If you are like us here at Digital Insider, you use the keyword list provided by Google Analytics for many facets of your business. Whether it’s gathering ideas for content creation, search engine optimization, or finding new keywords to target to expand your market, the keyword list is an integral part of your analytics. For anyone who is not familiar with this keyword list, here is a brief introduction.
The keyword list can be found in your analytics by following the path: Traffic Sources -> Overview -> View Full Report (on the bottom right hand side of the page). This page gives you a list of all keywords typed into Google that resulted in a visit to your website.
It shows how many people typed in a specific keyword, how many pages they visited, how long they stayed on the page and more. At Digital Insider, we have also set up a custom report showing goal completions and conversion rate in an attempt to see which keywords complete the most goals and which underperform the others.
Those of you familiar with analytics and the keyword list will be aware of the “(not provided)” result that shows up. This result now consistently ranks #1 in terms of traffic. To put in perspective how much the “(not provided)” result has increased, we show an example of one of our clients, comparing August 2012 to August 2013. Here is the result:
This is an 88% increase in “(not provided)” results in only one year.
Why is there a “(not provided)” result, at all? In October of 2011, Google announced that it would protect the search results of users who were logged into their Gmail accounts, in order to protect user privacy. Now, Google has indicated that they are going to extend this process to everyone who uses the search engine. This means that soon enough, every result on the Keyword list will read “(not provided)”.
How can you circumvent this problem of no longer being provided any keyword information? Google Webmaster Tools may be able to help.
Webmaster Tools is a service that Google provides that helps webmasters (also known as the site owners, or people responsible for maintaining a website) check on the overall health of their website. Here is an overview:
There are many functions that Webmaster Tools offers, but right now we will focus only on finding keywords. To find the list of keywords that Webmaster tools offers, follow the path Search Traffic -> Search Queries. And there you go, the list of top keywords driving traffic to your website. The Search Query page gives you the Impressions (how many times a person searched for a particular keyword), Clicks (how many people clicked into your website when it shows up in a search), Click Through Rate (Clicks divided by Searches), and the Average Position your website shows up in when someone searches for a keyword.
One particularly strong advantage of the keyword list in Webmaster Tools is the absence of the “(not provided)” result that dominates the results in analytics. If you are not familiar with Google Webmaster Tools, take some time to get acclimated to it. So as keyword reporting gets phased out and “(not provided)” becomes the single dominate result in your analytics, you’ll be able to make a transition to Webmaster Tools, and your insight into the keywords provided by Google won’t disappear.