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Find clickthrough rates for SEO – 8 reasons to use the new Google WMT feature

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 15 Apr, 2010
Essential Essential topic

Update to keyword ranking tool May 2010

Google has now updated this tool for showing keyword positions in response to user feedback renaming it the "Search Query" tool. The main changes are:

  • Average position now shown to avoid need for drilldown
  • You can "Star" the target keyphrases most relevant to you to monitor on a separate tab

Original post

Wow, this is amazingly useful for reviewing the effectiveness of your SEO AND your marketing messages within the Google SERPs.

On April 14 Google has introduced a new facility within Google Webmaster Tools to help search marketers review click through rates within the natural search listings.

Here is an example for a "brand search" on my name:

So if you, or your agency aren't signed up to Google Webmaster Tools, then is a good reason to get started.

Implications of new SEO Clickthrough data

For me, the most obvious applications of this are that you can use this new tool to:

1. Track your rankings for target terms - the position in search results is clearly displayed.

2. Show whether you have the best landing pages for your SEO - above you can see it's the "About" page which I deliberately included for mis-spellings of my name. Of course Google Analytics and others will show you this better  since you will see the bounce rates.

3. Review clickthrough rates for different terms which helps you..

4. Review the effectiveness of your copy in encouraging clickthrough from the SERPs. If it's below average for a position, then you know you have a problem.

5. Compare clickthrough rates for natural terms compared to different paid search / Adwords terms to help determine the relative effectiveness of copy and terms.

6. Review overall SEO effectiveness from the headline figures of impressions (how many you could reach) against clickthrough - how many you are attracting to your site.

7. Review marketing campaign effectiveness - how does variation occur through time

8. Review seasonal demand variations for products/services. This will work best for brand/navigational searches where you are likely to be top.

What do you think - how else could you use it?

What you can't do?

For some other information you will have to turn to other data sources / analytics sources and maybe export this information to integrate. For example, this SEO clickthrough data doesn't show you:

  • Bounce rates?
  • Value of visitors - how many convert on site and how much do they spend?
  • Review competitor data - Google may be introducing this tool to reduce the need for SEO rank checking software, but marketers will still use it for this purpose.
Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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