In this article, I would show you how you can leverage Google Search Console keywords and get ideas for new content.
If you are working with SEO, you are probably already using Google Search Console. If not, get it installed asap – it is easy to do, and you can find a guide right here.
Keep An Eye On Google Search Console (GSC):
It is always a good idea to keep an eye on Google Search Console because if any errors occur, you would usually get a warning inside GSC. If you get a notification, check it and act upon it. Failing to do so might cause a loss in rankings. If you get a warning, don’t panic. Check if there is an actual error, and if so, correct it.
Google sometimes makes mistakes and report false positives, and if that is the case, simply use the “URL Inspection” and check the affected URLs. If there are no errors, you can mark the issues as fixed, and Google would usually test the validation within 24 hours. If you have any errors, you need to fix it. You can read this great article by Robyn Riley about how to find and correct mistakes.
Tapping into Google Search Console Keywords:
If you login to GSC, clicks on “Performance” in the left sidebar. Make sure you click on “Total clicks,” Total impressions,” “Average CTR,” and “Average position” as shown on the picture. Then you would be able to see which keywords are ranked and getting impressions and clicks.
Total clicks: Shows how many clicks a keyword has received from Google within the timespan you have chosen in the top (in this case three months)
Total impressions: This shows how many times a keyword has shown in the search results in Google
Average CTR: This shows the average keywords Click Through Ratio
Average position: This shows the keywords average position in GoogleLooking at the different keywords gives you an idea of which keywords your site is ranking for and how well it is performing. By tapping into these keywords, you would often find keywords you have not even targeted in the first place. Still, you might consider optimizing existing articles for those keywords you have discovered.
Tree Ways Of Dealing With Keywords Discovered In GSC:
The average position of a keyword has a direct influence of the CTR – for example: if a keyword has an average rank of 11, it would mean that the keywords on average show up at the top of page 2 in the SERPS.
A lot of users would never actually see your website in Google and click on your link. If this is the case for a keyword, your focus should be to get your keyword on page one in Google.
Usually, that would require optimizing your content, and if you examine your competitors, you might find that they have more or stronger backlinks compared to your URL – so you need to work on that. You can use a tool like SEM Rush to monitor your competitor’s backlinks.
If you rank between 1-5 on page one in Google, but your CTR is very low, you should be able to fix that relatively quickly. Usually, it indicates that the users simply don’t find what they are looking for when they are looking at your title and meta description. In other words: You don’t sell the click!.
You need to focus on the user’s intent by searching for this particular keyword – what problem do they want to solve, or what questions do they need an answer for. Change your title and meta description, so it matches the intent of the keyword the user is using for their search.
You might discover keywords you were not even aware of – but that is positive – especially if you stumble upon keywords with a decent search volume and commercial search intent. If that is the case, you might even consider writing new content that would target those specific keywords and increase your rankings for those keywords. You can use Searchvolume.io (Free) or Google Keyword Planner (Adwords) to get an idea of the search volume of a keyword.
What if the wrong content rank for a specific keyword?
It is not unusual to find a wrong URL ranking for a keyword. A typical scenario is a help related article that is outranking a commercial keyword. So if you have decided that a keyword is a commercial keyword (a keyword where you plan to sell something), then you want your sales URL to outrank your customer service URL.
In this case, you need to make Google understand one of your other URLs are more relevant than the URL Google has chosen to rank highest.
How you change Google’s perception of your content:
- Make a site operator search in Google to see which top 10 URLs Google thinks is most relevant to your keyword – Open an incognito browser and go to Google and type in: site:yourdomian.com “your keyword.”
In the example below I use the site search operator to search CNN.com for the keyword “Google,” and Google shows me which URL’s it consider most relevant for that search
2. If you want to change how Google understands your website, you first need to decide, “Which URL should rank for this keyword.” Once you have decided that, make sure that your onsite SEO is optimized for the keyword (remember the keyword in the title, in the first paragraph of the content and used a couple of times in the rest of the content.In the example shown, let us imagine that it is the third result on cnn.com that we believe should rank for “Google” – just by looking at the third result, we might consider changing the title and meta description, and the next step would be to look at the content on that URL, to see if we need to change it, so it better matches the “Google keyword”
- The final and essential step is to add internal links on the remaining URL’s and use the keyword we want to rank for as anchor text links with “Google” that points on the URL we want to rank. So in this example, we have to make internal anchor links on URL nr. 1,2,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 and use the anchor text “Google” and point those links to URL nr. 3 (The URL we decided should rank for “Google” on CNN)
Using this strategy, you are optimizing existing content for a keyword, and you are using internal links as a road sign to point Google in the right direction. Usually, you should be able to see your rankings change after Google has crawled your website again.
TIP: Youse Googe Search Console and use the “URL Inspection” tool and inspect the URLs you have changed, that can help Google trigger a crawl of those URLs.
It is not always that Google shows the actual caching date, so it can be hard based on that to determine if Google Google bot has revisited your site after you implemented the changes. If you have access to the logfiles, you can examine if Google bot has visited the URLs.
But usually, it is enough to make the changes and wait a couple of days to see the effect.