Q: What exactly is the difference between Google Analytice/Adwords and Google Webmaster tools?
Great question! I don’t really understand why they don’t consolidate Google Analytics with Webmaster tools, as they are definitely related. Basically, Webmaster Tools focuses more on the ‘health’ of your website, how to ‘talk to Google’ about what’s going on with things like sitemaps, messages from Google, and tools like HTML check ups. It’s more about health. It also has some sparse data on inbound links to your site, as found by Google.
The cross over is on keyword queries. Webmaster tools now has data on the inbound keywords that people used to find your site. Note that Bing Webmaster tools has much the same data, provided in a better format. It’s just that Bing is so small (about 10% of search queries), so you pretty much have to use Google.
Google Analytics, is more about metrics. It is more about how people find your site (e.g., organic search, Google AdWords, referral websites, and what now) and what they do once they land (user behavior, landings, bounces, and conversions). You can now connect Google Analytics to Webmaster Tools and thereby get access to your keyword data inside of Google Analytics, but this is essentially the same data.
So that’s the difference between the two; I always recommend you turn on and use both. Someday they will probably consolidate them, but not yet.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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