Spotting your Google results which aren’t delivering

We all want our site appearing on the first page of results on Google searches. But that’s not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to get lots of clicks – and that’s not guaranteed if our entry looks really unattractive and inspires only a small proportion of people to click on it.

So can we identify these unattractive results? As is so often the case, Google Search Console is our friend. A new layout was introduced for this a few weeks ago, and we can use its filtering capabilities to help.

Go to the ‘performance’ report and set the general filters to show (say) the last 3 months, and the UK only (results look different elsewhere and we don’t want them hiding the findings). Click the main panels so we see average clickthrough rate (CTR) and average position. Then use the table filter to show ‘Position’ <10.

Now we should have a list of search terms where, on average, our site appeared in the top 10 results. We can take a look down this and identify those where the clickthrough rate is low (I’d expect more than 10% for most page 1 results).

For the highlighted terms, take a look at that results page on Google and try to work out why you’ve got a good position but a low clickthrough rate. What’s so unattractive about your result? Is it just poorer than the others? Or do you think that most people making the search are looking for something you’re not providing? Could you tweak the page title (and the description) to appeal more? If you can make some successful adjustments, the results can be exceptional.