In SEO, you’re constantly told that SEO is a long-term process.
And as with everything with SEO, we say it depends.
But if you have an existing site with existing authority, growth may come much quicker. In this article, I’m going to walk through some of the ways to use Google Search Console to speed up that process.
By using GSC, you can easily find quick-win opportunities that can deliver fast results without having to wait months for it to happen.
So let’s jump right in.
Why Use Google Search Console for Quick Wins?
So first off, why should we use Google Search Console? The reason you’ll want to use Google Search Console here is because of the data you’ll have access to. You can see data specifically from Google that you wouldn’t have through a third-party tool.
We can see things like:
- Search volume
- How Google is crawling our pages
- Which pages are indexed
In this case, we’ll be looking for opportunities that can be a quick win for your site. Having access to GSC data will make this much more efficient and effective.
How to Find Quick Win Opportunities In Google Search Console
Finding these opportunities isn’t as difficult as you’d think.
But here are the quick wins you should be going after in Google Search Console:
- Low-Hanging Fruit Keywords
- Content with Potential
- Long Tail Keywords
- Internal Linking Opportunities
- Non-Indexed Pages
- Sitemap is Submitted
- Traffic Drop Analysis
- Outdated Content
- High Impressions Low CTR
- Cannibalizing Pages
- KPI Tracking
Low-Hanging Fruit Keywords
First up, the most impactful of the quick wins are low-hanging fruit keywords. These are keywords your site ranks for that sit between positions 4-20. Making them easier for us to go after.
Instead of creating new content, you can use these low-hanging fruit keywords to find pages that are close to ranking and just need a quick update to see movement.
To find these pages all you need to do is set a date filter to the last 28 days. This gives us access to the most current ranking queries.
After that, you’ll want to export your data to a spreadsheet using the following filters:
- Positioning between 4-20
- Impressions above 50-100
How you optimize these pages will depend on the SERP landscape, but in most cases, optimizing these pages means building more backlinks and internal links toward that page, and fleshing out the content more.
You should be able to see some movement with your page after you do this. Be sure to monitor the page so you can see whether the movement was positive or negative.
Content with Potential
Like low-hanging fruit keywords, content with potential is basically content that’s not necessarily within striking distance but still has potential to rank with a rewrite or full makeover.
This content will generally rank in positions 40-60 and have a high volume of impressions.
So going after these pages will take a lot of work. This means you’ll either have to update the content or build more backlinks to it.
In most cases, the content is going to need to be rewritten. Whether that means fleshing out the content or optimizing it better around search intent, it will depend on the SERP landscape and what you already have.
Finding these pages is very similar to the process of finding low-hanging fruit keywords. You’ll want to filter your data for the last 28 days.
You’ll then want to export your data to a spreadsheet. From here, just set a position filter for queries between 40-60 and an impression filter of above 100.
These will now filter pages that have potential but will need that makeover to get to where they need to be.
Internal Linking Opportunities
Probably the easiest of the quick wins is looking for internal linking opportunities. Depending on the authority you’ve built up, this is the perfect way to find internal linking opportunities.
At the bottom left-hand side of GSC, there’s a link tab. In this tab, you have a section that shows us the pages on your site that have the most external and internal links pointing toward them.
Here, you’ll basically want to use the pages with the most links to link out to other pages on your website.
Since these pages have a high volume of links pointing toward them, they likely have built up link equity (PageRank.)
Page rank is still considered one of the most impactful ranking signals so we’ll want to use it effectively.
Another way you can also use this link tab is to find pages with the lowest volume of links or orphan pages and then link to them.
Now moving away from on-page SEO, we’ll be dealing with a more technical SEO-focused quick win.
One of the things we’ll check for is whether our priority pages are being indexed.
So for these, we’ll in the coverage report to see which pages are being excluded from the index. And most importantly, how we can get them indexed.
Finding these pages is easy. All you need to do is go to the indexing report in GSC and click the pages. From there you’ll want to click on the “not indexed” filter.
You have a few ways to check these pages, but the best way to find these pages is to use the sitemap filter. Just hover over the “all known pages” tab and select “filter to sitemap.”
GSC will now filter pages based on your sitemap URLs and show you pages that should be indexed but aren’t for whatever reason.
Discovered and crawled – currently not indexed pages aren’t indexed for a few reasons typically, but the most common reason boils down to a lack of internal links and content quality.
Sitemap is Submitted
The low-hanging fruit of the low-hanging fruit article is to check whether your sitemap has been submitted.
If you don’t have a sitemap, then Google is most likely relying on internal links to discover new content.
Your sitemap is basically a way to give Google a bird’s eye look at your website. This helps crawlers understand the pages that exist on your website and which pages they should be crawling.
It’s very easy to set up. You can use plugins like Yoast or RankMath to create it and once you have it, you’ll want to submit it within search console (and make sure it’s being read.)
Traffic Drop Analysis
Another quick win opportunity that may require more work is looking for pages that have seen a traffic drop recently.
This analysis will show you if your pages have dropped due to traffic, search intent changes, or rankings.
You’ll want to use this analysis, so you can find these URLs and fix them to get them back to where they need to be.
To find these pages, you’ll need to go back to the performance tab.
From here, you’ll set a date filter to compare different time frames. You can compare month over month,3 months over 3 months, and even 6 months over 6 months.
Ultimately you’ll want to use this filter to find when your pages started seeing a decrease.
Once you have your click difference filtered, you’ll want to click on the page that saw the largest decrease to further investigate.
You can click on the queries tab for that specific page to see which queries saw the largest drop. You can see whether this drop was caused from positioning, impressions, or clicks.
Now that you have those pages identified, you’ll want to take those queries to the SERPs to see what likely caused the drop.
It could be a competitor that overtook you, it could be a lost featured snippet or even a search intent change.
Whatever it may be, you’ll want to review the SERPs to see how you can get that query back to where it needs to be.
This is likely one of the easiest on-page improvements, but this is basically content that’s still ranking for previous years.
This means your titles that are ranking for prior years like 2022-2019. So you’ll want to update those so they’re more current.
Doing this is very. All you need to do is set a date range for the last 28 days and enter a query filter (or range using regex) for one of those years.
In this case, I’ll use 2022 to see all of the queries that are still ranking for that year.
All this takes now is to go through the content and update it so it reflects the current year.
High Impressions Low CTR
Now instead of looking for pages that aren’t ranking, we’re going to be looking at pages that are ranking, but aren’t driving any clicks.
This could be because your title tags or meta descriptions are
- matching the wrong intent
- losing traffic to competitors
- not enticing enough
You’ll basically want to look at those pages and see if there’s anything you can do to improve the page’s CTR.
To find these pages, all you need to do is set a position filter for less than 5 and a click filter for less than 1.
This filters all of the pages that are ranking high but aren’t driving clicks for whatever reason.
Once you have those pages identified, you’ll want to look at them in the SERPs to see what the landscape looks like.
You’ll want to see what your competitors are doing and how your URL matches up against them. From there, you’ll want to optimize your title and meta to make your URL more enticing. You can even add schema to make your URL stand out.
The last quick win item to look for is cannibalized pages. Pages that may be competing with each other.
These are pages that target the same intent and keyword causing them to compete against each other.
To find these pages, all you need to do is enter your exact query that you think is causing issues. You’ll want to see if two pages are appearing for that query.
From there, you’ll want to review the query report for each page and take them to the SERPs. You’ll want to see if the same results are appearing for those queries.
If they are, then you’ll want to either merge or delete those pages.
As I mentioned previously, SEO can seem like a complicated field, but when you use SEO tools like Google Search Console, you make the process much more efficient. Especially when looking for quick-win opportunities.
Whether it’s low-hanging fruit keywords or getting pages indexed, there are tons of possibilities to improve your site’s SEO just by using Google Search Console.
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