There is so much talk in the blogging and SEO world about keyword research, its importance, and how it can explode your impressions on Google and send thousands of people to your website.
However, like everything in the blogging world, it can get overwhelming. There are so many keyword tools to choose from, how can you find a free keyword research tool?
By creating a downloadable spreadsheet of all your search queries from Google Search Console Performance reports!
If you are just starting your blogging journey, or don’t currently have the funds to join the top Keyword Research Tools like Semrush or AHRefs, don’t worry! You don’t need to.
There are so many free keyword research tools for your blog and the best way to do it?
Use Google itself.
Because Google is where you want to rank, it makes sense to use the data it provides you from its search results.
Google Search Console provides access to valuable data about your website’s performance in Google search results, therefore is the perfect keyword research tool for SEO.
This includes information about the queries people use to find your site, the pages appearing in search results, and the countries where your site is getting traffic from.
By analysing this data, you can identify the specific keywords that are driving traffic to your site and optimise your content accordingly.
The best thing about Google Search Console is that it’s a free tool. This means you can conduct keyword research without having to pay for expensive third-party tools.
Using Google Search Console as a free keyword research tool is an ideal solution for small businesses and website owners who may not have the budget for premium SEO tools.
Free Keyword Research Tool
If you’re looking at how to find keywords in Google Search Console, begin by opening the Search Console and selecting your property (Domain) from the drop-down menu at the top of the left-hand panel.
If you are not already set up, head over to this article >>>
How to Set Up Google Search Console
Step 1 – Open GSC and view search results
There are 2 views available in the left-hand panel. You can either click on Performance within the panel, or you will have a drop-down menu next to Performance and you will have the option to select Search Results or Discover.
If you are receiving organic search traffic from Google Discover or Google News, you will get the latter option to choose Search Results, Discover or News.
To start using Search Console as a free keyword research tool, click on either Performance or Search results.
Google Search Console Performance Reports provide a range of data and insights about how your website is performing in search results.
The Performance section in the search console provides information on the following metrics:
- Total clicks: This metric shows the total number of clicks that your website received from search results pages.
- Total impressions: This metric shows the total number of times that your website’s pages were shown in search results pages.
- Average click-through rate (CTR): This metric shows the percentage of impressions that resulted in clicks to your website.
- Average position: This metric shows the average position of your website’s pages in search results pages.
By default, Google will show you the results from the Search Type: Web. You can change this view to filter with Web, Image, Video or News.
Step 2 – Select your performance filter
Before you start downloading your Google Search Console Performance report, select your filters. You can choose Web, which will show you all search results, or images if you want images.
You can also change the date range. I tend to keep the date range small – around the last 3 or 6 months. But you can go back as far as 16 months, showing you all the queries you have ranked for.
Once you are happy with the search method and date, click apply and Export from the top right-hand corner.
Step 3 – Exporting the data
Click Export and then choose whether to download it as a Google Sheet, Excel or CSV. This will help you to sort through your results, apply filters and get a better view of your keywords.
I downloaded it as an Excel spreadsheet and saved it to my PC
Step 4 – Filtering your data to find your perfect Keywords
Open up your downloaded spreadsheet to reveal all the queries your website is ranking for.
You will have several tabs to choose from >>>
- Search Appearance
For this keyword research, you need to concentrate on Queries.
You need to manipulate the data to make it work for you. I always sort by the highest Impressions and queries that appear in the first 10 positions (so will more than likely be on the first page).
- Sort your keyword table by the impressions column, from highest to lowest. If you are using Excel, go to the Data tab at the top >
- Select Filter >
- Use the drop-down arrow next to Impressions and choose Descending. This will show you the keywords that give your website the highest number of impressions on Google
- Next, choose the drop-down arrow next to Position >
- In the Filter, where it says choose one, choose Less Than or Equal to >
- Type in a value – I go with 10 as this will show all your impressions that have shown up in the first 10 results on Google!
Step 5 – Go through your ranking keywords
You may find that a few of the ranking keywords in the filtered results are keywords you are already using. Good! Your keyword research methods are working.
You need to go through the results and highlight anything that is relevant to your business and you are not already using as a keyword. Google is already showing your website for these keywords, but if you are not using these keywords, you are not providing the answers to people’s queries.
Step 6 – Add the keywords to existing content or create a new article!
The best way to add these keywords is to place them in relevant published articles on your website. However, do so with caution. What you think the keywords stand for might be something entirely different on the SERPs, so type the keyword into Google and see what website articles come back in the top results.
Take my top keyword – Trending Reels Audio
I have a blog post about how to find trending audio for Reels, but I am not using this keyword. When I type the keywords into Google, the results are the same as the content I published, so this shows that I should add this keyword to my existing content.
If the SERPs came back with a different take on those keywords, I would write new content to satisfy Google and users’ queries.
Step 7 – Check what keywords are ranking on individual pages
You can also check to see what pages are ranking and what keywords are associated with them.
By identifying the keywords that individual pages are ranking for, you can optimise this page by using the keywords in your page titles, meta description, headings and content, if you are not already doing so. This will optimise the page even further and help to increase your CTR.
Go back to GSC and select Pages in the Performance view. Order by Impressions and you will see your top-performing page. Click on this page to add it to the filter and, following the steps before, export the page data as a spreadsheet to find out what the page is ranking for.
You can either check to see if these keywords are already on the page and if not, add them (which will help to boost its impressions even further), or create a whole new article from the keywords if they are not relevant to the page.
Step 8 – Find new Keywords to help you rank
You’ve found all the keywords that you are currently ranking for and have made sure they are in your articles or have created new articles around the keyword. There might be a lot of replicated keywords within your top impressions, so eventually, you will exhaust this list.
You may have noticed that there are a lot of keywords you hadn’t thought about in your spreadsheet, so if they are relevant to your website niche, start creating articles around that.
Clear all the filters on your spreadsheet and sort your data by Impressions with the biggest value first. You can then go through all the queries and starting from the top, write articles that are not already on your website.
If you are already showing for these keywords, they are a quick way to boost your traffic!
Step 9 – Keywords to pay attention to
Finally, one of the quickest ways to boost your traffic and position in Google is to update content you have already published.
Look for keywords that you are ranking for but do not show up in the top 10 results.
Go back to your excel spreadsheet and order your queries by Impressions again. This time, we are going to set the filter to between 10 and 20 (which will show the results for keywords that you are ranking for in 10th to 20th place on SERPs).
Check to see if you are already using these keywords and if you are, you need to optimise this content >>>
- Incorporate the identified keywords into your blog post’s title, headings, meta description, and content. Make sure to use the keywords naturally and avoid keyword stuffing.
- Review your blog post’s content and improve it to make it more comprehensive, engaging, and valuable to your target audience. Use images, videos, and infographics to make the content more visually appealing and easier to understand.
- Review other blog articles that are appearing in the top 10 positions in SERPs and evaluate why their articles are performing better.
If you haven’t written an article that covers the keyword, write it!! Make sure it includes the above 3 points and you should be well on your way to creating a winning blog post!
Using Google Search Console as a free keyword research tool provides several benefits that can help improve the visibility and performance of your website in search results.
- Access to valuable data – Google Search Console provides access to a wealth of data about your website’s performance in search results. This data can be used to identify opportunities for improving your website’s visibility in search results.
- Free tool – if you’re looking for free SEO tools for websites, you can’t go wrong with Google Search Console. You can access valuable insights about your website’s performance in search results without having to pay for a third-party tool.
- Integration with Google Analytics – Google Search Console performance reports are closely integrated with Google Analytics, which allows you to combine data from both tools to gain even deeper insights into how your website is performing.
- Keyword optimisation – It provides all the information on the keywords that your website is ranking for in search results, which can be used to identify opportunities for keyword optimisation.
- Monitoring for errors – Google Search Console also provides alerts for errors on your website, such as broken links or crawling issues. This can help you identify and fix technical issues that may be impacting your website’s performance in search results.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with using Google Search Console Performance reports as a keyword research tool for SEO. GSC can provide valuable insights and data that can help you optimise your website for better performance in search results.
By regularly monitoring and analysing the data in the search console, you can identify opportunities for growing traffic to your website and make data-driven decisions to improve your website’s visibility and performance.
It’s by far my favourite free keyword research tool!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Google Search Console a replacement for other free keyword research tools?
A. While Google Search Console provides valuable insights and data and is a highly rated keyword research tool for SEO, it is not a replacement for other keyword research tools.
Other tools may provide additional insights and data that can complement the data provided by Google Search Console, such as Google Search itself, Google Trends and Analytics
Q. Can I use Google Search Console to track my website’s search rankings?
A. Google Search Console provides data on the average position of your website’s pages in search results, but it does not provide comprehensive rank tracking. For more comprehensive rank tracking, you may need to use a third-party tool.
Q. Is Google Search Console difficult to set up and use as a free keyword research tool?
A. Setting up and using Google Search Console is relatively easy and straightforward, even for beginners. Google provides detailed documentation and tutorials to help you get started and make the most of the tool.