How to find SEO quick-wins in Google Search Console: low CTR% keywords

SEO is a long-won strategy, with gains happening over years. However there are some great quick-wins you can pick off each month that can make a difference really quickly. And the good news is that all you need is Google Search Console and excel to do it.

High-impression keywords with low CTR%

Impressions are a great indicator of visibility. They can also highlight keywords your website is surfacing for and not getting clicks. These keywords mean that search engines have surfaced your content for these keywords, but they need improvements in order to grab clicks.


How do I find low CTR% keywords?

Firstly we need to head into Google Search Console and navigate to the performance dashboard. Adjust the time series to 6 months – this will cast a wide net to get the most relevant keywords.

You can see that impressions have been steadily rising, with clicks yet to follow. We need to find which keywords are driving the increase in impressions and not currently driving clicks. Now lets download the queries into Excel.

Next we’re going to find keywords with high impressions and low CTR%s in this spreadsheet. Toggle the impressions column from highest to lowest: 

… And make sure the CTR% is under 0%. If it’s not, filter this down in column D. 

Now we want to know which keywords are currently sitting on pages 2-1:

Sort through your list and see if there are any topic trends. From this list, I can see:

  • SEO Conferences
  • Quick SEO
  • SEO agency in London

Hey presto! We’ve found 3 great ideas for new content, or to improve existing content.


How to Boost CTR%

Next you need to go through your list and determine if we need a new piece of content, or we need to update an existing page.

We’re going to pick one of the above 3 topics: SEO conferences. Head to Google, and use a site: search string to find all current articles on the site that contain “SEO Conferences”. It looks like we already have content for this topic, so we’ll be boosting this article instead of creating a new one.

This article currently has the most relevance for SEO Conferences: https://resignal.com/blog/seo-conferences-2023/. But we can see in GSC that it’s currently sitting on the top of page 2 over the last 6 months:

Whether you need to update an article or update a current article you’ll need to check out the competition to boost CTR%.

Let’s see what competitors are doing on page 1. At the time of writing, these three articles are currently sitting at the top of page 1:

  1. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo/seo-conferences/
  2. https://brightonseo.com/
  3. https://ahrefs.com/blog/seo-conferences-roundup/ 

You can then do the same for your topic and grab the top 3 pages. What do they have that we don’t?

Look at:

  • Page title: is it more compelling? Does it explain the purpose of the page better?
  • Meta description: does it sufficiently trail the article and entice users to click?
  • Header tags: how many are there and do they feature different sub-topics than your content does?
  • Images, videos, other file downloads: is there a common theme?

From the three competitors here, we can see the following information that our article is lacking:

  • More event information per conference. Ahrefs’ article contains a complete run-down of speakers, dates, cost, online or in-person, etc.

  • As we know, Brighton SEO is widely considered to be the UK’s’ largest SEO conference with online and offline events. This is likely why this site ranks so highly, but we can take information that will help us: dates, online/offline, number of speakers, number of attendees, number of breakout sessions, etc.
  • So we can see that the top-ranking article from Search Engine Journal includes far more conferences internationally, and also offers the ability for readers to add their own conference to the list too:

Now we know three elements we should add to our article to improve it. We know we need to update metadata, include more information about each conference, and possibly include a way for readers to add their own too.


Keep boosting CTR% on your schedule

Always keep an eye on your keywords that could use a boost in CTR%. A great frequency to consider is monthly. We know that grabbing new keyword opportunities is a big part of SEO, but it’s also important to keep an eye on the traffic you’re already getting and to make those impressions work harder for you.