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Google Analytics vs Webmaster Tools

Posted on 2014-12-08
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Last Modified: 2016-02-24
What is the main difference between these two Google analytics tools?

One I see is that GA does not provide search keywords but WMT tools does.  Not sure what other reason WMT is good for.

Are there any youtube videos demonstrating this comparison?
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Question by:brettr
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40487945
Probably not.  Webmaster Tools is first of all for submitting sitemaps so Google can find all of your pages.  The analysis part is there for checking and improving your pages.  WMT should be your first stop before using GA.
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Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 40489399
2nd using Webmaster Tools as the first thing to update once your site is complete.   That is where you can submit your site map, check for and be alerted to any crawl issues, get html improvements, crawl errors etc.  

The only other way to get keywords in GA is to advertise using Adwords.

Otherwise, Google stopped reporting keywords because they were misused and the emphasis is on content.

There are videos about WMT inside of the WMT interface.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 40489435
@Scott Fell: Are you saying WMT does not provide keywords/queries?  I disagree if so.
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 40489456
I never said webmaster tools does not provide keywords.    It's probably my wording.  What I said was Google Analytics has little keyword information because google stopped reporting keywords a long time ago.  You need to use Adwords to see keywords in GA.  

You can dive into more details about webmaster tools keyword info on the help site https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35252
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by:brettr
ID: 40489551
Ok.  Right about GA and keywords.  But I'm trying to clarify about WMT in regards to keywords.  And you are saying I need to use Adwords, which is another way of saying WMT does not have keywords.  I disagree.  I see keywords in WMT.

Let me try to ask this again:  Besides Adwords, is WMT the only place I can find keywords as GA does not have them?
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 40489562
>is WMT the only place I can find keywords as GA does not have them

yes
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 150 total points
ID: 40489645
If you are going to use the keywords you see in WMT, they need to be part of your Content, not a "meta keyword list".  Google has said that keywords that are not found in the content will be ignored.
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by:brettr
ID: 40489700
@Dave Baldwin: Yes.

Based on the above posts, I'd like to better clarify the original question:

What is the difference between GA and WMT in regards to pure website traffic analysis?  Meaning, figuring out why people are coming to your site and what they are doing?

Does this sound correct?

WMT - find keywords people are using to reach your site.  View historical click thru rates and landing pages.  Overall, very easy to use.

GA - view history of visits and sessions.  Much harder to dig into any reasonable analytics.

From this, I'm finding it difficult to validate too many reason to use GA for analytics.  WMT seems to be overwhelmingly better.

Not to drag this out, I'd like to hear your responses then I'll accept answer.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40489756
"reasonable analytics" is 'in the eye of the beholder'.  What are you looking for?  I only use WMT and that's for the sitemap, error checking, and links.  My main customer uses Web Stats but that is a paid service and like GA requires you to put javascript tracking code on all of your pages.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 40489770
"What are you looking for?"

As stated, purely analytics of traffic.  Not site mechanics such as sitemaps, error checking, or crawler stats.

I guess this is starting to degenerate a bit.
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Accepted Solution

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Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 350 total points
ID: 40489832
If your idea of analytics is purely keywords, than using WMT is what you want.  However, the trend has been away from using keywords for and replaced by content and inbound marketing which requires a lot of anaytlics, but not keywords.

GA uses javascript and therefor tracks items served.  It is also worth looking at server log analyitcs which shows items requested.  I have used smarterstats for this http://www.smartertools.com/smarterstats/web-analytics-seo-software.aspx.  

In either option, you do not get very many keywords reported.  If you look at your raw logs you can see there are not actual keywords being returned.  WMT is reporting searches on google but that is all you get.   WMT may show you that you had 1000 keyword1 and 100 keyword2.  However, what you don't know is which keyword actually did anything.   You don't know that the 1000 of keyword1 resulted in 90% bounce rate and 10 seconds average time on site vs keyword 2 had a 40% bounce rate, 2.5 minute average time on site.   If you knew that information, then the keywords would be more meaningful.    The only way you can get that information is if you use adwords.

If you don't care about the performance of a keyword and only care about raw traffic, then WMT will help.

Everybody uses data differently and that is why Dave asks the question what are you looking for?  I was frustrated at first about not knowing keywords too only because it was something I once had but then was gone.  Now I am not concerned with keywords for what I do.  I am concerned with content and pages.  By pages, which page leads to a form submission and is ultimately tied to to a sale.
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Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 40489839
I should have mentioned knowing how well a page performs and knowing if people arrive to a page as a landing page or from within the site is very helpful.  That you can only get from analytics.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 40489884
Thanks on the great info!
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