Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Knowing which keywords your target audience is searching for can help you optimize your content and website for higher rankings and more traffic. One powerful but often overlooked keyword research tool is Google Search Console.

Google Search Console provides a wealth of data on how people are finding your site through Google Search. With some digging, you can find valuable keyword opportunities you may have missed. In this post, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process for leveraging Google Search Console for keyword research.

Steps for Researching Potential Keywords Through Google Search Console with Search Queries

Google Search Console should be a go-to tool in your SEO toolkit. Let’s look at the specifics of how to mine this free platform for insights to inform your keyword strategy.

Step 1. Go through Google Search Console 

First, make sure you’ve set up Google Search Console for your site if you haven’t already. This will allow you to view key metrics like impressions, clicks, and position for search queries driving traffic to your site.

Step 2. Set Your Time Frame for the Report Data 

When conducting keyword research in the Search Console, the time frame is key. You want to examine a recent period to understand the latest search trends. First, go to the Performance section and then set the time frame for the report data.

I recommend focusing on the last 3-6 months of data. You can also compare year-over-year data (i.e. November 2022 vs. November 2023) to identify new opportunities or optimize your existing content.

Set your date range, then apply it to the Queries report. This will narrow down the keyword data to your selected timeframe.

Step 3. Go to the Queries Section and Set the Impression Filter to High to Low 

With your date range applied, click on the Impressions column header in the Queries report to sort keywords from most impressions to least.

Focus on keywords that have received a high impression volume over your selected period. This indicates there is a solid search volume for these terms.

NOTE: You may ask, why we are prioritizing impression filtering. Well, it helps to find out how many times the keyword shows up on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). It will help you to find out the next potential keyword to work with. 

Step 4. Look for the Keywords with Higher Impressions with Lower Clicks

Once you’ve identified keywords driving high impressions to your site, look for opportunities in the click.

These present opportunities to better optimize your content and pages for those keywords to capture more of that traffic potential.

From the picture, you get to see that the tilde key keyword has 2,528 impressions with 0 clicks. It means, either you didn’t cover any article by using this keyword, or your existing content’s title tags or meta descriptions need tweaking, or your content doesn’t fully address the searcher’s intent. 

Bonus Tip: Don’t just focus on individual keywords. Look for clusters of related terms to identify broader topics and content opportunities. Remember, SEO is like a delicious buffet – serve up a variety of relevant content to satisfy your search engine guests.

Step 5. Now, Research the Potential Keyword for Your Next Content

Now, let’s assume that you haven’t used the keyword to write content. It’s a short tail keyword that can be transformed into different types of long tail keywords such as tilde key is not working, how to find the tilde key on my keyboard, and so on.

You can do it by using the Google search engine or a free keyword generator tool. 

If you want to use Google, then type the tilde key in the search box and it will provide you suggestions with more short and long-tail keywords.

You can also search the keyword on Google and then get keyword suggestions from the Related search section. You will just need to scroll down a little bit.

However, using this way won’t tell you that the competition the keyword has or will be the keyword can be beneficial for you.

In this case, you can use a free keyword research tool. For example, I am using a free keyword research tool from Ahrefs. For this, you have to search for the keyword research tool on Google.

then, navigate to the site, choose the platform, then select the country you are targeting, and then paste the keyword in the box. Lastly, click on Find Keywords.

In the next window, the tool will provide you with a list of keywords related to the tilde key. Choose the keyword with less KD value. Working with a Lower KD value means that you can rank the content on Google quite easily. 

Here you can see, “tilde key not working keyword” has a KD value of 0 and it has 30 search volumes per month. So, if you can produce quality content with the keyword then you can rank on Google with ease! 

How to Use RegEx in Google Search Console to Research Keywords?

Using regular expressions (RegEx) in Google Search Console is a powerful way to research and analyze groups of related keywords that match a pattern. Rather than having to search for keywords individually, RegEx allows you to define keyword patterns to reveal useful insights.

  • Log into your Google Search Console account and go to the Performance section.
  • Click on Queries in the left sidebar. This will show you a list of keywords people have used to find your site.
  • Click on the + New button and then click Query. After that, from the drop-down menu select custom (regex)
  • Enter your RegEx pattern in the search bar. Some examples:

For brand search – nike|nikee|nyke

Questions – ^who|^what|^when|^where|^why|^how|^do|^are

Match unusual URL patterns – /[0-9]{4}/[0-9]{2}/[0-9]{2}/(.*)

Match product ID or SKU –  [a-z]{1}[0-9]{7} for finding a product with ID p9876543. 

  • Hit enter. Search Console will now show you any queries matching your RegEx pattern.
  • You can apply additional filters for country, device, date range, etc. to analyze the results further.
  • Save useful RegEx search strings by clicking the “Save” icon next to the search bar.

Handy Regex Quick Reference

Regular expressions (regexes) are useful for matching patterns in text. This quick reference summarizes some common regex syntax to help you build and understand regex queries.

RegexWhat it does
|Match either string
.Match any character
(.*)Greedy wildcard
^Start of string
$End of string
\Escape character
[0-9]Digit 0-9
[a-z]Letter a-z

Advanced Keyword Research Tactics in Google Search Console

Google Search Console offers seasoned SEO professionals powerful options to take their keyword research to the next level. While the basics get you started, you can tap into advanced capabilities for even greater insights.

  • Filter keyword data by landing page to see which pages attract the most search traffic for target keywords. Identify optimization opportunities to increase relevancy for ranking keywords.
  • Sort keywords by click-through rate (CTR). Low CTR suggests your title tags and meta descriptions need optimization to entice searchers to click. Improve CTR with compelling copywriting.
  • Compare keyword data over time using custom date ranges. Identify trends and seasonal differences. See how your efforts to target and optimize for keywords directly impact search traffic.
  • Export keyword data as CSV files for further analysis. Integrate with other SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Excel for additional reporting functionality. It will help to uncover deeper insights.

With some creativity and strategic analysis, the wealth of data in Google Search Console can take your keyword research to the next level. Expert SEOs can extract golden opportunities others may miss.

Benefits of Keyword Researching through Google Search Console

Keyword research through Google Search Console is critical for an effective SEO strategy. It helps you identify and optimize for the most relevant and opportunistic keywords. Here are some benefits of using GSC as your keyword-researching partner – 

  • Search Console shows you keywords already driving traffic – your current ranking keywords. Optimizing for these potent existing keywords can improve conversions.
  • It also reveals untapped, low-hanging fruit keywords that are relevant but not yet targeted. Focusing on these provides quick wins to increase traffic.
  • You can compare your rankings to competitors and prioritize going after shared relevant keywords where you have the opportunity to improve your position.
  • Tracking over time shows the impact of optimization on rankings and traffic for your most relevant keywords. This informs better SEO decisions.
  • Integration with keyword tools provides additional data on search volume and difficulty for comprehensive analysis.

The insights on existing rankings, untapped potential keywords, and relevant opportunities are invaluable for aligning your SEO with user search intent. This allows building an optimal internal linking structure to focus pages on ranking for the most relevant keyword targets

Ending Thoughts 

Keyword research is a crucial ongoing process for SEO success. While Google Search Console should not be your sole keyword research source, it provides invaluable Google-specific data to inform your strategy. By regularly analyzing Search Console reports for high-potential keywords, monitoring optimizations, and diagnosing issues, you can unlock more organic traffic. Just remember to incorporate other methods like surveys, competitor research, and search volume data for the full picture. I hope this guide gives you a framework to better utilize Search Console’s powerful keyword insights. Let me know if you have any other tips or questions! Thanks for reading.