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google search console

Are you planning your search engine optimization strategy based off of tangible data in your business? Today we’re exploring how Google Search Console can help you strategically plan your content.

Listen in as I share how to set up Google Search Console, my favorite features of the tool, and how I use the data within it to create a better SEO strategy for my website content.

Clocking In with Haylee Gaffin is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative, a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com, plus you’ll also find resources, show notes, and more for the Clocking In Podcast.

Review the Show Notes

Install Google Analytics (1:13)

Installing Google Search Console (1:29)
– Head over to
– Login with Google Account
– Add Property
– Enter URL
– Verify Your Website with Google Analytics Tracking ID

Actively Tracking Data (1:57)

Using Google Search Console (2:14)
– Submitting my sitemap
– Monitor usability and errors
– Review my site’s search performance

Submitting Your Sitemap (2:33)

Generating Your Sitemap (2:47)

Monitor Usability & Errors (2:54)

Keyword Planning Based on Performance (4:33)
Search Console > Performance > Queries

Google Search Console Data from gaffincreative.com: Q1 2021 (4:53)
# of times gaffincreative.com showed up in Google Searches: 12,900
# of times gaffincreative.com was clicked on from Google Searches: 295
Top Keywords/Phrases: Photography Studio Rental, Chattanooga Headshot Photographer, Photography Studios near me

Google Search Console Data for Podcast Keywords from gaffincreative.com: Last 28 Days (5:39)
Podcast Budget Template: 40 searches, 8 impressions, 2 clicks
Royalty Free Music for Podcasts: 1900 searches, 393 impressions, 1 click

Keyword Planning with Google Search Console (7:15)
– List a few of the top clicks/impressions that I’m performing under
– List a few of the top searched works that I’m showing up under

Strategizing Content Around Keywords & Data (8:02)
– How can I built better content around these keywords or phrases?
– What related searches are people making that I can build even more content around? (that’s where the Keywords Everywhere tool I mentioned comes into play)

Haylee’s Exercise Example (8:42)
Top Photography Keyword: Chattanooga Headshot Photographer
Potential Keywords to Work Towards: Chattanooga photographer, Photographers in chattanooga, Chattanooga commercial photographer, Photography chattanooga, tn, Headshot studio chattanooga

Destination Photographer Example (10:20)

The Woman I’m cheering for This Week (12:41)
Jess Ekstrom:
Author of Chasing the Bright Side
CEO of Headbands of Hope
Host of Business on the Bright Side

Other Episodes Mentioned in this Episode:
010: Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Blog Posts Mentioned in this Episode:
Music

Links
gaffincreative.com/podcast-production
instagram.com/hayleegaffin
Google Search Console
yoast.com
keywordseverywhere.com

Review the Transcript:

Hey y’all, after last week’s episode aired, I had a couple of listeners reach out with more questions about search engine optimization and the tools I use in determining keywords for my website. So I decided to push out an episode dedicated to some of those questions! We’ll be diving a little deeper into what that process looks like and how you can replicate my system.

Hey y’all welcome to the clocking in podcast the podcast for entrepreneurs and professionals making their way in the working world i’m your host Haylee Gaffin this podcast is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com plus you’ll also find resources show notes and more for the clocking in podcast so let’s clock in and get to work.

In last week’s episode, I shared some interesting data from my website about what keywords and phrases my website ranks for.

Today’s episode is going to focus solely on Google Search Console, the tool I use to review my website’s performance and pull data for my seo strategy planning.

First things first, you’ll want to make sure you have Google Analytics set up on your website! To do this, simply head over to 

Once you’ve set up Analytics, you can head over to Google Search Console, then log in—ideally with the same login as your google Analytics account.

Then you’ll click Add a Property at the top of the page.

Enter your URL, then click continue.

THen you’ll need to verify your website—there are a few ways you can do this that are prompted at the verification level, but the easiest way will be to verify it through your Google Analytics Tracking ID, which is one reason I encourage you to set it up first!

For both of these tools, you won’t be able to see past data, so you’ll need to wait a few days or a week to really see any data that give you the details you need.

So how can you use Google Search Console in your business? There are a few key ways that I use it for Gaffin Creative:

  • Submitting my sitemap
  • Monitor usability and errors
  • Review my site’s search performance

If you’d like to take an extra step, you can submit a sitemap to Google within Google Search Console under Sitemap. This will help Google find your website content and index it more quickly. To generate your sitemap, you can use a tool like Yoast SEO to generate one under the general settings.

Since we’ve already discussed submitting the sitemap, we’ll move on to the other two reasons for using Google Search Console..

First up, Monitor usability and errors

You’ll see where there may be site errors under coverage in Google Search Console. These are mainly issues you need to fix on your site. While I currently don’t have anything on mine that show up as errors, I use this feature to double check my excluded pages to ensure that all of my important content or pages are showing up in google searches. 

I can do this through looking at the Excluded data under Coverage in Google Search Console. I personally have a few items in this area, but they’re intentional:

like pages with redirects

pages I’ve tagged as “noindex” like the wordpress category pages

and canonical tags, which are basically pages I’ve tagged as a duplicate on my site where I’d rather have the main page rank (for example, I want my main headshot page to rank on google, but not my time sensitive headshot mini session pages so I would set up a canonical on the mini session page with the headshot page being the primary page).

The other way I use Google Search Console is for keyword planning and research based on my own data. 

Under Performance, you can see search queries based on your own site’s performance, when you showed up in searches, and when your site was clicked from those searches.

For example last week I mentioned some of my own numbers from Q1 of this year:

# of times gaffincreative.com showed up in Google Searches: 12,900

# of times gaffincreative.com was clicked on from Google Searches: 295

Top Keywords/Phrases: Photography Studio Rental, Chattanooga Headshot Photographer, Photography Studios near me

Now in the last 2 months I’ve been working on my podcast content strategy to help me grow in that space. Let’s look at the numbers over the last 28 days to see if it’s made an impact.

Podcast Budget Template – 40 searches – 8 impressions – 2 clicks

Royalty Free Music for Podcasts – 1900 search, 393 impressions – 1 click

Now i could look at that data and think, well that only brought me 3 clicks to my website, that’s nothing. But then I can also look at it like, those were three people who’d likely never heard of me, who now have—plus what about the fact that one of the budget downloads turned around an booked me for a launch consultation to help her plan her podcast and strategize how she could monetize it in order to outsource her podcast production?

Soo what I end up doing to plan for keywords from this content is I take two lists:

  • A few of the top clicks/impressions that I’m performing under
  • A few of the top searched works that I’m showing up under

Then I take those words and strategize content around them. 

  • How can I built better content around these keywords or phrases?
  • What related searches are people making that I can build even more content around? (that’s where the Keywords Everywhere tool I mentioned comes into play)

So basically I’m building out buckets of content—which this has become really popular in the social media planning world, but rather that narrowing it down to 3-5 topics, I’m using each of these keywords as the base for creating content associated with those.

So let’s run through this exercise together. Many of my listeners are photographers, so we’ll use that as an example by creating a content plan around one of my top performing keywords:

My top keyword that I perform under in the photography space is Chattanooga Headshot Photographer so we’ll start with that one. A few keywords that I also rank for that are relevant to my work, but I don’t perform well are:

Chattanooga photographer

Photographers in chattanooga

Chattanooga commercial photographer

Photography chattanooga, tn

Headshot studio chattanooga

So I could create support content or blog posts about each of these topics using past sessions. When creating this content, I’ll also want to consider the content, alt text, image names, headers, and more for SEO purposes (make sure you listen to last week’s episode if you didn’t get a chance to). From there, I would make sure that my primary page that is ranking for chattanooga headshot photographer, also links to these pages. That way, traffic from that keyword is also funnelling through my website to relevant pages.

A destination based photographer could also do this for their own SEO strategy to rank for specific locations that they love to travel to. Just because you’re not located in that area doesn’t mean you can’t put forth the efforts to rank for major destinations. 

Now that I’ve given you a little deeper look into how to use Google Search Console, are you going to use it in your business for your SEO strategy?

This has been another episode of The clocking in podcast. You can find the show notes for this episode and more at Gaffincreative.com. Thank you so much for your listenership and support. If you love this episode, I’d be so honored if you leave me a review in Apple podcast app. Until next time, I’m your host Haylee Gaffin, clocking out.

This week I’m cheering for Jess Ekstrom, author of Chasing the Bright Side, CEO of Headbands of Hope, host of Business on the Bright Side, and so much more!

Jess is celebrating nine years of Headbands of Hope today with their biggest sale ever! Make sure you head over to headbandsofhope.com to grab a few items and help a child with cancer! For every headband purchased, they donate one to a little one batting childhood cancer. Plus, they’ve almost hit 1 million headband donations!