No paid tools no time, no team for SEO? No problem, use the free Google Search Console for easy, quick and free insights that will definitely improve your SEO.
1/ Look at Year on Year Variations of Clicks, Impressions and Positions
Looking at year on year data controls for seasonal variations.
The chart will show your progress year over year for impressions, clics and position.
The table will help you locate pages and keywords that lost and gained traffic compared to last year.
Expand on the winning page, and inspect the losing page to inform your next steps.
Caveat: some businesses do have seasonal variation year over year, for example based on weather.
2/ Look at Quarter over Quarter variations of Traffic, Impressions and Positions
You’re probably adjusting your strategy on a quarterly basis, with OKRs or Rocks. 1 quarter is a good period to control for short term progress and course-correct accordingly.
Again look at both the chart and the table to quickly locate useful insights.
3/ Find Opportunities based on High Impressions vs Low Clicks
This is the best way to consistently find new SEO ranking opportunities with just your free Google Search Console account!
If you already have some SEO traction, sort your pages and keywords by decreasing impressions.
Look at pages and keywords with average position between 20 and 5 (use a filter if there are too many row for easy scanning).
If you have little clicks and a lot of impression on a page or for a specific keyword, and if the position is not too low (ie. above 20), look at your content to find possible improvements, and benchmark SERPs to evaluate competition. In 15 min you will know if you can rank for this keyword.
4/ Add your Sitemaps to the GSC
Add your sitemap, if possible add separate sitemaps per type of page (posts, pages, categories, products, custom types…).
This will be useful for next step, and might even help Google index more of your content faster.
5/ Find Your Coverage Issues in the Page Indexing Report
Look at your page indexing at least once a month.
Ideally filter sitemap by sitemap so you can see where the issues are concentrated.
The chart will show you progress or new issues, while the table below will help you locate the main problem.
Pass on any issue to your dev, webmaster or SEO team for further diagnostic and urgent technical fixes.
6/ Watch your Core Web Vitals
Those are a new breed of metrics that are supposed to tell how fast your website will feel to a user. Google decided to use it as a ranking factor so you’d better look at thelm to see how fast Google thinks your website feels.
If you see a trend of issues increasing, or if issues are plenty, share it to your devs for investigation and technical fixes.