Google Search Console Tips for COVID-19
- Posted by Samantha Gilbert
- On March 27, 2020
Keeping tabs on organic impressions and click-through-rate (CTR) is key to developing a sound COVID-19 recovery strategy.
Organic impressions and CTR help identify the volume of users that are still interested in themes related to a property.
Google Search Console (GSC) provides the foundation to determine organic brand performance, especially when paid media starts to take a hit.
Search Performance Report
Google Search Console offers a report that highlights exactly what people are searching for and the pages they click on in the organic results.
The report focuses on a few key metrics that will help determine next steps for a property. One of the most important items from this report is the ability to segment by brand and non-brand searches.
This is crucial when determining how to funnel paid media into the conversation. Below is an example of a Search Performance Report and the two most important metrics to consider:
Important Metrics and What They Mean
Users are still searching for hotels during this time and even though total impressions are dipping, there are still people looking for travel. Impressions tell the story of how often a hotel website is still showing up organically. If there are still impressions happening, especially branded searches, it is important to keep delivering a positive user experience for those people. As mentioned above, adding a brand filter to impressions can help remove some of the variables in this process. Compare with Google Trends to see if the patterns in impressions for your hotel or resort match patterns in your overall market.
The organic CTR of a website displays the trust that users have in a specific hotel. While impressions drop, keeping a steady CTR is a sign that users are comfortable with a brand and trust their website will provide what they need. The click-through-rate also indicates how paid media might perform if it were used in conjunction with organic efforts. As long as the CTR remains strong throughout this period, a hotel can confirm their brand is strong enough to uphold through all channels.
However, if your CTR drops, it can mean that online travel agents (OTAs) are bidding on your terms and stealing what should be your clicks. This can be a valuable signal to restart your paid search ads if you previously paused them.