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Making Use of Organic CTR Data in Google Webmaster Tools

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category Search Engine Optimization Search News

check-your-organic-ctrUntil now there was no accurate way to check how many people click on your organic listing in the search results. The closest we could get is dig the number of searches in Google AdWords Keyword tool (or whatever service you trust most), then check our analytics stats and estimate what percentage of searchers click through to our site. Obviously this is a very rough approximation you can't fully rely on.

Now there's a better way to check your organic Clickthrough Rate (CTR). Google recently rolled out a new feature at Webmaster Tools that shows you the CTR data for your site.

If you go to "Dashboard" -> "Your site on the web" -> "Top search queries" you'll get a list of all the search strings your site ranks for on Google.


Clickthrough rate (CTR) table

Next to each keyword you'll see how many times your site appeared in the search results (Impressions), how many people clicked your listing (Clickthrough) and your actual Clickthrough rate in %. Each search term expands into a more detailed chart that gives you a nice breakdown of CTR data by the SERPs positions of your site.

CTR details

CTR details

Alongside with the average click-through rate Google also shows you in what position your website appeared in the search results and what particular web page ranked for the term. There are a number of ways to use the data provided here.

Clickthrough rate optimization

Obviously the data on your organic clickthrough rates is vital for optimizing your search listing. Getting your website ranked in the top of search results is only half the battle. Once you’re there you still have to compete with 9 other sites for the clicks. That's why you need to always evaluate the performance of you organic listings and try to improve it as much as you can, especially for your most traffic-heavy or best converting keywords.

The data in Webmaster tools lets you compare the clickthrough rates of different landing pages to see what types of titles and snippets work best and where things need to be improved. When you compare different snippets keep in mind that the clickthrough rates for your brand-related keywords will always be higher than for more general search terms.

You can effectively test different meta-descriptions for your keywords and measure the results by tracking the changes in the clickthrough rates. This way you can boost your organic traffic without actually increasing your rankings.

Keyword research

Alongside with the CTR data this section holds valuable information that can be used for keyword research. Here you can see all the keywords that your site appeared in search results for. The list can be downloaded in .csv format for further analysis. There are a number of reasons to analyze the keywords you already rank for:

  • gain new insights as to what terms people use to find your business;
  • explore common misspellings of your brand or product names;
  • locate new keywords you haven't thought of yet;
  • identify the search strings where you're nearing the front page and can get to the top 10 with little effort;
  • check if you're ranking for any negative terms that you wouldn't want your site to be associated with.

Page ranking potential analysis

Besides evaluating the strengths of different web pages in terms of the CTR you can also explore their ranking potential for different keywords. If you click a couple of keywords and check the detailed stats for them you'll notice that there is usually more than one page of your site ranking for each term.

CTR data by pages

CTR data by pages

This way you can identify the second best ranking webpages for any keyword and see if you can promote it higher and perhaps get a double result. From the Webmaster Tools data you can only guess what the page's actual position in the SERPs is judging by the impressions it gets, so it's better to run a rank check to see whether it's reasonable to optimize another page for a double result stack.

There sure are more ways to use the new CTR and keyword data. Check your own stats in the Webmaster tools and see how you can leverage that information to improve your site's performance.

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