Using Webmaster Tools to Improve your Keyword Ranking

If you spend any time at all on SEO efforts for your website or blog, you’ve probably wondered how good a job you are doing with your keyword choices and what are the most popular search terms that lead people to your site. Setting up and integrating Google Webmaster Tools into your Google Analytics is the perfect way to find the answers to these questions.

A quick glance through your top search queries (in the past 30 days) on the top left side of your Webmaster Tools dashboard shows the impression and number of clicks for your top 10. Digging a little deeper into your search queries will reveal a (much) longer list of popular keyword search queries, including your average position for each keyword.

Webmaster Tools search queries

Choose "search queries" in the left sidebar.

How to Sort by Average Position

By default, your keyword query list is ordered by the keyword with the highest impression count first. If you’re prefer to view your keyword queries sorted by “average position”, click on that column header on the right side of your screen.

Average keyword position

Your "Average Position" column

This is a great way to see which keywords are well-positioned for you.

Improving your Keyword Phrasing

From this same view, you’ll probably also see several variations for the same keyword (or keyword phrase) close together. Seeing your keyword query results this way may show you some smart ways to tweak your strongest keywords in order to improve your ranking. It also sheds some light on the most popular terminology and phrasing used by Googlers.


Whether or not a space is used in the word "StumbleUpon" makes a difference.

Keyword Query on the Cusp

Are you averaging a position of a 9.2 and you’d really love to be more of a 3 or 4? Is one of your main keywords sitting at a 17.7 but you’d love to make the Top 10? Or are you shooting the moon and vying for Page 1, Position 1? Spending time working through your Webmaster Tools keyword query results can help you to focus on improving the ranking for those keywords that sit “on the cusp”. Using the information found in your Webmaster Tools can guide you in tweaking the SEO tags and on-page keyword usage of those related posts and may be the insider knowledge you need to improve your rankings.


  1. Todd Lohenry

    Thanks. I had thought about adwords and trends but not webmaster tools…

    • Admin

      You’re welcome, Rachel!


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