions and clicks and average rank for the different pages. Um, and one of the best uses for that is if you’re doing a site migration, you can go through and figure out if from your crawl, it’ll grab all of the URLs from your site map. It’ll grab them from Google search [00:08:00] console.
And for some of those systems you can actually connect Google analytics. So now you have this tool crawling all of those URLs and then helping you do a comparison to figure out, you know, on our current site, we are getting traffic to these 20 pages that are not in our site map. We have no way to get to them through a crawl, but yet analytics is showing it.
Are they a landing page that paid search uses? No. Okay. Are they at a landing page that. You know, PR or social uses? No. What are they? There’s some page from the site from, you know, five years ago that no one knows exists, and you can get to that data through these different tools, but it’ll bring in all this different data from Google search console and Google analytics and help you do this really content audit.
Um, there’s so many tools like that now. Yeah. And yeah, there’s also ones then about reporting, and I [00:09:00] talk about, one of the ones I use, um, is analytics edge. It’s a, if you’ve ever used super metrics, it’s very similar, but honestly, it’s a much, much cheaper. Um, it’s probably not nearly as robust. Mmm. A better equivalent might be, I don’t know if you’ve ever used this one, SEO tools for Excel.
It’s an older tool. No, no. The, uh, both analytics edge and SEO tools for Excel obviously works in Excel. Um, I also found a really cool free one. It’s search analytics for sheets and one, it’s free. So if you’re looking for a quick way to grab data out of search console, that is not, does not require you to go into the gooey.
Click filters, you know, this is a report that you want to run every week. The search analytics for sheets is free. Oh wow. [00:10:00] And it taps into the API. One of the things that is interesting and scary and sad is that for a long time, we only had three months worth of data. We get 16 months now, but if you were to try to do it year over year, you still can’t.
Yeah. So, and the other problem with the website version of the Google search console is that you only get a thousand rows. So for a decently large site, you can have a thousand keywords driving traffic to a single page, let alone your entire site. And if you have, say, I don’t even know how many, like. How many pages do you think are on avalanche?
Few hundred. At least blog posts. And
Matt Siltala: [00:10:47] I mean,
Dave Rohrer: [00:10:48] everything else
Matt Siltala: [00:10:49] we’re, we’re, we’re approaching a thousand, if not hitting it.
Dave Rohrer: [00:10:53] Um, say you guys have something with tracking parameters or Google finds weird [00:11:00] URLs, you can only spit out the top thousand URLs. Yeah. That’s no bueno. And I mean, and you’re not even like, you know, you and I are like, yeah, that’s not even a large site.
Nope. Like we just talked about it the other day, or one of the other things we just did was we just talked about how we have 150 or so podcasts. Now, that’s not including all of the navigation. I mean, our little podcast has probably close to four or 500 pages from two or three years. So a thousand pages is not a lot, but they don’t see, it only gives you a thousand keywords.
The API, which uses Google sheets gives you 5,000. Hmm. So right there you can schedule. And actually the search analytics for sheets actually allows you to schedule it. Um, you can schedule it for Sunday night or Monday morning, you know, Monday after, sometime after midnight. Um, [00:12:00] and do. Well because of the delay, you’d probably want to wait, um, and maybe do like Saturday to Friday, so that way by Monday morning you can at least get the last seven days worth, but not that last weekend and look at it and go, okay, week over week, are we up?
Or year over year? Are we up? And just have it run for you? But then you’d always have the data and you’d come in fresh on Monday, look at the data and you can move on. It’s a simple little tool that I didn’t know about until about three weeks ago. That’s cool. Um, but there’s just like the amount of data that you can pull.
Um, and then I just saw a talk over the weekend about Python and all the different stuff you can do. And there’s tons of, I know, Matt, you don’t read everything. But I’m sure the, one of the things you see most popping up lately, even if you don’t pay attention to like SC journal and search [00:13:00] engine land and stuff, it’s usually Google core update and how everyone is a data scientist using Python now.
Matt Siltala: [00:13:08] yeah. Let’s see a lot of
Dave Rohrer: [00:13:09] that. Like, I swear I see that all the time, but there’s a reason behind it because with just a little bit of Python. You can create an in house tool that basically pulls this data in. Now there becomes more complicated, where do you store it and how do you retrieve it and, you know, dig into it.
But you know, my talk does cover about some of those. You can use power BI, you can use Tablo, you can use, you know, Excel. Um, there’s some other different tools you can use, but with a little bit of Python, and I’ll drop some links in to this, into, um. The writeup, but there’s a couple of people that have gone out of their way to create simple scripts that anyone even a non coder can use.
Matt Siltala: [00:13:59] That’s great.
[00:14:00] Dave Rohrer: [00:14:00] So you know, none of us should really be limited with that 1000 rows of output from Google search console. There’s 5,000 rows. We should be trying to get as much data as possible. And yes, I do like data a lot. So to a point, the more the merrier. Sometimes it’s too much, but you know, if you have even a 3000 page site, you know, if you were to look in Google search console, which drives me crazy Google, by the way, if you have 25,400 fours or 25,300 ones or 20,000 pages with an error, if Google somehow finds this weird.
Fake made up like URL and it creates thousands and thousands of them until you get the all of those fixed and wait, you never know what those other ones are because it’ll only show you a thousand at a time. Oh [00:15:00] yeah. So one tip that I don’t know if I talked about in the, uh, presentation, but I’ll, I’ll drop here, is create multiple Google search consoles.
For your site. I know people that have created up to a thousand for a site. So if you have a popular piece of content, create a Google search console for it so you can get the 5,000 keywords or a thousand keywords. Um,
with the API, you’d probably don’t have to do it to that extent, but a lot of times just to let other people have access to the data. Um. If you have internal people or writers or product owners, create one just for that product. If you have a folder and then they have access to it and they have access to the, the, um, the technical data too, so you can tell them that, you know, Hey, when you change the URLs last week on the last release, you [00:16:00] guys didn’t fix this stuff.
Um, and you can just monitor it that way. But that would be my one tip that I. Probably forgot to mention during my presentation. Um, and that is create,
Matt Siltala: [00:16:14] what’s that? I said there you guys go, your, our listeners got it here.
Dave Rohrer: [00:16:18] Yeah. Create multiple accounts. Um, I’ve done it before for blogs, different articles, categories.
Um, we once had a couple pages that crushed it just across wide ranges of keywords. I would create. A Google search console just for that page.
Matt Siltala: [00:16:40] Wow.
Dave Rohrer: [00:16:42] So then anytime we wanted to, because there was no API really at the time, we could always get the data, but I also just wanted access to knowing if there was ever a problem with that page that just that page would show up and that I could just debug just that page and not have to [00:17:00] sort through 500 under URLs that are having issues.
So for us, the most important product pages, the most important content pages or directories got the wrong. And I think we ended up with like, eh, 15, 20. Hmm. We probably could have gone crazy, but no one checked them other than myself and one other person.
Matt Siltala: [00:17:22] Gotcha. Well, um, any final thoughts
Dave Rohrer: [00:17:28] on this? If you don’t look at Google search console once a month or so, schedule a time, like 30 minutes every two weeks just to dig in and do the same for Google analytics.
Honestly, you know, maybe once a week, look at one of them, dig into the data for a category of your site or a page type or a template of your site. Um, take a look at either the errors or, you know, make sure that nothing is being flagged as. By content or there’s [00:18:00] no hacks or any like, I don’t know, there’s all sorts of different things you can look at.
But take a look once a week or once every two weeks, or at least once a month, just to make sure that, you know, the emails being sent or, or not, or being seen. Um, because sometimes when there’s errors and stuff, it’ll send you an email. And if that email is not going to someone and no one’s looking at it.
You might have some major problems with your site that no one really pays attention to. Yeah, that’s
Matt Siltala: [00:18:28] a good, good tip right there. Very cool. All right, well guys, I’m just giving you a reminder before we sign off. If you enjoy these episodes, make sure you go to Google play and give us a five star rating.
Um, love to hear your feedback has always just reach out to us. For Dave roar with Northside metrics. I met soulful with avalanche media, and thank you guys for listening to another one of these episodes.
Dave Rohrer: [00:18:56] Bye guys. Bye.