It may come as a surprise, but there aren’t many methods for increasing traffic to your website superior to using data from Google Search Console. Some of the better ways include: checking the robots.txt file and removing the crawl block of a page or making sure the meta tag is set to index. In fact, that is a necessary first step in page optimization. How do I know that? Because I have been working in the field of SEO for quite a few years and have analyzed hundreds of websites. I want to show you how to increase traffic to your website using Google Search Console.
You should start the optimization process with the basics such as making sure the meta descriptions and title tags are set, improving the content or working on the load speed of your website. Once completed, you should direct your attention to keywords and specifically those phrases that already bring traffic to your site.
This approach to optimization works for websites that already generate traffic from search engines. It may be different for brand new sites as they do not have enough data gathered. Connect the website you wish to improve traffic to, to Google Search Console and gather data for two to three months (the more the better) to get the necessary information (click-through rates, impressions, ranking positions).
Let’s cut to the chase:
The image shows approximately 1200 users visited the page in June 2019. I have implemented the changes (which I will proceed to describe) and the organic traffic increased to about 2,000 users per month.
Average positions as shown in the diagrams:
With Google Search Console performance report you can check click-through rates (CTR) and impressions of queries and the landing pages of clicks. Since there are numerous ways to check the landing pages with the phrases assigned to it (using tools like Pulno, Google Data Studio or SEOTools for Excel), what is the secret?
CTR on phrases ranked on position five or lower don’t usually exceed five percent, so let’s focus our attention on keywords that have a lot of impressions but their positions are lower than fifth place.
The best phrases to start working with are those that can double the traffic if we can improve their positions even slightly, just like the diagram above shows. We know the pages that are clicked and displayed in Google most often, so we must check which pages do not include trendy keywords in the content, title or heading. Pulno is a great tool to crawl your site with. It can be integrated with data from Google Search Console, providing information on pages missing the prominent keywords in places considered most important by the search engines.
Vibrant black color means that a keyword is present in a particular place whereas the grayish, barely visible icon means the keyword is not there.
Once we’ve obtained data from Google Search Console and we know which keywords bring traffic to the pages but are missing from the most important places, we must fill content with the missing keywords. Just remember not to overdo it, one or two paragraphs of additional text will suffice.
H1 headings should be short and contain the keyword with the biggest potential for increasing traffic. If you want to add more keywords to the headings, make use of H2 and H3 ones. Use your head while doing so as the headings are visible in the content, so make sure not to make it look artificial.
Similarly to the situation with headings, it is unwise to overload titles with keywords. Make sure that the length is not more than 60 characters (more will be cut) and that it resonates with users’ intentions.
Here are a few guidelines worth remembering:
Focus your attention on the phrases that have the potential to direct the most traffic to your website. It is best to divide the optimization process into rounds.
Start with phrases that have at least 50 impressions. Optimize them (add keywords where necessary) and then watch the results. After two or three weeks move on to the second round. Open the second round with a fresh page crawl and repeat acquiring data from Google Search Console. Afterward, focus on phrases that have more than 20 impressions and optimize them.
The next rounds can be repeated less often. You will also be able to see new phrases that have over 50 impressions. That is the result of the first round of optimization we have done.
Each subsequent round is connected by adding additional keywords and gaining better visibility in Google, i.e., new phrases appear, which are worth optimizing the page for.
Cannibalization occurs when there are a few pages that rank on the same keyword. That is the situation shown in the image below.
Three different pages rank for the same keyword and the homepage gets 65 percent impressions. However, search engines are unable to decide which of those pages are the most valuable for users.
However, if the results in Google show one below the other, then it is a good outcome. Our website takes more space in the results page increasing the chance of being clicked. It is much worse if, because of the cannibalization, none of our pages are visible at the top of the search results. What to do then? Pick one URL (the one with most clicks and impressions) and optimize it. For the remaining URLs we can:
The presented charts show the positions and traffic data for one of my clients. The first round brought a 24 percent increase in traffic, already visible two weeks after optimizing. Four months later, the organic traffic diagram showed a boost from 1,200 unique users per month to about 2,000 – more than a 66 percent increase! I achieved that with just a few hours of work, making it one of the most effective methods of increasing traffic to the website.