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Webmaster Tools Search Queries Data Now More Useful

Now that we’ve all gotten used to seeing “Not Provided” for our organic traffic keywords, Google has actually thrown us a bone. Now in Webmaster Tools, you will see the exact impression and click counts for your site. This is as opposed to the rounded numbers or bucket numbers (generally +/- 10% of actual numbers) that they had previously reported. This is a step forward in providing more transparency in viewing the search terms your visitors used to get to your site, though it would be helpful if we could see which keywords produced sales.

It’s nice being able to see how many actual times a keyword drove traffic to your site, but combine that with how many times your site was viewed in organic rankings and that is very powerful information for a number of reasons:

  • Improving CTR:

Sort your data by impressions and look at the click through rate (CTR) for these keywords. If you have a low click through rate for high impression keywords, this signals a lot of missed opportunity, especially since we’re talking about free organic traffic. This is a good opportunity to make your meta title and meta description more enticing to try and get more clickthroughs.

  • Choosing keywords to focus on:

You may have a keyword that you’re already ranking decently for (say an average position of 8-10). If you are getting quite a few impressions and clicks for that keyword, I would look at seeing what you can be done to improve your organic ranking for those keywords. These are “easy pickings” because the amount of clicks increase rapidly for each position as you move up first page organic rankings.

  • Decide which keywords to cut your losses on:

Some keywords are so broad that they are just way too popular to try and compete on. If your average position is in the 11-20 range and you’re knocking on the footsteps of being on page 1, by all means continue focusing on those keywords. If on the other hand you’re focusing on keywords where you rank very poorly for, you probably want to focus resources on keywords you have a chance of ranking highly from and receiving more clicks from.

About Brad Litwin

Brad Litwin is the Marketing Manager for A2 Hosting. He has been with the company since 2007. His specialties include affiliate marketing, content writing and SEO. In his spare time he enjoys running and reading.

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