Logos for Google Analytics and Google Search Console, representing a blog post comparing both tools.
Google Search Console vs. Google Analytics: What’s the Difference?
Logos for Google Analytics and Google Search Console, representing a blog post comparing both tools.

Google Search Console vs. Google Analytics: What’s the Difference?

Every effort you put into your business’s online presence should pay dividends. While there are numerous options of software and tools available to help make sure your website is doing that, there are two that you’ve probably heard mentioned repeatedly: Google Search Console and Google Analytics. 

As they’re both Google tools used for SEO and marketing, it’s easy to assume that they do pretty much the same thing. There are in fact a number of differences that make Google Search Console and Google Analytics stand out as their own distinct tools. If you’re interested in Unito’s GA4 integration, here’s a step-by-step guide to syncing Google Analytics 4 to Google Sheets.

In this post:

  • An overview of both tools
  • An explanation of what each one does
  • A dive into the differences between both 

What is Google Search Console? 

Google Search Console is a free collection of online tools that let anyone monitor and optimize their website’s performance — no matter what platform it’s built on. It’s a valuable tool for understanding how Google’s web crawler (Googlebot) actually interacts and engagees with your website, as well as for gathering insights into site performance in search results. 

With Google Search Console, you’re able to see data that shows what queries brought users to your site, analyze site impressions and clicks, submit sitemaps and URLs for crawling, test your site’s mobile usability, and more. Plus, Google Search Console will alert you by email if it detects any issues with your site that could be negatively impacting your traffic and results. 

What is Google Analytics? 

Since launching almost twenty years ago, Google Analytics has been a powerful and popular free tracking and analytics tool that monitors and reports on website traffic and visitor behaviour. 

Google Analytics is audience-focused, so will show you exactly how many people have visited your website, their demographics, where they’ve come from, and the actions they took on your site. It provides valuable insights into trends, website visitors and their specific behaviours so you can make data-driven decisions across your whole marketing funnel based on the entire customer journey. 

Google Search Console vs. Google Analytics: Features and use cases 

While Google Search Console and Google Analytics are both designed to provide valuable insights into website performance, they have some significant differences.

At a high level, Google Search Console is mainly focused on the way your site interacts with search engines (providing data on search queries and indexing, etc.) and highlights any technical issues that could be impacting visibility in Google search results. 

In comparison, Google Analytics offers a more broad and comprehensive overview of audience behavior, traffic, and overall site performance. 

The question here isn’t really about which tool to use, but when to use each tool. 

Rather than trying to decide between Google Search Console and Google Analytics, it’s more about deciding when to use each in your holistic marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at each of their individual features and explore a few use cases so you can fully understand the ways both Google Search Console and Google Analytics can boost your site’s performance. 

Data and measurement

Both Google Search Console and Google Analytics provide key metrics that help you analyze and optimize your site effectively. 

Google Search Console tracks data and metrics such as: 

  • Clicks: The number of clicks from a Google search that brought someone to your site
  • Position: The ranking of your site on the search results page
  • CTR: Click-through-rate, the click count divided by the impression count
  • Impressions: The number of links to your site an audience member saw in the Google search results. These are calculated by counting visits to a page where your link appears. 
  • Queries: The top search queries that bring users to your website
  • Backlinks: Google Search Console’s Backlinks Report shows you the other sites who link to you the most, your top-performing links, and more. 
  • Indexing: This report shows you which of your pages Google can find, and if any indexing problems are detected. 
  • Mobile usability: Determine whether any of your website’s pages have issues when viewed on mobile devices

All of these data points help you determine whether your site is performing effectively or not. For example, if you have a low CTR but a high number of impressions, it could mean that users are seeing your page link in their search results but not clicking on it because they don’t think it’ll help them find what they’re looking for. You’re then able to adjust the snippet description, title, and content of your page to see if that boosts your CTR. 

In comparison to Google Search Console, Google Analytics provides data and measurements like:

  • Overall traffic and conversions: Includes your active users, revenue earned, conversion rate, and sessions
  • Audience demographics: Provides information and data about the age, gender, and interests of your users 
  • Average session length: Shows the average time a user spends on your site and specific pages
  • Devices: Shows you what devices your audience members are using to access your website
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of users who visit one of your web pages without going to any of your other pages
  • Traffic acquisition: Helps you understand where your audience is coming to your website from
  • Purchase probability: GA4 (Google Analytics 4) includes a machine-learning experience that provides predictive metrics like purchase probability, which shows you the likelihood that a user who was active on your site in the last 28 days will buy within the next 7 days.
  • Churn probability: The likelihood that a user who was active on your site in the last 7 days will not return within the next 7 days
  • Predicted revenue: The amount of revenue expected from all purchases from a user who was active within the last 28 days

Both Google Search Console and Google Analytics provide a ton of data points that offer valuable information about your website’s performance. By integrating the data insights from both tools, you can ensure you get a more accurate and comprehensive view of your business — something that’ll help you make more informed decisions in the future. 

Traffic and sources

If you’re looking to understand where your site traffic is coming from, both Google Search Console and Google Analytics can provide you with that information. However, they each have different approaches. 

When it comes to traffic and sources, Google Search Console concentrates on organic search traffic from Google. This includes information like the actual search queries people are using to find your site. These insights into your traffic sources help you optimize your content and align it with your audience’s search intent by showing you exactly what keywords bring users to your site. However, this doesn’t tell you anything about users finding your content from other sources.

In comparison, Google Analytics lets you see your traffic sources from not only organic search, but also from social traffic (i.e. Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), referral sources, direct links, email, ads, and more. With such a comprehensive amount of traffic and source data, you’re able to get a much more detailed understanding of your customers and website visitors. Especially if you utilize a comprehensive GA4 exploration report.

For example, imagine you’re the owner of an e-commerce pet store that has been actively promoting products through various online channels. With Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you’re able to see what your target audience is searching for on Google (i.e. “Luxury pet beds”) and identify the most popular search queries that bring people to your site. With Google Analytics, you can track visits, engagement, and conversions that come from pet-related Pinterest or Instagram content you created. Plus, if a popular dog influencer shares a link to your site in their content, you’ll be able to quickly identify this source of traffic through Google Analytics and build up the relationship for the future. 

Website technical health

While both tools have certain features that allow you to monitor your site’s health, webmasters typically rely on Google Search Console over Google Analytics when it comes to data and insights regarding the technical aspects of a website. 

With Google Search Console’s URL Inspection tool, you get detailed reports on how Google crawls and indexes your site, along with issues it has identified that might restrict proper indexing. This ensures your content is always highly discoverable in search results. In addition, Google Search Console’s Core Web Vitals feature measures real-world user experience for loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of your web page. 

For example, if your company just launched a new line of canned sparkling water and you’ve noticed a sudden drop in organic traffic, Google Search Console can help you identify the issue by: 

  • Checking the indexing status to see if there are problems with your new product pages.
  • Use the Index Coverage report to identify and investigate issues like crawl errors, no index tags, or issues with the page content that negatively impact proper indexing.
  • Use the URL inspection tool to analyze the performance of specific website URLs.
  • Supporting the upload of new and updated sitemaps to make sure the new product line’s pages are included and ensure Google can crawl the site effectively.

While Google Analytics is great at providing marketers with a holistic view of website performance by offering data on user behavior, traffic sources, and conversions, it falls short in delivering the granular details related to search engine visibility, indexing, crawl errors, and other technical aspects crucial for optimizing a site that Google Search Console provides. 


There are a few differences when it comes to the way Google Search Console and Google Analytics handle reporting. For one, Google Analytics offers real-time reporting that lets you monitor user activity as it’s happening. You can watch to see how many people are currently on your site, the pages they’re viewing, what they’re engaging with, and whether they’re converting. 

While offering numerous report options, Google Search Console does not currently support real-time reporting and analytics. 

Another key difference to keep in mind, is your single Google Search Console account can only report on data for one domain or website. If you have multiple websites and businesses, you’ll need to make separate accounts for each to access distinct Google Search Console data. With Google Analytics, you’re able to view data for multiple domains in one place — something that’s handy for those running numerous businesses and sites. 


Both Google Search Console and Google Analytics can integrate with other tools — and each other.

When it comes to integrations, Google Search Console can interact with tools like HubSpot, Semrush, and more. Google Search Console also has API access for developers to build enhanced dashboards and connect tons of tools.

In comparison, Google Analytics integrates with other Google products like Google Ads, as well as third-party tools like Shopify, Hootsuite, Salesforce, and more. Plus, the Google Analytics API lets developers elevate the experience with custom dashboards, automation of complex tasks and actions, and further integrations with other apps and programs. 

Don’t want to choose? 

If you want to enjoy all of the benefits of both Google Search Console and Google Analytics, you can connect the two powerful tools together. By linking Google Search Console with Google Analytics, you can combine search-specific data with user behaviour and engagement metrics to get a more comprehensive view of your website’s overall performance. 

Whether you’re optimizing your site for search engine visibility, trying to identify performance issues, refining marketing strategies, or enhancing the overall user experience, the combined power of Google Search Console and Google Analytics offers a holistic approach to maximize the benefits of both tools.  

While there are some areas of overlap, Google Search Console and Google Analytics are notably different regarding their features, key purposes, and capabilities. Where Google Search Console zeroes in on the technical aspects of search engine engagement and performance, Google Analytics takes a broader approach with a comprehensive view of audience behaviour, traffic sources, and conversions. By recognizing and harnessing the unique strengths of each platform, everyone from webmasters to marketers and individual users can create a holistic strategy that helps every site perform its absolute best.