Google Search Console (previously known as Webmaster Tools) is an underrated tool that you really should get familiar with. In this SEO hack, I am going to share a few tips and tricks that will help you use Search Console to identify pages on your website that rank well and can significantly increase traffic to your website with a few simple tweaks.
High Impression Volume/Low CTR = Opportunity
In every website, there will always be a number of quick wins you can make by identifying pages that rank well but have very low click through rates. That is pages on the first 1-2 pages of the Google Search Engine Results Pages that, for some reason, just aren’t getting clicked on anywhere near as much as they probably could.
What this means generally is that the messaging shown in your search result is not as compelling as the other links on the SERP so people are clicking through to competing websites rather than yours. So, if you present them with a more compelling message, more people will resonate with what you have to say and choose to click through to your site.
So how do we identify those pages with lots of impressions and low click through rates?
The first thing you need to do is log into Google Search Console and click on the ‘search analytics’ section.
Make sure you select pages (not queries) and filter by the country you are targeting.
Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and change the display results from showing 50 to 500 before clicking the download button (for some reason you can only download the number of rows on display and we want the widest data set possible).
Now what you should have is an Excel sheet that has the data sorted by Page, Click Volume, Impression Volume, Click Through Rate and Position.
From here the next steps involve adding filters to the data so you can easily identify and highlight pages that fit in the sweet spot.
Open the spreadsheet and apply a filter to the data by first clicking in the top left corner to highlight every column then using the filter function as displayed below.
Now you have enabled the ability to filter the data you should apply a filter to the “Position” column as you want to focus on pages that are appearing on the first two pages of the Google Search results.
To do this click the filter button on the position column, deselect the “select all” box which will clear all of the data then select all of the numbers between 1 and 20 which will leave you with filtered data that only has pages that have featured on the first two pages of the Google SERP.
Now that you have a list of highly targeted pages you want to look for the low hanging fruit that have a good number of impressions but low click-through rate (CTR). What you can then do is sort by impressions (high to low), then look for pages with a comparatively low CTR compared to other pages.
A good starting point is to look for pages that have a CTR less than 2% and if there are plenty of them go one step further and narrow the field to those with less than 1%.
Highlight each row as you identify them in a colour of your choice (make sure it is the same colour). The next step is to apply another filter and filter the page column by cell colour.
Now you have a filtered list of pages that are your absolute quick wins that you can look at your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions. think about them from a consumers point of view and write compelling copy that will give them a reaosn to choose yor website over the competing results on the SERP.
The entire process to identify these pages should take no more than 5 minutes and will give you absolute focus on pages that need your attention to get better results without a huge amount of work.
Glenn is a Partner and Senior Consultant who has had a very successful career building growth companies in the private equity arena. He has a wealth of experience in both the digital space and strategy development. Prior to becoming a partner in SureFire Glenn built one of the largest digital teams in New Zealand for a NASDAQ listed global online marketing company & Google's largest premium partner.