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October 3, 2022

How To Find Out What Keywords Your Website Ranks For

Making assumptions about your keywords vs the facts can be the difference between online visibility and online anonymity.  There’s no substitute for the facts.

Surprisingly, Google Search Console is a really useful tool for discovering which keywords your website is actually ranking for and this data is all available for you to see inside Google Search Console.

In this post, I’ll show you how you can use Google Search Console to uncover key information about your keywords and how to use this to improve your rankings on the search engine results pages.

Why Google Search Console is one of the best keyword tools

There are some great keyword research tools that you can use to find the search terms (ie keywords and phrases) that your target audience is entering into search engines like Google, but you can also access a heap of valuable information from your website itself using Google Search Console.

This will give you insights directly from Google itself and you can use this data to focus your efforts and to find new content opportunities to improve your SEO rankings.  It’s a great tool for helping you make informed decisions that will generate traffic and make a positive impact on your rankings.

For a comprehensive overview of the tool and all that it offers, check out this article on awesome tips for using Google Search Console.

And, if you’re new to SEO, you can get started by downloading our free SEO Starter Kit.

Three ways to use Google Search Console to improve your keyword rankings

1. Discover keywords you almost rank for

Find keywords your site ranks for that are just off page one of Google (ie those in positions 11 to 30 on pages two and three).  These are valuable keywords, but they’re just out of reach to attract a meaningful number of clicks, but Google are ranking you for these keywords so they are going to think your business is pretty relevant for these search terms.

It only takes the smallest tweak to convert them to high-impact keywords.

Use Google Search Console to find the keywords you rank for and then optimise them using metadata and content edits to push the pages up onto page one.  (You can find more info on metadata and other key tasks in this checklist for business websites).

Here’s how to find and optimise striking distance keywords:

  • Open Google Search Console
  • Click on the ‘Search Results’ tab (found under the ‘Performance’ tab)
  • Click ‘Average CTR’ and ‘Average Position’
  • Once the data has loaded, scroll down and sort from low to high using click-through-rate
  • You can then see which keywords are ranking well, but which aren’t getting many hits
  • Optimise these by adding meta data and strengthening on-page copy.

 

2. Discover long-tail keywords which are already related to your pages

You can use the ‘Queries’ report in Google Search Console to find those long-tail keywords which are relevant to your pages.  You can then further optimise your content for these.

Here’s how:

  • Open Google Search Console
  • Click on ‘Search Results (located under the ‘Performance’ tab)
  • Click ‘+ New’ in the filter row, then click on ‘Page…’
  • Type in the URL that you want to optimise, then click ‘Apply’
  • The list of keywords which your page has shown for in Google search results will be displayed
  • Identify opportunities where you can optimise for long-tail keywords
  • Target these keywords through meta data and copy edits if the search volume is good and the keywords are relevant.

 

3. Uncover competing keywords ranking on multiple pages

  • Open Google Search Console
  • Click on ‘Search Results (under the ‘Performance’ tab)
  • Click ‘+ New’ in the filter row, then click ‘Query…’
  • Enter a valuable target keyword
  • Then scroll down to find the ‘Pages’ tab to see all the pages which rank for that target keyword
  • Use this info to find pages which are competing with one another for impressions and clicks for the same keyword
  • Identify the most appropriate page, then make meta data and content edits to optimise the keyword
  • Remove that keyword from other competing pages wherever possible

Why it’s important to know what keywords your pages are ranking for

A strong keyword strategy and optimising your content are crucial to online visibility.  But you also need to assess your keyword rankings regularly to understand exactly what your searchers are looking for and to stay on top of any changes.

The data from Google Search Console provides valuable insights into the overall optimisation of your posts and you can quickly see the positions of keywords and their traffic volumes.  You can then see where extra attention is required in order to promote pages up the rankings.

Found this information helpful?  If you’re looking after your website’s SEO and would like a helping hand from an expert, check out The SEO School.  It’s a great course for anyone wanting the inside track on how to boost their business’s online visibility through smart (but not super complicated) SEO practices.

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