Leveraging the Google Search Console performance report

The performance report from the Google Search Console displays (a lot) around the organic performance of the past period for a website. Within this report, many different combinations can be made around this data. In this article, I explore the most common combinations and take you through how I use this report.

For the examples in this article, I’m using an old website of mine that I don’t do much with now.

The performance report: a general overview

The first pieces of data you see in this report are about the general overview of organic performance within Google. It gives a good picture of overall performance. Consider:

  • Number of clicks
  • Number of impressions in Google
  • Average CTR
  • Average position

You can filter all this in various ways (including all the possible combinations I describe below).

  • Date: Most recent date, past 7 days, 28 days, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 16 months, a custom date and comparing 2 dates.
  • By search level.
  • On page level.
  • At the country level.
  • At the device level (mobile, desktop and tablet).
  • Search formatting (form of structured data).
  • Search type: Web, image, video files and news.

It is also possible to export all this data (see the button on the top right) from the Google Search Console and work completely in a Google spreadsheets. So you can apply your own filters to this.

Performance report (Google Search Console) at a glance

No time for a long article? No problem. Watch the video below for a summary of this article.

The performance report (Google Search Console).

Use the filters correctly

I like the above environments to get a picture of a website’s overall performance, but the digging really starts when I can do certain analysis at the page or even keyword level.

If you look at an entire Web site, it’s hard to see average position and average CTR as metrics of interest. For example, the average position may be a lot lower than before, while at the same time you receive more organic clicks. Consider a website that has published a lot of new content. Only one search term needs to do well and receive many more clicks.

Below we look at one search term where we can really say something meaningful about the trend of average position. Here we see that there is a fair amount of fluctuation (which is often the case when we zoom in on one search term like this) and that we received 5,000 organic clicks with this search term over the web.

Similarly, it is possible to analyze one landing page. For this, see the image below. Thereby, it is possible to include all the search terms of such a landing page. What I find interesting about that is that it is possible to take all the search terms from such a landing page and see, based on this list of search terms, what choices we can make at the landing page level.

To avoid showing all combinations one by one: this is possible with all filters, which is hugely interesting for content optimizations. Consider the following cases:

  • you want to tighten targeting at the page level for a particular country;
  • You want to see performance at the device level and optimize accordingly;
  • You want to implement the structured data in the appropriate pages and check the current status of them;
  • You want to see the average CTR of certain searches by position;
  • You want to see the overall performance of a Web site at a glance;
  • you want to compare 2 landing pages.

In all, too many to mention. I use it daily myself.

Summary

The Google Search Console performance overview is interesting for any SEO specialist to use. The data is more accurate than most other tools and opportunities abound. However, it is important that you get the right data to the surface and use it to make the right choices.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 22 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 22 March 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.