If you’ve been using Google Search Console recently, you’ll have spotted that Google recently retired the old Google Search Console user interface for the Search Analytics report on the 13th of December, 2018 with their more Firebase looking interface. This has left people without core functionality that existed before, but fear not – Google Data Studio is the solution! Read more below:
There are pros and cons to the new user interface, and many are already finding that the functionality that existed before does not exist within the new Google Search Console interface. In particular, my favourite part of the platform is the Google Search Analytics report. This particular report allows you to download keyword data, whether that is Impressions, Clicks, CTR or Average Positions. These are all super useful metrics that allow you to measure performance. However, the problem that people are running into is the fact that within the previous Google Search Console report, you could export data, whether on a single keyword level, broad level or for multiple terms on a trended and daily basis.
You can’t export by date…
In the new Google Search Console, you can only export snapshots of data which is not very useful if you’re trying to marry separate data sources or trying to export the data to visualise via Excel for that super important presentation you’ve got to complete with this data source.
Update [23rd of September, 2019]: It is now possible to export by date in the new Google Search Console as per Google’s announcement on the 23rd of September, 2019:
I would still recommend continuing with this tutorial as Google Data Studio is pretty damn awesome and there’s so much more you can do to segment your data further than what you can do through the Google Search Console UI.
Google Data Studio to the rescue!
In light of this, I’ve created a dashboard in Google Data Studio that anyone can re-use and download:
I’ve taken the liberty to screenshot the report itself – below:
The key aspect here is that you can better visualise data in Google Data Studio because you can customise the report to your specific needs. However, if you’re landing on this page wanting only the ability to export data by day then you can see in the report I’ve added that table in the bottom left hand corner.
The three little dots…
You’ll see that you can export the data by day/trended view, when you hover over where I’ve highlighted below with the circle with your cursor. This will show you 3 little dots, as seen below:
Once you click those three little dots, you’ll be presented with the below with some download options:
I tend to download first into Google Sheets because for some reason Google Data Studio rounds the data when you export directly into Excel via a CSV – which might I add is rather annoying – but I suppose works for Google as you’re using yet another service they provide.
Whilst I export into Google Sheets, I tend to copy and paste the data in Excel as it’s my preferred method, but if you like Google Sheets then keep the data in there. This is what the data ends up looking like, and is pretty much the same as what you would have been able to do in the old version of Google Search Console:
And the benefits of the new Google Search Console API mean you can download 16 months worth of data on a daily/trended view, versus the 90 rolling days that was present in the old Google Search Console.
How can you get started with this?
If you access the link to the Google Data Studio report that I shared earlier, and that I’m sharing again, you’ll be able to see the below option to copy the report (see red circle):
Once you click that button, you’ll be presented with below to link up your Google Search Console account with Google Data Studio (effectively this swaps out the reference from the existing Google Search Console account connector, with your account connector):
If you haven’t got Google Search Console connected already, then you’ll have to click on ‘Create a new data source’.
It is relatively straightforward to connect your Google Search Console from this point.
IMPORTANT – Use and connect the Site Impression table for Google Search Console and NOT URL Impression
You’ll want to connect your ‘Site Impression’ table to this report as that is what I’ve used to create the report.
I’ve elected to use the Site Impression table over the URL Impression table because the data within the URL Level Impression table is not as reliable as the Site Impression table – for quite a few reasons.
I’ll need to write a separate blog post on why I believe that to be the case, but this report I’ve created, a la the ‘Google Search Console 3.0‘ allows you to filter by certain keywords, and other fields, including the options to use Regular Expressions.
So for now, use the Site Impression table, though I am looking to test joining together and blending Site Impression and URL Impression tables, so that you have the ability to filter by landing page by filtering from the Site Impression data only. You can see two options below – select ‘Site Impression‘:
Invalid Metric Issues – how to resolve these…
Once the data is imported, you may come across some issues which are simple to resolve. I’ve seen that sometimes the metrics don’t carry over properly for one reason or the other. All you need to do is re-select the ‘invalid metric’:
In this case, the ‘invalid metric’ is Site CTR. All you need to do is re-select this metric –
This issue seems to have cropped up and has killed all of the tables and charts with the “Site CTR” metric. The fix is simple, so I’m confident that people can fix this with the advice I’ve given above.
To end with…
I am increasingly a fan of Google Data Studio for the versatility that it offers, and with the increasing amount of brand new features that are coming out. It’s automated a lot of my workload, so I see it as a very powerful tool to use and to identify issues.
Hopefully, if you’re reading this, you’ve found this useful. Feel free to comment below if you need any help with setting this up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I still able to pull data by day from Google Search Console?
In short, the answer is yes. Google Data Studio gives you this ability.
Can I pull data by device type?
Yes, you can add this as a breakdown dimension which will allow you to pull data over time by all three device types – Mobile, Desktop, and Tablet.