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Google Search Console is a tool you should always rely on when doing SEO. It will help you track all the important metrics you need to optimize your site to the fullest. But sometimes you can get lost in all the information displayed there, losing track of beneficial keywords for your website. This especially goes for longtail keywords that are often overlooked. This is where the bubble chart will help you.
Breakdown of the bubble chart
The concept is very easy, bubble chart will help you visualize metrics like average position, CTR, and clicks for a specific query when you connect it with your Google search console.
Each bubble represents a query. The size of the bubble shows how many clicks the website generated as a result of the query. The more traffic the query produces, the larger the bubble.
The color of the bubble represents the device used while searching. This means that you can see one green bubble for desktop, one blue bubble for mobile, and one pink bubble for tablet for each question.
The average position for queries is shown on the Y-axis. The Click-through rate, or X-axis, is a measure of how relevant the query is to users in the Search Results Page. It is calculated by dividing the Click count by the Impression count. Lastly, the red lines show the average for each of the axes to identify queries that are above or below the average.
After connecting your GSC and bubble chart you will have a couple of filtering options.
- If you have multiple GSC data you can choose which one to display
- You can choose a timeframe of displayed metrics, but keep in mind that too short of a time period may not be statistically significant
- Filter out which words and queries you would like to see in your chart, there are a few options like ‘contains’ or ‘regex’
- Select which country you want to see results from
- Filter out different devices, desktop, mobile, or tablet
Benefits of using the bubble chart
Using bubble chat will help you in many ways, including:
- A chart is an easier and quicker analysis of your data.
- You can easily identify critical areas
- Get a quick look at your overall performance
- Present it to your client as a visual, rather than just showing numbers
How to interpret the chart
When you are reading this chart, it’s helpful to split it into four categories based on the average lines.
1. High average position, High CTR (Quadrant 1)
These are the keywords that are doing really well. You should pay attention to the branded keywords.
You can see from the example provided, that our client BiCortex Languages, has a cluster of bubbles, all of which are branded keywords.
Optimization for Quadrant 1
Ideally, in this quadrant, you would have all your branded keywords in a big bubble cluster. If your brand is doing well and is known to your customers, and generally online, then the largest bubbles in this quadrant are always branded keywords.
If those keywords are not in this area, you should look into that problem by asking these questions:
- What queries are people using when searching for your brand?
- Are your braided pages (about/home) optimized for branded keywords?
- Do you have a Google business profile?
If you do not have GBP, or it isn’t updated with all your current information, fix that and track your branded keyword positioning through your bubble chart.
2. High average position, Low CTR (Quadrant 2)
Keywords in this area are ranking pretty well, but they are not getting any traffic. This can happen when a featured snippet or an answered question delivers value directly from Google without the need for click-through. Similarly, when the meta description answers the question the user may not need to explore further.
This is not always the case, at times the reason why is because #1 results take most of the clicks away. So if you’re ranking average position 6, getting lots of impressions but no clicks, this is likely because the page comes after the FAQ section, image pack, or some other feature that provides more value.
We see the same behavior when Google serves an Image pack or YouTube videos. These tend to outperform classical SERP pages.
On the other hand, maybe your title and description aren’t optimized enough and are putting users off.
Optimization for Quadrant 2
Taking into consideration these reasons, there are a few things you can do to improve your CTR.
1. Metatags optimization
Optimizing your metatags is pretty simple, you just need to make your title and description more clickable and appealing to the user.
2. Structured data markup
Include structured data markup in your content to help search engines understand it and to make it possible for search results to present it in ways that are both informative and visually appealing.
3. Internal and external links
To help improve your positions further, if optimizing metatags and implementing a structured data markup didn’t work, then internal links through specific keywords that are getting high impressions and need a lift may be the ideal solution.
- Use anchor text that accurately describes the page it’s linking to
- Keep the anchor text short and to the point
- Consider the surrounding content since it helps Google understand the link better
- Avoid using generic text like “click here”
If nothing moves the needle, consider link building to increase the number of external links:
3. Low average position, Low CTR (Quadrant 3)
This is a section with dead keywords. Meaning; keywords buried at the bottom of SERP that are not likely to rank at all.
Ideally, like in the graph below, you would have an empty quadrant with only keywords stuck at the Y-axis with 0 clicks and 0 CTR.
Optimization for Quadrant 3
If you see a keyword that has some CTR and is located in this quadrant, then you would consider optimizing for this keyword.
It could be the case if the page is performing well overall, then over time, you will see these keywords moving gradually into Quadrant 4.
Another possible scenario is that the keywords in this quadrant are NOT business-relevant. So, we would not want the site to rank for these keywords, let alone get clicks from these queries, as that would send Google a signal that doesn’t align with our marketing objectives, i.e. NOT our target audience.
4. Low average position, High CTR (Quadrant 4)
These are the pages doing well despite the below-average rankings. This happens most commonly when doing a migration or redirection.
Let’s explain this first:
Normally, Quadrant 4 keywords indicate a strong growth in positions, due to major fluctuations as a consequence of activating ranking factors. Whether bulk redirects during a migration project, or a change in user behavior (surge in demand for a keyword).
Often when migrating or redirecting pages, you may receive a sudden burst of external links flowing to your pages. This increases the number of impressions for the page:
If the average position improves along with the impression rate, this indicates a flow of traffic to this page:
When internal links are many for this page, this helps Google establish authority for this page quickly:
Now, the page started ranking for new keywords and getting strong positions. When filtering for the top-performing keyword, this is what we see:
When calculating average positions from the graph above; half of the graph accounts as position > 100 (because the page is not ranking), and the other half keyword is ranking at a very high position (1-4).
So this is what the behavior would look like from a keyword position perspective:
The fluctuation between such high and low rankings makes the average position 40. Still, when the ranking is high the keyword gets clicks, explaining the phenomenon in this quadrant – low average position but high CTR.
Optimization for Quadrant 4
Quadrant 4 keywords indicate a strong growth in positions which means that the ranking engines have started moving the page around for a particular keyword.
We advise monitoring the following aspects of keyword ranking:
- Current trends that may impact the search volume due increase in demand for the keyword
- User behavior (intent) when entering your site via this keyword (does it mean anything for your business?)
- Impression growth for related keywords that the page is ranking for (does your page provide value or is this the result of a surge in demand?)