How to Use Search Console for Keyword Research

Understanding how to effectively utilise Google Search Console for keyword research is crucial for any marketing manager or individual keen on mastering SEO strategies. Google Search Console is the best tool for analysing your keyword rankings and uncovering valuable keyword opportunities.

Written by

Will Robertson-Brown

November 2023

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is an invaluable tool offered by Google that provides insights into how your website is performing on Google Search. It helps you monitor and report on your site’s search traffic, and understand how users are finding your website. More importantly, it gives you the data and tools necessary to enhance your site’s visibility on Google, making it an essential component of any digital marketer’s toolkit.

How to Use Google Search Console

Leveraging Google Search Console for keyword research involves several strategic steps. Below, we have outlined a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through this process:

Step 1: Navigate to the Performance Report
Once your account is set up, navigate to the ‘Performance’ tab on the left-hand side of the dashboard. This report is crucial as it provides a wealth of data related to how your site performs in Google Search.


Step 2: Analyse Your Keyword Rankings
In the Performance report, you will find data on the total clicks, total impressions, average click-through rate (CTR), and average position of your keywords. To check keyword ranking in Google Search Console, focus on the ‘Queries’ section. Here, you can see a list of keywords that users have typed into Google to find your website.

Pay attention to the ‘Average Position’ column, as this indicates the average ranking of your website for each keyword. Analyse this data to identify which keywords are performing well and which need improvement.

Step 3: Identify Keyword Opportunities
To unearth new keyword opportunities, look for keywords that have a high number of impressions but a low click-through rate or a lower ranking position. These are the keywords that users are frequently searching for, but your website might not be ranking high enough to capture their attention.

Step 4: Dive Deeper into Specific Queries
For a more granular analysis, select a particular query of interest. Click on ‘Pages’ at the top of the screen. This action unveils the specific pages on your website that are currently ranking for the chosen keyword. This insight is paramount, as it assists in pinpointing which pages require SEO to boost their performance for specific queries.

Remember that you only really want one page to rank for a certain keyword, so to avoid keyword cannibalisation you want the majority of Clicks and Impressions going to one page.

Step 5: Optimising Your Content
Once you have identified these keywords, you can start optimising your content to improve its ranking. Evaluate to see if any of your existing pages will closely align with these target keywords, if not you’ll need to design a new landing page. Ensure that your content is relevant, provides value, and includes the target keywords in strategic locations such as the title, headings, and body of the text.


Understanding Clicks, Impressions, CTR and Average Position


Clicks refer to the number of times a user has clicked on your website’s link in the search results. This metric is a direct indicator of how effectively your website is capturing users’ attention in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). A higher number of clicks typically implies that your website’s title, meta description, and URL are compelling and relevant to the user’s search query.


Impressions denote the number of times a page from your website has appeared in the search results, regardless of whether it was clicked on or not. This metric gives you an idea of how often your site is showing up in Google Search and can be an indicator of your site’s visibility for certain queries.

However, a high number of impressions doesn’t always translate to traffic; it needs to be coupled with compelling content to drive clicks.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is calculated as the percentage of clicks divided by impressions. This metric helps you understand the effectiveness of your listing in the SERPs – a higher CTR means that a higher percentage of people who see your listing end up clicking on it.

A low CTR, despite a high number of impressions, could indicate that your website’s title, description, or URL may not be as enticing to users, or it might not match their search intent.

Average Position

The average Position represents the average ranking of your website for specific queries in Google Search. It is calculated based on the sum of your rankings divided by the total number of impressions. If your average position is ‘1’, it means your website appears first in the search results, on average, for that specific query.

However, an average position doesn’t always correlate with clicks, as the attractiveness of your listing and the user’s intent also play significant roles.

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