If you’ve not used Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) search queries to track queries and impressions data for your website, then you are missing an opportunity to gain valuable SEO insight for and about your website, and increase its search rankings.

I know there are many of you that have tried free SEO tools in the past as well as paid SEO tools, but none can compare to GWT.

After all, GWT is a Google product and everyone is racking their brains out trying to figure out how to get their website to page one rankings or how to sustain page one rankings for their website.

For a free SEO tool, GWT packs a mean SEO punch and can hold it’s own as a phenomenal tool to use for webmasters and those with websites.

And today I’m going to let you in on a few secrets and how I use GWT to not only optimize my website, but to drive substantial search ranking changes and increases for my website in Google and other search engines.

How I use GWT to monitor and increase website search rankings

GWT is my tool of choice to manage many aspects of my website.

From identifying site errors and crawl data to submitting sitemaps to security issues, GWT helps me to keep a tab on my website’s overall health.

In addition, one of the most important features of GWT that I use is search queries.

GWT search queries is a great to use to help determine topics to write about so your website can optimally rank in search results. GWT search queries displays the following:

  • search term used by searchers
  • number impressions for that search term
  • number of clicks from search results to your website
  • click through rate of the search term
  • average search results position your website can be found.

This is phenomenal data to use as a gauge to better optimize your website.

Personally, I use GWT search queries to gauge what is hot and not in terms of keywords for my website.

For terms that are not hot or for terms that I’m not ranking well, I add those terms to my content marketing strategy for upcoming topics.

When I find certain search terms or keywords are doing well, I will try to craft value-add content based around those sets of keywords using variations of long tail keywords.

Then I link interlink the content in hopes of not only providing greater opportunity for increased search rankings, but to also provide additional relevant and related content for readers to consume.

Interlinking of content creates a stickiness factor for my website and also provides an opportunity to lower my bounce rate which positively impacts increasing my search rankings long term.

For every good there is a bad or downside to using GWT search queries and impressions

As good of a tool GWT is, it does have a few downsides.

One of the most glaring downsides that I find GWT to have is a delay in reporting accurate search queries and impressions.

Although the data provided by GWT is not exact data per se, GWT search queries is typically 2-3 business days behind the current date.

Some say this is to keep behavior in check and not have people trying to manipulate their search rankings real-time.

Others believe and say that there is no way possible to provide real-time search queries and impressions data based on the sheer volume of GWT accounts and data being consumed by users.

Nevertheless, GWT is a highly consumed tool despite the lag in results.

However, as of late, I’ve experienced the lag getting greater in time.

For the last couple of days, rather the last week to be exact, GWT has been quite delayed in showing search queries and impressions data.

My most up to date data was previously showing search queries and impressions up to February 6th as of February 13th.

But today, it is only showing search queries and impressions data up to February 10th which is still one business day off the normal GWT SLA.

I’m not sure if GWT was or is currently having some sort of error or bug that was and still is delaying search queries and impressions data.

I’ve seen a few conversations across the web discussing the drop in GWT impressions, but no answers provided by anyone or Google.

I guess for now, we’ll just have to wait this lag on search queries and impressions out.

Regardless of what the outcome is, I’m hoping that GWT gets back on track as it was before with Google remedying the GWT lag.

Have you noticed an excessive GWT lag or delay in your search queries and impressions?

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.