How to Use Google Search Console for Keyword Research: A Step-by-Step Guide

Feb 29, 2024
how to use google search console for keyword research

In the world of SEO, how to use Google Search Console for keyword research is a fundamental skill that can significantly enhance your digital marketing strategies. Google Search Console (GSC), a free tool provided by Google, is not just a platform to measure site performance and fix issues but also an invaluable asset for conducting effective keyword research. This guide simplifies the process of using Google Search Console for keyword research, providing a direct and efficient method to discover a wealth of keywords that your website has the potential to rank for.

Understanding Google Search Console

Before diving into how to use Google Search Console for keyword research, it’s essential to understand what GSC is. Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, GSC allows you to track, maintain, and optimize your website’s presence in Google search results. Its features include insights on search queries, click-through rates, and website indexing. These insights are crucial in tracking your site’s search performance, discovering optimization opportunities, and ensuring your website is properly indexed by Google.

Step 1: Accessing the Search Performance Report

The first step in how to use Google Search Console for keyword research is to open the Search Performance Report in GSC. This report provides data on your site’s existing ranking keywords and various metrics like clicks, impressions, average click-through rate (CTR), and your average ranking position. To find this report, navigate to ‘Performance’ in the main menu of GSC.

Google Search Console

Step 2: Setting the Date Range

Select an appropriate date range for your report. A range of 12 to 16 months is recommended as it provides a comprehensive view of your keyword performance over time. GSC stores data for up to 16 months, so this timeframe maximizes the available data.To limit Google results by date, click on Tools, then click on Any Time and choose the filter or Custom Date Range that interests you. 

Setting the Date Range

Step 3: Exporting Keywords

The next step in how to use Google Search Console for keyword research is to export your keywords. In the Search Performance Report, click ‘Export’ to download your keyword data in a format like Google Sheets, Excel, or CSV. This makes sorting and filtering your keyword data more manageable.

Exporting Keywords

Step 4: Sorting and Filtering Keywords

After exporting your data, sort and filter your keywords. Focus on the Queries tab in your spreadsheet, which shows your site’s top queries. Create a filter for this data and sort by impressions to prioritize high-impression keywords.

Sorting and Filtering Keywords

Step 5: Identifying High-Value Keywords

Identify keywords with high impressions and click-through rates that are already driving traffic to your site. These are valuable and should be maintained in your SEO strategy.

Identifying High-Value Keywords

Step 6: Spotting Quick Win Keywords

Look for quick win keywords, which are ranking on the second page of Google (positions 10-20). With strategic SEO efforts, these keywords can potentially be pushed onto the first page, thus they represent low-hanging fruits in your SEO strategy.

Spotting Quick Win Keywords

Step 7: Discovering New Opportunities

Finally, in how to use Google Search Console for keyword research, review your entire keyword list to find new opportunities. These are keywords that you might not have targeted intentionally but are already ranking for. Select those relevant to your business or website for targeting.

Discovering New Opportunities

Implementing Keywords in SEO Strategy

Once you have identified your keywords, the next step in how to use Google Search Console for keyword research is implementation. For keywords where you already rank well, continue to optimize your existing content. For quick win and new opportunity keywords, consider creating new content or updating existing pages. Ensure that the content is relevant and aligns with the search intent behind each keyword.

Measuring Success

After implementing your keywords, use GSC to track your progress. Monitor changes in clicks, impressions, CTR, and your average position for the targeted keywords. This will help you understand the impact of your SEO efforts and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Integrating with Other Tools

While GSC is a powerful tool on its own, integrating it with other platforms like Semrush can provide a more comprehensive view of your keyword performance. This integration can enhance your keyword research and overall SEO strategy.

Integrating with Other Tools



Does Google Search Console show keywords?

Google Search Console (GSC) is a valuable tool that displays “queries,” essentially the keywords that users type to find your website in Google search. It offers detailed insights about these queries, including how often your site appears in search results (impressions), how many clicks each query receives, and your average search ranking position. However, for discovering new keyword opportunities, you would need to use additional tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs, as GSC focuses more on monitoring your site’s current keyword performance and user search behaviors.

Which Google tool is used for keyword research?

I recommend Google Keyword Planner because not only is it free, but it’s also a comprehensive tool for finding keywords for your ads or SEO efforts. This tool, part of Google Ads, offers valuable insights into search frequency, competition levels for keywords, and estimated costs for using them in ad campaigns. While it requires a Google Ads account for access, you can use it for keyword research without needing to spend money on ads.

Seeking Expert Help in SEO and Keyword Research?

Visible stands out as a top choice for businesses and marketers seeking expert guidance in keyword research. Our dedicated team, proficient in tools like Google Search Console, offers tailored support to effectively leverage real-time data for enhancing your website’s visibility and ranking. With Visible, you gain not just the tools but the expertise to navigate the evolving landscape of SEO and keyword trends. For a personalized approach to boosting your SEO outcomes, visit us at

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