Google have again updated the search query data that they are providing in Webmaster Tools. The data can be found in WMT under the tab `Your Site on the Web`> `Top Search Queries`. ( The posting below titled `Webmaster Tools data for Marketing` gives more info on WMT layout) . This update shows many more Search Queries ( 3/7,000 in some of my accounts) with a Google Analytics style graph, a Search Box to find a specific Query term plus date menus to isolate data for a specific period. eg How did we rank do for a specific keyword/phrase for that race/event/cause last week or month ? However the most interesting thing, which is only briefly mentioned in the Google blog posting, is the `% Clickthrough` column. Some bloggers have mentioned that Google is looking to add more weight in the search results algorithm to those pages that are popular with users. This would be consistent with the approach used in Google AdWords where a discount in applied to the cost of each Click for those keywords that have a high Quality Score and hence CTR. ( It is worth noting that the Impression and Click data shown in WMT do not match the data you will find in your Google Analytics account. My analysis shows that the number of clicks shown in GA is consistently higher than the WMT by around 20 %. )
So what to do: 1. Look at the list of Queries and see if there are any that you would like a page on your site to rank higher for. If you see a suitable Query with a high number of Impressions take a closer look. If your highest ranked page for that term is below Position 1 or 2, and consequently getting few Clicks, you should look to optimise that page for this Query. To do that look at on-page factors, particularly the Page Title, then look to get back links, ideally from external sites, with the Query as the anchor text.
2. Check the snippet which appears in the Google SERPS results for the top terms that you want to be found for. Does the snippet ( and the Page Title) accurately describe what you are offering and if so does it encourage visitors to your page ?