As a marketing consultant I’m always looking for ways to make how I spend probably 60% of my life — generating website traffic and converting visitors into leads — a little more effective.  One tool I’ve used for years is Google’s Webmaster Tools (WT).  It’s free (of course).  And, as of a couple weeks ago, they’ve added some cool new features.

I use it to get my client’s organic results on page one faster by identifying “the low-hanging fruit” in terms of search queries.  Basically, I use WT to uncover the search terms a client ranks NEAR page one.  The concept is simple.  Work on getting search terms from page 3 or 4 to page 1, as opposed to focusing on terms from page 300 or 400.  Fundamentally, a term that is returned on a search on page 4 doesn’t generate that much more traffic than if it was on page 400.  But, getting a term from page 4 to page 1 is a whale of a lot easier than from page 400 to page 1.

I’m not saying ignore terms on page 400, especially if they pull well for you in your sponsored search campaign.  But do take advantage of the advantage WT gives you seeing those terms close to page 1.  You’ll end up generating more visitors per hour invested in generating traffic.

If you don’t use WT, start.  If you already have your site verified, it’s time to take another look.  They’ve made some improvements.  I created a tutorial that highlights some of them and shows you how I use WT: