Mining the Top Queries Report

When it comes to knowing what keywords drive traffic to your site, it’s been a dark time since 2011. The advent of Secure Search has seen keyword referral traffic slowly-but-surely trickle off to the point of uselessness.

Luckily, around September of 2013 Google threw us keyword-hungry SEO wolves a frickin’ bone: the Top Queries report in Webmaster Tools. This report details “Google Web Search queries that have returned URLs from your site”. This data compares daily averages for the default 30-day period to the previous 30-day period, or you can set your own date range.

The data includes queries, impressionsThese occur any time a user sees your site in the search links or sees your ad., clicks, CTR, and average ranking position. This is the perfect place to identify queries that have a good average position, but low CTR. Queries like this represent an opportunity to improve your site’s content to support that queryThis occurs when a user asks a search engine to perform a search and provide relevant results. The term can be used either for the string of words that made up the query or for the action of asking itself., which will then bring more visitors, more click-throughs, and hopefully more conversions.

In tandem with the Top Pages report in Webmaster Tools and the Landing Pages report in Google Analytics, you can also identify pages with decent click-throughs but low average position. This is an opportunity to improve these specific pages using keywords found in Top Queries – in this way you can target, improve, and serve the information people really need from your site.