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How to Optimize Your Website with Google Search Console for SEO: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to tackle low website traffic and boost content rankings with Google Search Console. Practical tips and examples included to guide you!
Pravinan Sankar
Pravinan Sankar
Apr 28, 2023
Dataflo GSC Performance
Dataflo GSC Performance

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Are you investing countless hours into your content marketing strategy, yet struggling to see the growth in website traffic you've been aiming for? Well, you're not alone.

In fact, according to a study by Ahrefs, over 90% of web pages get zero organic traffic from Google. 

So, how can you overcome this struggle and achieve the traffic growth you're striving for?

"Good SEO work only gets better over time. It's only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change," once said Jill Whalen, a renowned SEO consultant.

After three months of implementing the right content strategies, we grew our daily impressions jump from 15K to a whopping 40K, and our clicks tripled from 250 to 750 per day.

Consequently, our website visitors also increased from 80 to 150 visitors a day, contributing to a surge in our site’s organic traffic.

Total Clicks and Impressions in Google Search Console

In this blog post, we'll guide you through how we leveraged Google Search Console for SEO success to boost our website traffic—and share the strategies we adopted that led to such fantastic results.

Let's explore how you can transform your content strategy, drive more traffic—and grow your online presence in a natural and authentic way.

The Basics of Google Search Console: Understanding Its Impact on SEO

Before diving into the strategies that improved our content game, let's take a step back and briefly discuss the basics of Google Search Console (GSC).

Google Search Console is a powerful, free toolset offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your website's performance in Google Search results. 

With Google Search Console, you get a backstage pass to your website's performance providing valuable insights and data that can help you improve your site's search engine optimization (SEO) and content relevance.

We began by exploring Google Search Console's features—from tracking search queries and monitoring backlinks to identifying technical SEO issues.

We delved into various reports and tools, from search analytics to crawl errors, to gain insights into the current progress of our website performance.

Our focus was on understanding how our content is performing, uncovering opportunities for improvement, and taking action to boost our impressions and clicks on Google Rankings.

Content Audit: Uncovering Hidden Gems

One of the first things we decided was to evaluate our existing content library to ensure it aligned with our content optimization strategy.

We conducted a thorough content audit based on Neil Patel's recommendations. We began our audit process by exporting the data from Google Search Console into Google Sheets, which helped us to categorize our blog posts based on their performance. 

To categorize the blog posts effectively, we considered several key factors, such as impressions, organic users, average keyword ranking positions, and click-through rate (CTR).

Taking these factors into account, we analyzed each piece of content individually and classified our blog posts into distinct categories, enabling us to understand their current performance better and identify areas for improvement.

Content with untapped potential: 

These blog posts rank well in positions 4 to 20 and need a little push to climb higher in the search results. 

To optimize these pages, you can update the content with primary keywords, enhance the meta description, and add more valuable information to the content.

Under-optimized content: 

Blog posts with potential but could be better optimized for the search intent. To optimize these types of content, you can identify the user intent behind the primary keyword from the GSC’s queries tab.

And ensure that you address and optimize for these search queries' intent in the blog content. Additionally, you can improve the content's overall readability by adding relevant images and optimizing the title and meta description to align better with the search intent.

Splitting opportunities: 

Blog posts targeting multiple "intents" that could be broken down into separate, more focused pieces.

By splitting these articles, you can create more targeted content that better addresses the specific needs of your audience and avoid keyword cannibalization. This approach can improve rankings and increase traffic for each new, focused piece of content.

Outdated content:

Content that offers limited value to readers or search engines and performs poorly in search rankings can be improved. To tackle this issue, consider updating stale content with the latest data, incorporating new insights, or eliminating irrelevant sections.

In some cases, it may be more beneficial to delete the content altogether and redirect the URL to a relevant, up-to-date resource.

Duplicate topics: 

Content that covers the same topic multiple times, which we could merge to create more comprehensive resources. 

Merging duplicate content helps consolidate the information, making it more valuable to readers and search engines. This consolidation can also improve your content's overall quality and authority, leading to better search rankings.

Identifying High-Impression, Low-Click Pages

Boosting your Google ranking isn't a one-time task. It's an ongoing process with many factors that come into action, like obtaining better inbound links (also known as backlinks, which occur when another website links back to your site) and making your domain more trustworthy. 

One factor that's growing more crucial for ranking well on Google is increasing your click-through rate (CTR) on search results pages.

Why does a high CTR matter? Well, it signals to Google that your content is grabbing the audience’s attention.

Google's RankBrain algorithm ranks the web pages with higher CTRs are climbing up in search results, while those with lower CTRs are being pushed down. 

The most significant opportunity is to increase the website traffic by identifying pages with high impressions but lower click-through rates.

Impressions represent the number of times your webpage appears in the search engine result pages (SERPs), while Click-through Rate (CTR) measures the percentage of the audience who clicked on your webpage after seeing it in the SERPs. 

High-impression pages are the ones that frequently appear in search engine result pages (SERPs), while low-click pages refer to those that receive fewer clicks despite their high impressions. Optimizing these pages will have a significant impact on increasing organic website growth.

By identifying these high-impression and low-click pages, you can discover "the hidden gems" - the easy wins that can bring significant traffic boosts.

Let's now explore how to identify pages with high impressions but low clicks in Google Search Console (GSC) by following these steps:

  1. Access Google Search Console: Sign in to your Google Search Console account, and select the property (website) you want to analyze.
  1. Navigate to the Performance Report: 
  • On the left-hand menu, click "Performance" and then select "Search Results." 
  • This report shows you essential metrics such as total clicks, impressions, average CTR, and average position of the web pages on your site.
  1. Identify High-Impression, Low-Click Pages: 
  • Select the “+ New” button next to the date range to analyze individual blog posts. From the drop-down, select “Pages” in the same Performance report menu.
  • Paste the URL of the blog post that you want to view its performance data and then click “Apply.”
  • Now, you can view the overall performance of the blog post. Scroll down, and click “Queries.”
  • This search query information helps you understand how audiences find your content from the search results on Google.
  • Sort the list by impressions (high to low), and look for queries with a low CTR. These are your high-impression, low-click pages that need attention.

After completing our content audit and categorizing our blog posts, we created a targeted approach for updating and refreshing our content to maximize its potential and drive organic traffic.

Now, let's dive into the key strategies that transformed our content performance with the help of Google Search Console.

Key Strategies to Improve Traffic Performance

1. Updating and Refreshing Existing Content

Building upon the insights gained from our content audit, we focused our efforts on updating and refreshing the existing content, prioritizing the categorized blog posts first to achieve the quickest possible increase in traffic. 

This approach allowed us to prioritize impactful changes first, ensuring our efforts yield the best possible results.

We focused primarily on optimizing the search queries of blog posts with a high impression count but a low click-through rate (CTR) and holding decent positions in search rankings.

As discussed in the previous section, these search queries are a gold mine for optimization opportunities, as small changes could significantly improve search engine rankings and organic traffic.

For instance, we identified a blog post that underperformed for its primary keyword, "session timeout in google analytics."

However, the post generated substantial impressions from a related long-tail search query: "the default session timeout duration in google analytics is how many minutes?"

We improved the blog post's searchability and relevance by incorporating this high-impression long-tail keyword into the blog content and optimized the search query in one of its sub-topics.

Similarly, we applied this technique for the other blog posts on our publication with untapped potential that almost ranked on the first page of search results but not in the top three positions.

These types of blog posts indicate that the content resonates with the audience and has the potential to drive more traffic if we could improve its ranking position.

This approach required less effort than creating entirely new articles and signaled to search engines that our site was consistently updated with valuable, up-to-date information.

Following the same process, we refreshed our older blog posts with the latest information and statistics and optimized the primary keyword based on GSC search queries.

As we consistently refreshed content on our blog, search engine crawlers visited our site more frequently, resulting in improved rankings for our updated posts.

In addition, the refreshed content provided a better user experience—showing readers only the most current and relevant information on topics they searched for. This strategy led to higher engagement—and consequently increased organic traffic.

2. Content Optimization: The Power Factors That Boosted Our Rankings

Having witnessed the positive impact of updating and refreshing existing content, we turned our attention to fine-tuning our approach for even better results. 

To further optimize the blog posts, we drew inspiration from a content optimization guide from Semrush and identified eight power factors that significantly impact content performance.

We targeted these power factors specifically for blog posts that had high impressions for the planned primary keyword but had low clicks and CTR.

When a blog post receives high impressions for its primary keyword but gets few clicks and a low CTR, it indicates that users notice the content on SERPs, but it doesn't grab their attention or encourage them to click on it.

Refining the power factors in the blog post can make it more attractive to our target audience and the search engines, thereby increasing the likelihood of higher engagement, clicks, and improved rankings in search results.

The power factors we focused on included the following elements:

1. Title

2. Meta Description

3. URL Slug

4. Headings

5. Topics and entities

6. Introduction

7. Keyword usage

8. Featured snippets.

Let’s dive deeper into each of these SEO power factors.

Title: We crafted compelling titles that were both attention-grabbing and optimized for the primary keyword, making sure they accurately reflected the content purpose and provided value to the reader. 

We aimed to include the primary keyword at the beginning of the title whenever possible, as this placement helps improve SEO performance.

Additionally, we kept our titles within an optimum length of 55 characters to ensure they would display fully in search results; if not, they become truncated and unreadable in the SERPs.

Meta title
Meta title

Meta description: We tailored our blogs’ meta descriptions to be under 155 characters, making them both informative and enticing, compelling users to click on our pages when they appeared in search results. 

This practice significantly improved our click-through rates and contributed to better search rankings.

Meta description
Meta description

URL Slug: We paid close attention to our URL slugs, ensuring they were concise and meaningful, and incorporated the primary keyword. 

Optimizing our URLs to be clear and reader-friendly made it simpler for search engines and users to understand the page's content.

URL Slug

Headings: We included primary and secondary keywords in our titles and subheadings (H1, H2, H3 tags), improving the structure of our content and making it more accessible to search engines and readers alike.


Topics and entities: We delved deep into our content's subject matter, ensuring we covered relevant topics and entities in a comprehensive and well-structured manner, satisfying both search engines and our audience.

Introduction: We made our introductions engaging and informative, which set the stage for the rest of the post while also ensuring the inclusion of the primary keyword two to three times in the first 100 words of the blog post.

Keyword usage: We maintained a consistent keyword density of 1%-1.5% throughout our content, avoiding keyword stuffing practices while still signaling to search engines the primary focus of our articles.

Featured snippets: We optimized our content for the possibility of being featured in Google's rich snippets, a coveted spot that can significantly increase visibility, clicks, and organic traffic.

Taking these factors into account, we made adjustments to our blog posts, ensuring that each of these elements was fully optimized for search engines as well as for user engagement.

We saw tangible improvements in our search engine rankings as we implemented these content optimization strategies. 

Let's look at some examples of these optimizations in action to illustrate better.

Before implementing our optimization strategies, our “SEO Tech Stack” article struggled to gain traction in search results. 

However, after making the necessary adjustments, we saw marked improvements in our content's rankings for primary keywords and a 2X increase in impressions and clicks, which translated into increased visibility and organic traffic. 

3. Analyzing Top-Performing Blogs and Rewriting Content to Outrank Competitors

When the primary keyword receives impressions but doesn't rank well (ranking between 6 to 20th position), we need to step up the ranking game by analyzing top-performing blogs and rewriting our content to outrank the competition. 

This approach focuses on discovering the factors that contribute to the performance of high-ranking content in SERPs and implementing those elements into our own blog posts.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through this process:

Step 1: Identifying Top-Performing Blogs

Start by conducting a search query for your primary keyword and take note of the top 3 blog posts that rank highest in Google’s search results. 

Focus on the top three search results, which are the most visible and receive the highest click-through rates. These blogs have already proven their ability to rank well for the primary keyword, offering valuable insights into what works and what doesn't.

Step 2: Analyzing Content and Structure

Next, analyze these top three performing blogs for content quality, structure, and formatting. Look for common elements such as:

  • Average word count of the top 3 blogs
  • Keyword usage and density 
  • Use of headings and subheadings
  • Elements like images, videos, or infographics
  • Internal and external links.

These factors can offer clues into what search engines consider valuable and relevant for the primary keyword. While also it is essential to assess the content's structure, readability, and overall user experience.

Step 3: Evaluate the Content Gap:

Identify the areas where your content falls short and where you can outperform the competition. 

Analyze the quality of the content and see what extra value you can add to the reader apart from the top-ranking websites.

This approach includes adding more relevant information, updating outdated facts, or incorporating multimedia elements.

Step 4: Rewrite and Optimize Your Content

With a clear understanding of what makes top-performing blogs successful, rewrite your content to incorporate the insights you've gained. 

  • Improve Content Quality: Ensure your content is well-researched, informative, and comprehensive. Address any gaps or weaknesses you identified during your analysis. Make sure you cover all relevant sub-topics and provide valuable information that your competitors may have missed.
  • Optimize for Keywords: Optimize your content for the primary keyword and secondary keywords by incorporating them strategically and naturally throughout the text.
  • Build Authority and Trust: Incorporate expert quotes, research findings, and case studies to establish your content as a credible and reliable source of information—link to authoritative sources with high domain authority in the first hundred words of your blog content.

Step 5: Monitor and make Adjustments:

After rewriting and optimizing your content, monitor its performance on search engine result pages (SERPs). Continuously refine your content to stay ahead of the competition. If the improvements don't lead to higher rankings, analyze the data and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Following this process, you can significantly improve your blog post's ranking for the primary keyword and boost its visibility in search engine results.

4. Embracing Long-Form Content

Upon analyzing our content performance on Google Search Console (GSC), we have observed a noteworthy correlation between long-form content and its potential to boost traffic and improve search engine rankings.

Taking inspiration from Neil Patel's blog post and numerous other case studies, we decided to prioritize long-form content as our primary strategy from now on.

Instead of focusing on shorter pieces, we began investing our time and resources into creating comprehensive, in-depth articles that provided real value to our readers. 

Our goal was to become a go-to resource for our audience, offering them the information and insights that could help them—succeed in their own endeavors.

When we started publishing more long-form content on our website, we noticed positive progress in our website's performance. We saw a substantial increase both in organic traffic and search engine rankings.

For example, one of our long-form articles, "Understanding the 10 Most Impactful Go-To-Market Metrics for SaaS," received impressive traffic and engagement within just a few weeks of publication. 

Total Impressions in Google Search Console
Total Impressions in Google Search Console

This traction confirmed that our decision to focus on long-form content was the right move, and it inspired us to continue refining our content strategy to maximize its impact.

We fast-tracked the optimization process by integrating Google Search Console with Dataflo to visualize KPIs like Clicks, Impressions, and CTR in one dashboard.

We at Dataflo use our own tool to streamline our content performance analysis and consolidate subscription, sales pipeline, and marketing data into customizable dashboards, enabling informed and strategic decision-making.

This integration made it easy for us to gain a quick grasp of the optimization efforts without juggling multiple tabs in GSC. It allowed us to collaborate with our team members in real-time—and simplified reporting by posting daily reports directly to Slack.

One of the issues with the GSC dashboard is that it displays performance data on a day-to-day basis, making it challenging to visualize the growth of impressions over a week or month.

This limitation can be frustrating for marketers who want to understand the results of their efforts over the last few months. Dataflo solves this problem by presenting impressions, clicks, and CTR data by month—allowing marketers to understand their efforts' results better.

The Impact and Insights Gained

Three months into our content optimization journey, we started to see the impressive results of our optimization efforts.

The most significant outcomes we observed included an increase in impressions, clicks, and website visitors.

Our site's impressions experienced remarkable growth, from 15K to 40K in only three months. This increase in visibility played a crucial role in driving more clicks to our site.

Speaking of clicks, we saw a considerable jump there too. With our content ranking higher for primary keywords and even appearing in Google's featured snippets, it's no wonder more users were drawn to our site.

This rise in website visitors created a positive ripple effect on Dataflo's overall online presence and business performance, demonstrating the power of effective content optimization.

The Five Key Takeaways

Here are our five key takeaways and best practices that we learned along our journey.

Update and refresh existing content: Audit your content regularly, update older blog posts with the latest information, and improve your posting frequency to keep your content relevant and up-to-date.

Optimize your content: Optimisation is an ongoing process. Pay attention to on-page SEO factors such as title tags, headings, keyword usage, and meta descriptions, and use them strategically to enhance your content's search engine performance.

Embrace long-form content: Focus on creating in-depth, comprehensive articles that provide value to your audience and perform better in search engine rankings.

Leverage Google Search Console: GSC is an invaluable tool for tracking your website's performance. Regularly review your GSC data and use it to enhance your content strategy and optimization efforts.

Create and continue Iteration: Stay committed to your strategy, monitor your progress consistently, and make data-driven decisions to ensure long-term success in improving your content performance and search engine rankings.

So, remember that the process of refining and enhancing your content never truly ends. It continuously evolves and grows to meet the audience's changing needs and adapts to the ever-shifting search landscape.

We'd love to hear from you! If you have any stories or insights about content marketing or SEO, please feel free to share your thoughts at support[at]

Until next time,

Team Dataflo.

Image Credits: Raj Ganesh

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Pravinan is a physicist turned writer who's currently wearing the marketer's hat. A tech enthusiast by nature and an avid non-fiction books reader, he loves to explore the world around him and always keep learning new things. When he's not working on his latest project, he likes to spend his time writing Tamil poetry or finding out more about organic farming.

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Pravinan is a physicist turned writer who's currently wearing the marketer's hat. A tech enthusiast by nature and an avid non-fiction books reader, he loves to explore the world around him and always keep learning new things. When he's not working on his latest project, he likes to spend his time writing Tamil poetry or finding out more about organic farming.

Get your metric right inside your slack workspace.