How to Integrate Google Webmaster Tools into Google Analytics

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) and Google Analytics (GA) are two tools that small businesses really shouldn’t live without. Both are such a wealth of information and have been updated constantly throughout the years with new features and options to help you customize and make the most of your online marketing. They help you analyze your website and make sure that you’re in good standing with Google, which we all know is the little push you need to get a good snowball effect going for most of your online efforts.

For beginners, however, it can be a little bit overwhelming at first. Google realized once you’ve mastered the two tools it would help to have everything in one place. This is where integrating Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics comes into play. It’s a great option for many businesses, but it’s important to realize that there are limitations. Before getting started, understanding the advantages and disadvantages is a must.

Why Integrate GA and GWT and the Potential Pitfalls of Integration

To be clear, when you integrate the two tools what you’re doing is making it so that you can see Webmaster Tools data in your Google Analytics reports. You will also be able to see your Google Analytics reports in Webmaster Tools under Search Queries, Sitelinks, and Links to your Site pages. This is an excellent way to keep all of your data side by side and stay organized. It can help you analyze data easier and find overlaps and trends that might help your efforts in the future.

Dan Greco, Web Analyst at Digital Operative, explained that filtering is also a big advantage to consider. He says that “Another benefit of linking GWT to GA is filtering by a keyword string.  So if you wanted to see the average position for keywords containing “red shoes” GA filtering makes it very easy.”

However, as discussed in the introduction, as great as integrating the two tools may sound, there are limitations that you should take seriously. A few of the pitfalls include:

  • You can only connect one GWT account to one GA property in your GA account (so you might have one property for traditional Google Analytics and one for Universal Analytics), and a GWT account can only be for one subdomain. In other words, if you have multiple subdomains that you’re tracking and managing, one GA view is only going to show some of your GWT query data as opposed to all of it. This could get confusing and cause you to have to use multiple views regardless, so it might not be worth it.
  • You can’t view Search Query data by landing page when it is connected with GA. If this is a metric you use often, again it might not be a worthwhile integration for you.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Integrating GWT into GA

It’s worth noting that the way this was done in the past is different than today. You used to link your Webmaster Tools site to your Google Analytics, but now you link to a Google Analytics web property. There are still quite a few outdated articles on the web, so don’t get confused!

Below explains how to make the integrations happen:

  1. Make sure the admin of both GA and GWT is logged into GA.
  2. Visit GA Admin Tab and click select Property Settings.
  3. Click the dropdown menu and then select Google Analytics Property.
  4. You will be taken to a new page where you can select a website from a list of your Webmaster Tools verified sites, then press Save.

Once again, when you’re finished with the integration you can then see all of your organic search data in Google Analytics by clicking Acquisitions à Search Engine Optimization à Queries or Landing Pages. Alternative Option: If you try to do this without integrating the two (or maybe you did something wrong), a screen will let you know that the report requires Webmaster Tools to be enabled. You can then just click the setup button to get started.

I also highly recommend checking out the Google Help article that explains what to do if your site is already associated with a Google web property, an Analytics web property that you don’t recognize, or if your site used to be associated with a web property. If you run into problems when integrated the two tools, it could be because of one of those reasons and you may need to take a few alternative (but fairly simple) steps.

If you’ve had success or are having trouble integrating GWT and GA, let us know your story in the comment section below and we will try to help.

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