Search queries, average rank and more

http://blog.raventools.com/search-queries-average-position-brand-keywords/

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.

Top Search Queries from GWT

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 add a keyword to the Keyword Manager or research the keyword in Research Central.

Add to Keyword Manager

You can filter results by keyword and/or brand (more on that in a minute).

Search data

You can export all of the data to CSV.

Export to CSV

And most importantly, you can create a quick report or a custom report in the Report Wizard.

GWT Top Searches Report

Branded keywords

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.

Branded Keywords

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.

Brand Segmentation Filtering Options

And yes, you can report on branded and non-branded keywords too!

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The Year in Raven (And What We’re Up To In 2014)

2013 was a bit of a wild ride for Raven. All-in-all, it was an exciting and productive year that included a complete makeover of the platform and several major new tools.

JANUARY: Goodbye, scraped data

It all kicked off in January with the removal of unauthorized scraped data from Google.

FEBRUARY: Introducing Site Auditor

While we said goodbye to our old friend SERP Tracker, we soon (in February) said hello to our new friend Site Auditor.

The Site Auditor became an instant favorite with existing and new customers alike. Thanks to how easy it is to use and its reporting features, people are using it to get new clients and also to quickly fix their own sites.

Site Auditor

Next, we added some new partners into the Raven fold. Constant Contact, AWeber and Emma joined MailChimp and Campaign Monitor as Raven email data partners.

MARCH: A new rankings alternative

Shortly after, we introduced SERP Tracker’s younger and more handsome cousin, theKeyword Ranking tool.

Powered by Google’s and Bing’s respective Webmaster Tools plus data from Google Analytics, the Keyword Ranking tool provides important organic keyword insights directly from the source – the search engines themselves. Coupled with its reporting capabilities, the Keyword Ranking tool provide an alternative solution for viewing and reporting ranking data.

Keyword Rankings

APRIL: Site Performance debuts

Barely a week after announcing our reporting update, we debuted a new tool called Site Performance. This tool was particularly special, because it provides key insights into sites without having to authenticate with Google or any other services. That meant our customers could use it in sales opportunities, and also to stack up their own site against their competitors. And like all of Raven’s tools, it’s reportable.

Site Performance

Also in April: Our REPORT EVERYTHING initiative. If you’ve been a longtime Raven customer, you were probably aware that while you could report on just about everything, you still couldn’t report on everything. In early April, we rectified that. We combed through every tool and updated the reporting system so it could report on every data point we allow you to manage.

JULY: Welcome, PRNewswire

In the summer, we added an awesome new feature and third party partner. Now you cancreate and send press releases via PR Newswire.

We also updated our social tools to support native posting of images to Twitter and Facebook in August. It was something many customers asked for and something I now use often.

Native Social Images

AUGUST: A brand-new Raven

For most of the summer, our entire team focused on one project that would redefine Raven. Within four months our development team and designers were able to completely overhaul the entire Raven platform with a beautifully simple and modern user interface. It was incredibly well received by our customers and the industry. The new design is paving the way for an even more simple-to-use platform that will also be responsive for all devices.

Raven Simple

OCTOBER: Custom Google Analytics Reports

In October we debuted Custom Google Analytics Reports. It was a new feature added to our Google Analytics tool that enables you to build custom charts based on up to six unique metrics. Each chart creates a custom view of the data that is also reportable.

GA Custom Chart Builder

So what’s next?

Raven in 2014

In 2014, Raven has five main things we’ll be focusing on.

1. Customers

2014 (and beyond) will be highly focused on what our customers need. Throughout the year we will be surveying and interviewing current users of Raven, testing out new ideas and frequently reviewing and considering your feature requests. This level of customer interaction is how Raven originally got started, and it’s how we’re going to move forward from here on out.

2. Reporting

Reports are one of the main things you love about Raven, and we plan to give you even more to love. We are currently working on a major overhaul and rewrite of our entire reporting system. How you make and share reports will be simpler than ever, and the reports will be visually stunning. We have one goal in mind – making you look good to your clients or boss.

3. Social

We have big plans for our social tools. First, expect to see the debut of LinkedIn on the Raven platform in early 2014. Later, we will be debuting new tools to better help you track and report on all of your social interactions. We also hope to introduce Google+ to Raven in 2014, too.

4. Site Auditor

The Site Auditor will be coming out of beta in 2014. That means it will be able to crawl well over the current 1k page limit, and we’ll also be adding a few more features to it.

5. The Future

In 2014, I’ll be doing something different too. I’ll be leading a new R&D initiative focused on researching and prototyping the next big thing in online marketing :)

Your turn

So how did we do in 2013? Do our 2014 goals match up with what you’d like to see from us? Let us know in the comments!

Tell us what you think

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