How to use Google Search Console to see if your SEO efforts are working

Have you been busy optimising your site for SEO in the hope to increase the amount of organic traffic to your site?

If you have, it can be disheartening when you don’t start to see results straight away. The reality is that it takes some time. Just how much time is different for everyone. It depends on how old your website is, how competitive your keywords are and many other factors.

It is possible to start seeing progress though, before all those new visitors start flowing through to your website. This can let you know that you are on the right track and all your efforts are starting to pay off.

You just need to make sure you have Google Search Console set up. I have some instructions if you haven’t done this yet. Set up Google Search Console now.

To show you what I am talking about I am going to show you some screen shots from my client Feather & Seed’s Google Search Console. Kim engaged me to do her SEO Audit back at the end of June after she completed my Free 5 day SEO Mini Challenge. She then spent time actioning all of the items herself on her Shopify website.

The view that you are going to want to check in your own Google Search Console is called ‘Search Analytics’ under Search Traffic. You need to tick the Clicks, Impressions and Position checkboxes. CTR probably isn’t needed when you are getting started.

Here is what it looked like for Feather & Seed back at the end of June when I got started.

Fig 1: Google Search Console Analytics – Before SEO optimisation

The things to take notice of are:

  • The Clicks column show the number of people that clicked on the website link and the search term they used in Google
  • The Impressions column shows how many times the website was returned in the Google Search results for that search term
  • The Position column shows the average position of y0ur website in the search results for the search term (If you want to know more about how this is determined check out Google’s Search Console Help)
  • There are a lot of search terms in there that are not related to Kim’s website which sells essential oil products
  • The majority of the clicks to her website are by people who already knew her business and had searched for it by name

 

Kim spent time optimising the titles, descriptions and content on her product pages. She created new category pages that grouped her products by mood and emotion as keyword research showed this is how people were searching on Google.

This is how her results looked 10 weeks on from setting up Google Search Console.

Google Search Console Results - Week 10

Fig 2: Google Search Console Analytics – 10 weeks after SEO optimisation commenced

The things to take notice of are:

  • Search impressions has gone from 286 to 1052 per week
  • There are many more search queries now and they relate to the website
  • The clicks has not increased significantly yet but that is because the website is still not appearing on the first page for many queries. This is the bit that takes time

 

I hope that helps to show you that even though Kim may not being seeing a result yet in terms of her sales and website traffic, she is well on the way. The category pages for mood were only created at the end of August so in less than a month her website has started appearing for terms such as ‘ essential oils for colds’, ‘essential oils for joy and happiness’ & ‘essential oils for sleep and relaxation’.

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