New features: Search queries, average rank and more
Written by Jon Henshaw and published
What’s better than inaccurate, scraped ranking results from Google?
Accurate search data that includes impressions, clicks, click-through rate and average rank – directly from Google Webmaster Tools.
And that’s what you get in Raven, starting right now.
Our new Top Searches tool collects search queries data from Google Webmaster Tools once a day and displays change over time for query count, clicks, impressions and click-through rate. It also keeps track of average rank changes.
It’s the perfect – and more accurate – replacement for scraped ranking results.
The problem with rankings
There are a few big problems with scraped ranking results:
- They’re retrieved by a computer that doesn’t represent the typical user experience.
- The ranking result only represents one instance of that search. With the onset of universal search, geo-influenced results, search history and Google+, where your site actually ranks varies greatly.
In fact, the only truly accurate way to measure where a keyword ranks for your site is with average rank.
What is average rank?
So what exactly is average rank? Google, which calls it “average position,” defines it as “the average top position of your site on the search results page for that query.” This is how it’s calculated:
To calculate average position, we take into account the top ranking URL from your site for a particular query. For example, if Jane’s query returns your site as the #1 and #2 result, and David’s query returns your site in positions #2 and #7, your average top position would be 1.5.
A scraped result might report a keyword ranking result as #2 when in reality it actually averages out to #4 or #5 based on real-world usage. That’s a significant – and important – difference.
Why is Top Searches data important?
The Top Searches data provides valuable campaign insights. You can quickly determine targeted keywords that may rank well but have low impressions or clicks. As a result, you may decide to tweak the page title and description for the related page or choose to remove the keyword from the campaign altogether.
Another way to use this tool is to discover keywords that have a high CTR, but low average rank. From there you could add those keywords to your campaign (to the Keyword Manager) and focus on campaign strategies to improve the overall average rank.
The data is also exportable, so if you put the data into a spreadsheet, I suppose the possibilities are endless 🙂
Get started with Top Searches
Top Searches data is available in two places in Raven. You can access it via Site > Webmaster in the Google Webmaster Tools section or by going to Metrics > SEO in the new SEO Metrics section.
In order to retrieve the data from Webmaster Tools, you will need to create a restricted user account. It’s easy to do, and we provide instructions when you set it up in Raven.
Once you do that, you’ll have plenty of ways to take action on the insights you’ll see.
You can filter results by keyword and/or brand (more on that in a minute).
You can export all of the data to CSV.
And most importantly, you can create a quick report or a custom report in the Report Wizard.
We’ve also added a powerful yet simple way to segment out branded keywords throughout the platform. You can now go to Site > Settings and enter up to five keywords and phrases that match your brand.
After you segment your keywords, you will see new filter buttons that will allow you to quickly change the data to Branded or Non-Branded. You’ll find these options in the Keyword Manager, Research Central, Google Webmaster Tools and SEO Metrics.
And yes, you can report on branded and non-branded keywords too!
We’re excited about these new additions to the Raven platform, and the valuable insights we believe these tools will bring to your work – and your bosses and clients.
Let us know what you think about Top Searches, average rank, branded keywords or any of our other 20+ tools in the comments.