I’ll go ahead and answer the question on everybody’s minds right from the start: nope.

Sorry, Webmaster Tools is not the secret way to find (not provided) keywords. There isn’t one, unless you want to pay in AdWords for keyword data. However, as I talked about at length in my post about unlocking ‘not provided’ keyword data, what you need isn’t more keywords, but better use of your data. Here’s how Webmaster Tools can help, even if it isn’t the secret you were hoping for 😉

Webmaster Tools Keywords

Here’s the thing about Webmaster Tools: you’re not getting the most accurate/specific data out there. That said, it can still be really useful for getting insights into your traffic.

Their keyword lists aren’t comprehensive and they’re not exact, but they WILL help you learn some very interesting stuff, like approximations of your CTR per keyword.

To see this stuff, be sure you’ve added your site to Google Webmaster Tools, then log in, hit the Search Queries on your Dashboard, then Search Traffic in the side menu.

Small Part, Big Pic

All this may not be enough to use on its own like you’re hoping for, but there’s a bigger picture here than just what terms to stuff your content with (remember: Google weighs keywords less now).

Use this info in conjunction with Google Analytics on things like Landing Pages, Referrals, Exit Pages, and all those other good metrics to see where your content is falling short. Increasingly, keywords aren’t just traffic magnets, they’re tools for understanding your website and traffic. If your pages are getting skipped for keywords you should be OWNING, there’s a problem.

If certain keywords are doing well in CTR, but those pages have high Bounce Rates or Exit Rates, there’s a problem. Use this to get ideas for new posts, too, and link to them to high Exit Rate pages to increase Time on Site.

Know the saying about life handing you lemons? Well, the (not provided) block is a lemon, and this is how to squeeze it!


How do you use Webmaster Tools? Please share some tips in the comments!

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