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When your website is up for a few months or more, you naturally start wondering how to get more traffic to it.

Even in 2023, the answer is search engine optimization (SEO); in 2022, 73% of clicks went to organic search results, up from 65% the year before. To be among those results, you need an optimized website, which is practically only possible using data.

However, typical SEO tools like Google Analytics 4 will show you much more information than you need — it can be downright confusing at times. This is where Google Search Console Insights comes in.

This underrated Google tool caters to people who don’t have advanced SEO experience but still want actionable data to improve their website’s performance. Read on for how to get started.

What is Google Search Console Insights?

Google Search Console Insights, or GSCI for short, combines data from Google Analytics (GA) and Google Search Console (GSC) to help content creators and publishers understand their content performance, featuring a few key metrics without getting too technical.

The explainer page for Google Search Console Insights.
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When you access Search Console Insights, you’ll see how your new content performs and which posts are trending. Plus, you’ll get a snapshot of pageviews, page duration and organic search performance, all from one overview page. In contrast, with other SEO tools, you’d scour several reports that each require setup.

Despite being in beta, GSCI has been around for a few years. Google first launched GSCI in June 2021.

It’s worth pointing out that Search Console Insights is different from Google Search Console. GSC represents webmaster tools that check if your website has indexing errors or crawler problems.

Search Console Insights versus other analytics tools

Like most Google apps and tools, GSCI is free, so you don’t have to pay for another plugin. The learning curve is quite low, too; you’ll get the hang of it in minutes.

This is in sharp contrast to Google Analytics 4 — many people need a GA4 training course to feel competent with the program. There is a wealth of data to glean with GA, but figuring out how to create effective reports can take hours.

Most analytics tools try to compete with GA, so you have many options that will get your SEO up. For example, Screpy is a web analysis tool that aims to keep data manageable, and Advanced Web Ranking is an SEO tool with premade report templates. However, both tools will cost you money.

Regarding free, easy-to-use tools, Google Search Console Insights is pretty unique.

How to use Google Search Console Insights

To use Google Search Console Insights, sync your digital property so your website sends data to GSCI. Google will track and visualize your performance. You’ll see information like how many visitors you have on any page within a given month, how long those visitors hung around and where they came from.

The sign-up page for Google Search Console Insights.
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It’s easy to sign up for GSCI. First, you need a registered domain. Google will ask for your credentials and verify them, typically from within WordPress or through your hosting provider. Once your search console property is synced, Google will start collecting data.

After some time, you can check out your top-performing content and the pages you want to improve. The best part is that there’s an overview page, so you don’t have to jump between multiple dashboards to find this information.

Here’s a cheat sheet with impactful metrics you can easily determine with GSCI:

The various metrics GSCI will report to you.

How to use your GSCI data most effectively

Once you have your data from Search Console Insights, you’re half done. Next, act on it.

First, look at your most popular pages to see what they have in common. Do they have more images than your other posts? Are they all about the same topic? How can you make more content that shares these elements?

Look at your popular content with the highest views and the most time spent. On these pieces of content, how does the page structure look? Did you add many descriptive subheadings? Are the pages a good length for a blog post? Most importantly, compare this data to your low-performing posts.

Take note of your top traffic channels, whether it’s organic search, a social media profile or a referring website. If a lot of people arrive from one social media platform, focus your digital marketing efforts there.

If you wrote a guest post that’s driving traffic, reverse engineer why and replicate that; for example, promote the post on social media and search for more guest post opportunities.

Finally, check up on your search performance. Note which search queries are on most people’s minds. You will find new inspiration based on how people search for you.

Final thoughts: An intro to Search Console Insights and how to use it

Figuring out how to improve your ranking on search engines is a learning experience, but it’s a vital one — even newer bloggers will benefit from tracking their performance.

If you haven’t delved deep into complex SEO tools before, Search Console Insights is a great place to start understanding SEO and steadily improve your site’s content.

To fast-track your growth, contact Bluehost’s digital marketing experts to get a custom SEO report delivered to your inbox. We can run both on-page and off-page SEO so your website gets seen by your ideal audience.

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
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