Many online entrepreneurs and content marketers find it very tough to improve their search engine ranking and drive organic traffic. That’s because industries are constantly changing and many businesses are turning to SEO companies for better results.
A few years back, carefully placing keywords in your articles with a few backlinks would see you taking the number one spot on search engine results pages (SERPs). But today, search engines focus on semantic relevance and not simple keyword optimization.
Logically, the more articles you have, the more traffic you stand to get from Google and other search engines. But there’s a simple working tactic that will increase your natural traffic without you having to publish any more articles. The “tactic” is, in fact, a completely free SEO tool by Google.
There are hundreds of free and paid SEO tools available, but there is no need for these. Google Search Console (GSC) will help you increase SEO traffic without writing more blog posts.
GSC is the best free SEO tool with the most reliable SEO metrics. Two SEO experts made these comments:
I rely on GSC when conducting website audits. You can uncover what keywords a piece of content is ranking for, what it has the potential to rank for, and issues with keyword cannibalization. These insights can help you improve performance in the SERPs.
— Nico Prins of LaunchSpace
My search engine traffic rose by 30 percent about 30 days after spending time in my GSC and optimizing 5 of my articles based on data from the free tool.
— Devesh Sharma of Ecommercebooth.
GSC is no doubt the free SEO tool that helps you discover your low hanging fruits when it comes to increasing your search traffic. Many SEO experts and content marketers rely on this tool for a ranking boost and tap into it for improved visibility.
The key to driving more traffic without publishing more content is turning back to existing content.
Don’t go back to all your past posts and start changing things. Instead, make use of GSC to locate the posts that are dangling or receiving attention from Google – consider this breathing and dormant content. Once you have found the articles fit for repurposing, you can manipulate this content, so Google positively boosts each one’s position on SERPs.
The first step is to add your site to Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). This allows Google to track search activities on your site. If you’ve had this already added earlier, it means you are ready to start boosting your search traffic. If you are about to do this for the first time, you may want to follow these steps to get your site added. You’ll have to give it some time before it starts tracking and recording your search data. Generally, a period of 30 to 60 days is ample time for the search engine to gather enough data for you to start with.
Once you have had GSC running on your site for some time and there is tracked data to work with, go to your account and click “Search Result”.
This will provide you an interesting list of keywords (queries), clicks and impressions. You’ll notice the default list is made up of three columns (queries, clicks and impressions), but add to that average position and average click-through rate (CTR) columns so you continue collecting vital data that provides you with a comprehensive overview.
This is how your document should look:
To begin, concentrate on content that is toward the end of SERP first page – positions five to 10. You can easily do some quick work and bring them closer to first position. Next, view pages that are on the second page of the SERPs. These are those in the positions between 10 and 20.
Next up, take a look at your impressions as this will give you a better idea of how popular the search terms are. Generally, don’t spend time on any pieces of content with less than 500 impressions.
Then the clicks and CTR will help you ascertain how effective your page titles and meta descriptions are. The more clicks, the more these two elements drive engagement.
Now, dig deeper and see the pages or posts on your blog that garner the best traffic and most impressions. Going through the metrics, you’ll be able to identify a keyword that’s working for you.
In this example, there’s a keyword that’s driving 43,800 impressions. The entry is somewhere on page two of SERPs so a little effort could bring about some nice improvement. 93 clicks is very unsatisfactory. So you need to move on with this entry by clicking it.
On the next page, click the Pages tab:
You’ll see two pages, but only one is what should be focused on. Look at the content of the less popular page and consider a 301 redirect to the page that has more activities. Another option is to link to the more popular page, transferring some internal link juice to it.
At this point, you will have seen how to locate breathing and dormant pages. You need to revive and kick them to a position of more visibility and possibly, more clicks.
There are many ways to deal with this. Note, however, that it may not be easy, based on the strength of your primary keyword competitors.
There are two things you need to achieve:
If you dig for more findings in your GSC account, you may discover the same page is getting more attention from more than one keyword. And, there are ways to increase the number of keywords that will drive more traffic.
Read through the post that’s ranking and count the keyword occurrence. However, be aware that keyword density doesn’t count these days as much as before. But knowing the count at this point will help you gain a better idea of how the post is optimized.
Update your current paragraphs by adding relevant phrases and words. Move on to add more paragraphs, using latent semantic indexing (LSI) versions of the current keywords. For better results, use a semantic SEO tool to generate topical alternatives to the current keyword. Use these semantically relevant keywords to add more content to the post.
Adding a video will help boost your ranking. This will increase dwell time, which is an important ranking factor. The more your time visitors spend on your site, the more Google thinks your content is valuable.
Your page title and meta description are crucial when it comes to driving traffic from search engines. For the most part, merely ensuring these elements are well put together increases clicks. It’s so important you make both elements relevant and pointed to the content. Having misleading titles and descriptions will end up getting your entries pushed off the first page.
Attractive and relevant page titles and descriptions naturally lead to increased CTR. If your page is consistent and well-named, your dwell time will shoot up and your bounce rate will reduce.
If you’ve given your article a fresh look, simply re-post. Change the publishing date and make it more recent and you may want to submit for re-indexing from within your GSC account. The improved article will have a new ranking boost and increased traffic, thanks to the freshness and updated content, which is cementing its relevance.
You may want to go ahead and find some quality backlinks through guest posting or taking part in some interviews and round up posts.
If you want to know more, here is how to get more than 5,000 sites that accept guest post.