Webmaster Tools: Search Analytics Explained.

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Google Webmaster Tools is an invaluable tool for any website owner. It provides you with information about how Google sees your site, highlights if Google has any issues that might affect its online visibility within its database, and gives you critical data about how your site is being visited and how it is performing.

An important part of this is the Search Analytics section, which while at first glance may look confusing, is actually easy to setup and understand…

When you open up the Search Analytics panel you can see four main pieces of information: Clicks, Impressions, CTR, and Positions … but what exactly are they and what does the information mean?

1/ Total Clicks

As the name implies, this is determined when someone clicks on an organic link to come to your site. Obviously the more the better, but it also tells you what keywords were used that generate that click in the queries section below. This is invaluable information to see what keywords are generating clicks and understand where your audience is coming from in terms of search patterns.

2/ Total Impressions

Search Analytics shows how people are accessing your site through Google organic search results, not just in clicks but also physical views of your site that have shown up in organic searches. This is called an impression. This information is useful as you can highlight possible issues or opportunities within the site. If it gets a lot of impressions but few clicks, it may be because your metas don’t encourage a click or are vague; or perhaps is one of two pages too far down the search results that, if you can rank higher, will yield more positive results. A successful site just doesn’t look at actual visits, but should also focus on potential visits it is missing out on. Impressions give you an insight into that information.

3/ Average CTR – Click Through Ratio

Click Through Ratio is a direct percentage of how many clicks you received from impressions. Because it is based on data, you need good traffic numbers i.e. impressions for it to be relevant. If you have a high impression keyword with low CTR, you should investigate further, but for low Impression keywords the result is less reliable and just 1-2 clicks changes its results.

4/ Average Position

This tells you the average position your listing was seen to give an impression. For example, if it says 3.2, it was seen on average at position 3 on page one for that keyword; 14 would be page 2 position;  remembering Google organic result shows 10 per page so you need to be ranked 10 or higher to be on page 1. Now in real terms if you check it can vary wildly, but it can provide a good snapshot of possible terms that require more attention. For example, if you see a keyword with high impression stats and its in a position on page 2-3, it could warrant effort to get onto page one for increased visitor numbers.

The ultimate aim is to get relevant keywords onto page 1 where 75% of clicks occur and the above data sets give you a good insight, not only into your successful keywords, but also other opportunities for continued website growth.

If you want more information feel free to contact us. We are a Digital Marketing and SEO agency in Sydney dealing with and helping all businesses from small to large to get the most out of their online assets.