How to use Google Search Console for keyword research in 2024?

Understanding your Google Search Console data is crucial for staying ahead in SEO. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you interpret your data and determine the right actions to take.
Han Jang's avatar
Jul 01, 2024
How to use Google Search Console for keyword research in 2024?

Google Search Console is a fundamental SEO tool, but interpreting its data and setting up actionable items can be challenging. How do you make sense of Search Console data and create effective action plans?

The figure below displays the default metrics and screens provided by Search Console. As shown, it can be difficult to interpret the data and derive clear action items from these metrics.

Google Search Console basic

Let's examine the data from the graph below, provided by inblog.

Google Search Console data chart powered by inblog

In the graph above:

  • X-axis: Represents CTR (click-through rate)

  • Y-axis: Represents Position (average position)

  • Blue line graph: Shows the "average click-through rate per Google position" (Source)

  • Circle size: Indicates the total number of impressions

This graph helps identify which keywords are performing well and which are not based on their average position.

  • Top Left (Yellow Zone): CTR Boosting Keywords

    • Keywords with low CTR compared to their position. These are poor performers despite their high Google ranking, indicating a need for improved click-through rates.

  • Bottom Middle Right (Purple Zone): Good Keywords

    • Keywords with a high CTR relative to their position. These are performing well, with a very high click-through rate compared to their Google rank.

  • Bottom: Chance Keywords

    • Keywords that have the potential to deliver good traffic if their position improves.

Understanding these zones, let's determine the action items for each keyword:

  • CTR Boosting Keywords (Top Left): Focus on enhancing meta titles and descriptions to make them more compelling and relevant, aiming to improve the click-through rate.

  • Good Keywords (Bottom Middle Right): Maintain and optimize these keywords further to ensure they continue performing well.

  • Chance Keywords (Bottom): Work on improving the positioning of these keywords through better content and SEO strategies to unlock their potential.

By focusing on these specific action items, you can effectively optimize your keywords and enhance your overall SEO performance.

CTR Boosting Keywords: High Ranking but Low CTR

These keywords require the most attention and improvement. If your site ranks #1 or #2 on Google but isn’t getting clicks, it’s likely that the intent behind the keyword doesn’t match your content (title, description, content, etc.). To address this:

  1. Understand Search Intent: Google the keyword to see what users are looking for. Ensure your content aligns with this intent. For instance, if the keyword is "developer salary" and your audience consists of job seekers, but your content is titled "How to Negotiate a Developer Salary," it might not attract the desired clicks.

  2. Craft Compelling Titles and Descriptions: Make sure they are attractive and directly address the search intent. Titles and descriptions should entice users to click.

  3. Utilize Schema Markup: Implement schema markup to enhance snippets, making your content more visible and appealing in search results.

Example

The image below illustrates a Google search result page. The second-ranked content appears after snippets, FAQs, social discussions, and videos. It’s clear why ranking second or third may not result in a high CTR. To improve, examine why your content isn’t being clicked on and adjust accordingly.

Google Search Example

Action Items

  • Search the Keyword on Google: Check the search intent and how it appears on the search screen.

  • Create Click-Worthy Titles and Descriptions: Ensure they align with search intent.

  • Implement Schema Markup: Use schema markup to enhance your snippets and increase visibility.

By focusing on these strategies, you can improve the click-through rate for high-ranking keywords and drive more traffic to your site.

Good Keywords: High CTR Compared to Baseline

These keywords are the workhorses driving high click-through rates and traffic. They indicate strong interest in your content. Here's how to interpret and act on this data based on total impressions:

High Impressions (Large Circle Size)

For keywords with high impressions, it’s crucial to quickly publish content targeting related or long-tail keywords. For example, if "SEO algorithm" falls into this category, consistently publish content on related topics like "SEO algorithm interpretation" and "SEO algorithm analogies." Additionally, share this content regularly in newsletters and on social media to further increase impressions.

Important Note: Be cautious with branded keywords. Exclude keywords that include your company or service name (e.g., "inblog") as they naturally have a high CTR.

Action Items:

  1. Quickly create content targeting long-tail keywords.

  2. Share relevant content in newsletters and on social media.

Low Impressions (Small Circle Size)

For keywords with low impressions, focus on targeting more generalized keywords. Since you’re performing well for a niche keyword, expand your content to include broader keywords. Write content that addresses the specific needs of those searching for these terms.

Action Items:

  1. Write content that targets broader, more generalized keywords.

  2. Share relevant content in newsletters and on social media.

By following these strategies, you can maximize the potential of high-performing keywords and drive more traffic to your site.

Chance Keywords: High Traffic Potential

Keywords ranked between #5 and #10 have significant growth potential. Although they’re on page 1 of Google, their lower ranking means they’re not receiving the attention they deserve. By optimizing these keywords, you can increase traffic by anywhere from 650% to 2,100%. The higher the total number of impressions, the bigger the impact.

Action Plan for Chance Keywords

  1. Research and Analyze:

    • Search the Keywords: Look up these keywords to see what content is currently ranking well.

    • Content Analysis: Evaluate whether the top-ranking content meets the keyword intent. Identify gaps in your own content and areas where it can be improved.

  2. Content Optimization:

    • Ensure your content fully addresses the keyword intent.

    • Update or expand your content to cover aspects that top-ranking pages are addressing.

  3. Patience and Persistence:

    • Understand that it may take time to see improvements in rankings.

    • Continuously refine and update your content based on performance metrics and ongoing research.

By focusing on these strategies, you can significantly boost the performance of chance keywords and drive much more traffic to your site. The effort invested in optimizing these keywords can lead to substantial long-term benefits.

Analyzing Our Company's Search Console

Curious about how we created the graph below and analyzed each keyword?

Google Search Console Chart made by inblog

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