Are you looking for more traffic ? Are you in niche that has lots of traffic but you don't know what phrases to focus on ?
I have already introduced the benefits of the new and improved webmaster's tools and about how useful they can be to a site owner in a previous post.
The new google webmaster's tools contain a report that can be very handy: Top Search Queries
Here is a typical report from one of the sites that I am administering.
The left table is the Top search queries which as google describes are The top 20 queries in which your site appeared, and the percentage of the top20 queries represented by each search. On the right table we have the Top clicked queries The top 20 from which users reached your site, and the percentage of the top 20 queries represented by each click.
I wish google was giving us actual number of searches that the site appeared in and/or the click-through rates on the second table but for the time being we have to work with what is given to us.
These tables are part of the improved tools introduced about 2 months ago. They are very handy in telling you the actual position that your site is holding in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for some phrases that have actual traffic !! You can also see your site's position at different points in time (can go back 6 months from current date)
How can you help your site get more traffic ?
It so just happens in some reports to see traffic from queries that your site holds a position very far from the first page of the results. In this example looking at the top clicked queries on the 7th row there is a search term that brought in 4% of the traffic even though the site's position is #131 for that phrase !!!! More traffic than phrases that the site holds first page ranking !!! What does that mean ?? Well in my book it means that this particular phrase has so much traffic that even the not so well positioned sites get some.
Not all top clicked queries for all sites will have so obvious clues though. It could be the case that some niches don't have substantial traffic to pass on to sites beyond the first page of results. Nevertheless one can get many clues about their site's visitors and search phrases that might have potential.