How to make use of Google Search Console to improve your SEO?

Posted by Ann R. on April 21st, 2023

Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service from Google that helps you monitor and troubleshoot your website's appearance in search results. Let us understand how to make use of Google Search Console to improve your SEO from experts of Jacksonville SEO Company.

How to Use Google Search Console to Improve Your SEO?

Instead of going through every Search Console report in boring detail, we're going to focus on a few actionable ways to use it to improve SEO.

  • Improve rankings for low-performing keywords 

Underperforming keywords are those where you don't rank in one or two positions yet. They're underperforming because most people click on one of the first two results, which means if you're in the lower positions, you're missing out on a lot of traffic. Here is a post on how to approach keyword research that can help you. For example, if you're in the eighth position, about 1.8% of searchers will click on your result. Move keyword rankings to the second position, and the number jumps to about 14%. So let's say the monthly search volume for the keyword in question is 1,000. Ranking in position 8 gets you 18 visits per month from organic search, compared to 160 for the second position. That's 8x more traffic than jumping just a few positions. Go to the "Search Results" report and toggle the Average CTR and Position data to find these underperforming keywords in Google Search Console. Next, scroll down to the Questions Report and set the Average Rank Position filter to below 8. Then sort the results in descending order by Average Position. From here, it's a matter of narrowing down the list of underperforming keywords. That is, the ones you are already ranking for positions 3-8 and getting some traffic from. Here's what we got in our search console: Our average rank position for this keyword is 7.6, and we're getting a CTR of 1%. That may seem pretty low, but it's not far below average for the position. But here's the important part: despite this low-ranking position, we've still averaged 1,200 clicks and seen 121,000+ impressions over the last three months. That's about 400 clicks per month.

Side note - Impressions are the number of times we appear in search results for that query. So let's click on that keyword and go to the "Pages" tab to see which page is ranking. From here, we can check if the page is about the same topic and determine if there is room to optimize it for that keyword. It looks like there is potential for optimization, as the ranking page is our local SEO guide. So it's possible to analyze that page individually and see if we can improve our on-page SEO, add some relevant internal links, get more backlinks, improve page speed, or something. And can increase his position by doing. For example, our average ranking position for "Google Keyword Planner" is 5.6, and we get thousands of visits per month from this keyword. But if you look at the current US rankings for this query in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer, we see that there is only one result above us that isn't from Google itself. So we are unlikely to ever rank in position 1 or 2 for that keyword, no matter how hard we try.

  • Optimize pages with high keyword rankings, but low CTR Not every page that ranks #1 will get 30% clicks

This is just the average. So what we can do is find pages that perform worse than average, analyze why that is, then see if there's a way to increase their CTR to get more traffic. To do this, go to the "Search Results" report, toggle the Average CTR and Position data, then filter for keywords with an average ranking say our Jacksonville SEO experts. Sort the report in ascending order by CTR, then look for keywords with lots of impressions but below-average CTR. Here's one we found: Despite ranking third on average, our click-through rate is only 2.1% where it should be about 3-5x higher—especially since we're definitely matching search intent here. So let's google that keyword and see if we can figure out what's wrong. It looks like Google is showing an ad, a featured snippet, a video carousel, and the "People also ask" box above the "traditional" ranking where we are. Because these SERP features take up so much real estate, they are definitely "stealing" clicks from us. So the best course of action for us here would be to try to win the Featured Snippet to optimize the page, which gets an average of 8.6% of clicks. If you haven’t yet configured Google Search Console, the following steps will help you.

How to Configure Google Search Console?

Sign in to Search Console with your Gmail. You should get a welcome message with two options. Select First, then enter your domain or subdomain. Hit “Continue.” Before you can view any data in Search Console, you must first verify ownership. The process varies depending on the type of property you're adding. Go directly to the instructions that apply to you:

  • I have added a domain property.
  • I added the URL Prefix property.

Click the Instructions drop-down. Check if your domain is registered with one of the providers listed. If so, select the provider and press the "Start Verification" button. Sign in to your registrar account and then follow the instructions. You will see a message the following message: If your registrar is not on the dropdown, select "Any DNS Provider" Sign in to your account with your domain provider, select your domain, then find an option to manage DNS or domain name servers. Select the Add TXT record option, paste in the record from Search Console, then save it. Go back to the search console and press "Confirm". If authentication fails, keep trying. It may take a few minutes.

How can you Add a Sitemap to Google Search Console:

Sitemaps help Google Bots to find important content on your website and can crawl that content says SEO company Jacksonville FL. Our Jacksonville SEO experts recommend that everyone submit a sitemap to Google via Search Console. To do this, choose "Sitemap" from the menu, paste the URL of your XML sitemap into the box labeled "Enter Sitemap URL", then hit "Submit".

How to Add a User?

Users are people who have access to some or all of the data in the search console says SEO expert Jacksonville. There are three types: 

  • Owner: Has full control over the property in the Search Console, including the ability to add and remove other users. 
  • There are two types of owners: verified and assigned. 
  • Full User: Has rights to view all data within the selected property and the power to take certain actions. 
  • Restricted user: Viewing rights are restricted, meaning they cannot see all data.

By default, you have owner privileges when you verify a property in Search Console. To add another user, go to Select Search Console > Properties > Settings > Users and Permissions > Add User. Type their email address, then choose Full or Limited Access.

Final thoughts

Google Search Console is a powerful free tool that shows tons of data and insights about your website state the Jacksonville SEO agency. But this is its biggest limitation because SEO is not a single-player game, it is multiplayer. Ranking in Google means competing with other websites for the top spot. If you don't understand the competitive landscape, there's no way to know where you fall short or what you should do to improve your rankings. Therefore, it pays to combine Google Search Console insights with a third-party competitive research tool such as Ahref. For example, Google Search Console tells us that we rank an average of 6 for "301 redirects." Also read - How to identify and refresh outdated content?

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Ann R.

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Ann R.
Joined: April 19th, 2021
Articles Posted: 4

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