Things to Check and Learn From Your Webmaster Tools

As a follow up to my article on Webmaster tools, there’s one aspect to linking that most people take for granted which can give tremendous insight into:

  • Improving your user experience
  • Identifying potential new markets
  • Identifying supporters
  • Identifying which sites are providing strong traffic potential or acting as a tool to promote your brand
  • Using understandable data to respond & succeed

You’re always hearing about page rank, search results, and certainly click through rate and conversion are key, but what about your most linked content? How often have you focused on that?

Google makes it super easy to explore the various things that affect your sites performance in Webmaster Tools. If you have a curious mind or like to investigate things, you are going to have a lot of fun checking out the information that comes up. This is not just for analytics experts! Even if you’ve outsourced your web site or blog management, you should take a look in here to get an idea of how your site manager is doing and maybe gain some insight into what you can write about or focus on that is already getting strong results.

You know your business best

Not only do you know your business, products and services, but you also know your objectives and potential areas for growth and expansion. Having a site manager will help in many areas, but you have to be involved to really maximize your success. The perspectives each of us take on an issue are different, not looking at this information creates a situation where you may be losing out on opportunity.

What you can learn from the Search Traffic section that you may not have focused on before:

Who links the most, Most linked content, Top Domains linking to you,and Anchor Text

  • I check this to see where the most links are, sometimes I discover new people or web pages I never heard of before. Gives me a chance to thank people in the community I didn’t even know, make new connections, and also understand who and where I am offering value with my posts. What you Can Learn From Webmaster Tools
    • You may develop a new appreciation for Scoop-It when you see how many are linking to you there
    • You may discover that some are rebroadcasting your messages or posting your blogs
    • You may gain some insight into the true value of the sites you were guest blogging for – this is particularly interesting.
    • You will find new people who have been supporting your community that you never met before.


Most Linked content fascinated me. There were some things popping up that I would have never imagined would be linked as often. I went back to those posts and started a process of improving user experience from those entry points.

  • Just because something is most linked, doesn’t mean it’s most clicked through.

Click through rate will depend on who is doing the linking. So, for example, this article may have the most links, but it may have very low click through. Without looking at this you are missing on an important piece of your puzzle. The next step may be to analyze what is stopping people from clicking through – maybe you need to focus on your title, maybe you need to work on your page excerpts, or maybe the sign that you are being cited is important in itself. It really depends on you, who your audience is and what the objective is. Personally, I appreciate being linked to and I find it interesting to see who is linking and why. What resonated with my audience – this information is valuable. Check it out you may be surprised or develop new respect for various curation sites like Scoop.it – it is all part of a learning experience that will strengthen your writing and overall strategy. You don’t need to be an SEO genius or expert to learn from this data, you will gain insight that just may change the way you have been doing things.

Changing what you look at can help you drive results. It's all in the details: Want more click through? Look at what people are relating to and evolve.

Changing what you look at can help you drive results. It’s all in the details: Want more click through? Look at what people are relating to and evolve.

Webmaster Tools is a Listening Tool.

One of the Keys in Marketing is Listening

What you believe to be interesting may not in fact be the most catchy or interesting thing out there. The way we find opportunity for growth is to respond to the needs of others. Checking out the anchor text where your posts are linked can even give insight into how people are perceiving the value of your content. Seeing where people link can give you insight into how you are doing as a thought leader or if your information is providing value (remember no one would link to you if you weren’t providing helpful information right?)

If you provide information that helps people and makes them look good, or helps them support their ideas or gives them ways to grow don’t you want to know about it? Isn’t it far more appealing to be useful to others? Checking your linked content helps you understand this better. In turn you will improve your performance.

Why is “Most Linked Content” potentially more important than “Click Through Rate”?

Because it gives you greater insight to respond to the needs of your community as well as identify new opportunities to reach new markets, truly understand what your impact is, grow your web presence and in the end have better click through rates. Make sense?

Did you check out your most linked posts? What about the other sections under Search Traffic in your Webmaster Tools?
Find any surprises?

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Related: The SEO Secret Weapon Nobody Wants You to Know About by Sean McGinnis