small business effective marketing

Optimize Content using Google Search Console Data

In this blog post, I am excited to share with you a simple yet often overlooked method to optimize your website and content for search engines using Google Search Console data. By interpreting this data, you can either optimize existing content or generate new topic ideas for your website, thus driving more traffic.

Before we dive into the details, I would like to mention that if you are just starting and don’t have keywords or content on your website, I recommend reading my article “The Correct Way to do Keyword Research to Rank a Website

Check Page Data for the Last 3 Months using Google Search Console

To begin with, the first step is to check the page data for the last 3 months on Google Search Console, which will give you the most accurate picture of current keyword rankings on the selected page that you want to optimize. The queries tab below on Google Search Console will show you all the keywords in the last 3 months that have triggered an impression upon search.

Google Search Console - 3 months data

Extract the keywords from Google Search Console and check for volume

Next, extract the keywords from Google Search Console and check for search volumes to identify if there is an opportunity to optimize and drive traffic. When analyzing the keywords, you will notice a majority of them are variations of the optimized keyword or the short-tail version of that keyword. However, you will also find certain keywords that have not been mentioned in your content but have been picked up by Google over time.

Here you can see that Google (within the last 3 months) has identified 755 keywords for the page that we are planning to optimize.

This is because of the beauty of Google’s algorithm. It is continuously learning and understanding your content and making accurate assumptions.

How to interpret the keyword data

Once you have the Google Sheet with the extracted keyword data from Google Search Console, take a closer look and identify the top 10 ranking keywords, keywords that can be used to further enhance the content, and new blog/topic ideas. However, not all keywords are worth optimizing for or creating a new blog/article, so it’s essential to segregate the keywords based on the ranking range mentioned above and plug them into a keyword research tool to ascertain if this exercise is worth your time and effort.

This is how I interpret the data

Top 10 Ranking Keywords – Are the most relevant to the written topic.

11 to 30 – Can be used to further enhance existing content.

31 – 50 – Again can be used to enhance existing content or create new blogs.

50 – 100 – Definitely new blog/topic ideas.

For keywords ranking between 2-30, simple changes to the title, description, and content (increasing keyword density) can achieve better ranking results. For keywords ranking between 50-100, you can create new content based on those keywords and figure out a way to interlink them with the current article.

How To Optimize Existing Articles

If the average position of the keyword is up to 30 and has a good search volume, you should add them to the title, description, and the body of the content without replacing the keyword in the existing title and description.

The text limit for Title and Description is 50 and 160 characters respectively. Try to figure out a way to restructure the title in a manner where, it retains the focus keyword along with the new identified keyword and still makes sense.

In case you are unable to do that due to the text/character limitation, then, just focus on adding the newly identified keyword in the description and body.

Ensure that the keyword density in the body remains lower than that of the primary keyword for which the article is currently ranking.

For example, let’s say the keyword density of the primary (focus) keyword in your article is 2% and the article length is 1000 words, which means that the focus keyword has appeared 20 times. Thus, ensure that the newly identified keyword doesn’t appear more than 19 times in the content (including URL, Title, Description as well).

Create new content and link to existing content

For all the keywords with average position of 50 – 100, ensure we check and identify which amongst them have the best search volume, regardless of the competition.

These keywords have been picked up by Google as it has ascertained that these are somewhat relevant to the existing article or in short, these are the topics that you current audience most-likely would be interested in reading next if presented to them as an option.

This exercise is aimed at building topical relevance or topical authority. If you have truly touched upon every aspect of a particular top by writing (well researched and unique) quality content, then, you can experience an overall ranking boost towards all your articles written on a particular topic (short tail keyword)

Let’s assume you are working on a HR Consultancy website where they offer several services such as Competency Mapping, Performance Management, Talent Management, Organization Culture etc.

Note that all the services mentioned above are technically your keywords (rather short-tail keywords). The ultimate goal is rank for a short-tail keyword due to the sheer volume it possesses.

Now pick one keyword (one topic in this example) and dedicate the next 6 months towards it. Here is a step-by-step guide

  1. Identify at least 12 keywords (long-tail) revolving around this keyword.
  2. Create high quality content for these keywords.
  3. Publish at least once every week.

One article per week for 12 weeks is 3 months, we now have sufficient data to optimize current content as well as Google would have recommended a few suggestions (keywords with average position of 31 and above).

In the 13th week we will look at optimizing the content written in week 1 and so on.

Journey Visualization

In the 13th week and so on, these are the exact steps which will be taken by you.

  1. Filter 3 month data for the given article (which was written in week 1)
  2. Extract the keywords via the “Queries” Tab
  3. Segregate them as per the mentioned rankings in this article and check for volume (traffic)
  4. Check for on-page opportunities (Keywords ranking between 2-30)
  5. Make necessary changes (title, description, keyword density)
  6. Check for new content opportunities (Keywords ranking between 50 – 100)
  7. Create new content with the scope of internally linking the new content with the old article
  8. Rinse and repeat

Hence the initial 3 months of content creation using the researched keywords, followed by next 3 months of optimizations. You may not relook into the initial 12 articles after the 6 months as there won’t be any on-page optimizations left to do as well as no new topic/blog idea would be suggested by Google.

However, the new articles that you start creating from the 13th week onwards using the identified keywords (ranking 50 and above) will go through the entire process mentioned above.

Expert Tip – If the 12 initial articles are still not ranking at position 1 or on the 1st page after 6 months, you need to start with off-page activities (backlinks) and only focus on creating backlinks for them as no stone was left un-turned in on-page optimizations.

Why is Internal Linking Important

It is important to internally link these articles together as Google has made a connection between the keywords. For example, lets say we wrote about “types of talent management” and while extracting the queries we observe that google triggered a few impressions of the article on the keyword “talent management in hrm”

Well, this is Google making a connecting between the 2 keywords and in most cases when you review such keywords you too will feel like its somewhat (not exactly) relevant. Also, you can easily inter link them as I personally feel that the two keywords (or topics) aren’t that far apart.

With the only difference being that for the topic or keyword “types of talent management”, I can insert a link to “talent management in HRM” somewhere in the introduction itself where as on the topic or keyword “talent management in HRM”, I can insert a link either in-between the body or at the end of the topic for “types of talent management”.

The SEO Advantage is that we will observe

  1. Increase in the number of sessions.
  2. Increase in average session duration.
  3. Positive impact on the bounce rate.
  4. More visibility on SERP (higher impressions)
  5. Higher impressions should result in higher opportunities for clicks
  6. Overall increase in impressions and click may result in better CTR (Click Through Rate)

Where as for the business

  1. Great for brand visibility
  2. Opportunity to showcase their expertise on the subject matter
  3. Better chance to convince the reader and generate leads.

If you are a publisher (blogger) who aims to earn revenue with advertisements then an increase in sessions and average session duration is what you may want to focus on most.

Why should Bloggers focus on Keyword Research


You don’t really need fancy 3rd party tools to excel in SEO or to optimize your website. Although, I agree that these 3rd party tools have a positive impact on the time spent on optimizations, you can make do without them as long as your website is under 50 articles or so. All you need to do is interpret the data well enough to make a difference in your SEO gameplan.

All You Need To Know about SEO To Get Started

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