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Google Analytics Keyword Workaround

Estimated reading time: 3 min

Google Analytics Workaround Keyword MenuWith more people opting for anonymous website browsing it is becoming increasingly harder to see how users find your site – in particular, which keywords they searched with.

Inside your Google Analytics you can see which search terms prospects are using to find your website by going to Acquisition -> Keywords -> Organic in the left sidebar menu.

With the rise of anonymous browsing, Google Analytics can no longer provide useful and therefore accurate keyword search data. You’ll more than likely see the majority of your keyword searches is “(Not provided)”.

This situation is getting worse month by month as we track the analytics for our website.

By following these steps, we can show you a workaround which will remove the dreaded “Not Provided” data and give you greater insight into how visitors are finding your site. Best of all, this workaround will also show you what keyword searches you are appearing in but not getting traffic from.

Google Analytics Keyword List

The Workaround For Keyword Searches

Although not a perfect replacement, Creative Agency Secrets has found a work-around which can give you a good indication of what search words and phrases your website is showing up for and which are drawing visitors.

It involves Google Webmaster Tools – You have to set this up for your website if you haven’t already.

Set up and Verify yourself and your website in Webmaster Tools – generally the easiest way is to do this with your analytics account. If this fails, Google helpfully provide short how-to’s on the other methods of verification.

Remember your site must be using the asynchronous tracking code.

Google Webmaster Tools Verification

Select the Google Analytics radio button (which can be found under the “Alternate methods” tab) and click Verify.

Now navigate to Search Traffic in the sidebar menu and select Search Queries.

Scroll down below the graph you will see a list of Queries used and the Impressions.  The main benefit of this data is you can see the Average Position your site has in search listings for each one (far right column).

We are going to show you how to send this data to your Google Analytics account but it’s worth noting that there is more accuracy in this screen as Google Analytics rounds the numbers.

Google Webmaster Tools Keywords List

Link Google Analytics To Webmaster Tools

Now re-open Google Analytics and browse to your website dashboard.

In the side menu go to Acquisition -> Search Engine Optimization -> Queries.  You will get a message advising you to enable Webmaster Tools (see screenshot below).

Set Up Google Webmaster Tools

Click the button to Set up Webmaster Tools Data sharing at the top of the page.

Leave all the settings it displays as default although you can change the fields if some are incorrect e.g. Industry Category.  At the bottom of the page the sub-heading Webmaster Tools Settings click the Edit hyperlink.

Google Webmaster Tools Data Sharing Set Up

This will bring up a list of site(s) and associated Analytics web properties.  Choose your site on the left radio button and Save.

Click OK to Add association in the next window.

Select Site To Add Link Webmaster Tools

View The Data

You’ll be directed to the Admin screen. Click Reporting in the top menu to return to GA and again go to Acquisition -> Search Engine Optimization -> Queries.

You should now see a summary graph and below it the list of keyword queries , impressions, clicks and average position of your website.

For everyday use, we find the Google Analytics summary data is fine.  But for non-rounded data, go into the Google Webmaster Tools display to get the full picture.

Note that data is normally 2 days behind on these searches compared to other metrics in Google Analytics.

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