When it comes to your website, finding new content ideas can be a constant challenge.
You may find yourself asking: Which content will resonate best with our audience? What questions are our readers asking? How can I answer them?
Fortunately, Google Search Console is a powerful (free!) tool that can help you generate new ideas for your website. Below, we'll detail the steps you can take to use Google Search Console to fuel effective content ideas.
1. Access Google Search Console
First, you need to access Google Search Console by logging in to your Google account and selecting the website you want to analyze. You can sign in or create your account here.
🔥Pro tip: If your website is new to Google Search Console, it could take up to a few days for your pages to first appear. To see which pages Google has been able to index, you can view the Index Coverage Report under Indexing > Pages.
2. Examine Your Website’s Performance
Once you're in the Google Search Console dashboard, navigate to the "Performance" tab on the left and select “Search results.” This tab will give you a detailed overview of how your website is performing in Google search results. You can see how many clicks, impressions, and the average position your website is receiving for each keyword. Within this section, there are two tabs that will be especially helpful in generating strong content ideas: queries and pages.
The queries tab will show you the keywords or phrases that people are using to find your website on Google over a chosen period of time. Analyzing this data can give you insight into what your audience is looking for and which content on your site speaks to that topic.
This screenshot depicts the Google Search Console “queries” tab for the Ready North website.
🔥Pro tip: If the queries with the most impressions and clicks aren’t what your organization is trying to rank for, this could be a good indicator that you need to create more optimized content around the topics you do want to rank for. One way to do this is by searching Google in an incognito browser tab for the keywords and phrases you’re considering creating content for. Take note of the top-ranking results: What format are they in (list, video, paragraphs, etc.)? How are their pages structured? These results are in the top results for a reason—it’s what users are finding value in. Use those as starting points for creating and/or optimizing your content to emulate and provide unique value for your audience.
This feature shows you the pages on your website that are receiving the most clicks and impressions. Analyzing this data can help you identify which of your content topics are most popular with your audience.
This screenshot depicts the Google Search Console “pages” tab for the Ready North website.
🔥Pro tip: When viewing these data points, look for keywords or phrases that have a high number of impressions but a low click-through rate. This could indicate that there's a gap in the market for that topic, and you could create content to fill that gap. It could also indicate that the technical SEO elements for those pages, such as the title tags and meta descriptions, are ripe for optimizing to entice users to click through to your pages.
3. Utilize The "Discover" Report
The "Discover" report in Google Search Console is a relatively new feature that shows you the content from your website that's being recommended to users on Google Discover, a personalized content feed that appears in the Google app and on some mobile device home screens.
If your website is being recommended to users, it's a good indication that your content is resonating with your audience, and you should create more content on similar topics.
To access this report, follow these steps:
- Log in to your Google Search Console account.
- Click on the website property for which you want to view the Discover report.
- Click on "Performance" in the left-hand menu.
- Click on "Discover" at the top of the page, next to "All" and "Search."
🔥Pro tip: There are several reasons why your property may not have the discover report feature. Some include:
- Your website is not eligible for the Discover feature. The Discover feature is available to websites that meet specific criteria set by Google, such as having high-quality content, a mobile-friendly design, and a fast page load speed.
- Your website doesn't have enough traffic. Google needs a certain amount of traffic to your website to show data in the Discover report.
- Your website is too new. It can take some time for Google to start showing your website's content in the Discover feed. If your website is new, it may not have enough content or traffic to be eligible for the Discover feature.
- The Discover feature is not available in your region. The Discover feature is not available in all regions.
4. Leverage the “Insights” Feature
Google Search Insights is an experience created by Google Search Console that provides website owners and content creators with a deeper understanding of their audience's behavior and preferences. It combines data from various Google platforms, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics, to offer insights into how people find and interact with your content.
You can use the Insights tool to answer the following questions:
- What are your best-performing pieces of content?
- How are your new pieces of content performing?
- How do people discover your content across the web?
- What do people search for on Google before they visit your content?
- Which article refers users to your website and content?
To leverage this tool, follow the steps:
- Ensure that your Google Search Console property is verified.
- Confirm that your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts are linked.
- Login to your Google Search Console property.
- Select the “Search Console Insights” link at the top of the Overview page.
🔥 Pro tip: Bookmark this link to access the Insights feature directly.
5. Keep an Eye Out for the “Content Ideas” Feature
Google recently released an experimental feature on Google Search Console called “Content Ideas.” While only available until March 28, it was added as a new feature to only select properties. For those properties, this feature includes a content ideas section, which dictates ideas based on searches that lack results, and a “followed topics” section, which includes topics the user already ranks for.
Google has yet to disclose if this feature will be launched across all properties, but we recommend keeping an eye out for it, given it already does much of the content ideas research for you.
🔥Pro tip: Don’t have time to regularly check for this feature? Set up a Google Alert so you can stay in the know when it comes to Google Search Console news and updates.
Create a Strong, Data-Driven Content Strategy
Google Search Console is a powerful tool that can help you generate new content ideas for your website or blog—as long as you know how to use it correctly. Download our free Content Hub Strategy Workbook template to help you plan and execute a thoughtful strategy to grow your audience, influence, and revenue.