Google Analytics provides an invaluable source of data around the behavior of their users and customers. But, there is a certain kind of data that the otherwise reliable Google Analytics can struggle with — the organic search report. A lot of results in organic search reports will be marked as “not provided” or “not set,” unavailable for reading and analyzing. With how important keyword conversion tracking is, this can seriously lower the overall effectiveness of your website’s SEO. In the article, we explain the reason behind these “blind spots” in the data and discuss several ways of dealing with them.
Google Analytics data from organic search
There are several ways internet users might get to your website. Those who already know something about your products might visit your domain from their homepages, while others might just find the link to your website on a blog you wrote or on one of your official social media pages.
However, the largest number of viewers know nothing about you and will enter your site while searching the internet for some service or product. The website contains keywords that match the customer’s query, and so their search engine (for example, Google) will display the link to your domain among other matching results.
Those users who enter your site this way makeup organic traffic, and the keywords that brought them there are called organic keywords.
What is Google Analytics?
Working with organic keywords is very important for any website out there. An understanding of which keywords are converting into potential clients or customers is essential, and knowing your client’s needs is never a bad thing either. The simplest way to do it is by using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a free tool that collects information regarding the actions of the users on your website. It is activated by adding some lines of tracking code into the main code of your site, which will monitor user activities and then present the resulting data to you.
Connecting GWT to Google Analytics
Another tool that any site owner should consider using is Google Webmaster Tools, a service that provides information about how Google search views your website, as well as some useful data on how to improve on this.
GWT and Google Analytics can (and should) be used together for a greater effect. They can be connected in several simple steps:
- Open the Administrator Tab of Google Analytics and go to Property Settings.
- Click on the drop-down menu and choose Google Analytics Property.
- The new page with a list of Google Website Tools verified sites will appear. Choose the site where you want to install Google Analytics and save the changes.
In case you encounter a problem with the integration, the official Google guidelines might help.
How to find the keywords (not set) which drive traffic to a specific page
As we already mentioned, Google Analytics struggle when dealing with conversions for (not set) keywords. It began to lose effectiveness in October 2011, when Google started to encrypt organic search data. Not all of the data are encrypted, but if a user is logged into a Google account or recently used services like Gmail, you won’t get any data about his behavior and keyword conversion. Google themselves proclaimed that they do this in the name of user privacy, but the real reason behind it might be more trivial — they want you to use their PPC ads.
In either case, you need to try to find a way around it. Possible ways to track organic keyword conversions for (not set) keywords include:
Internal site search
Try placing a search box on every page of your website, and allow users to search the contents of your site directly. This is called an internal site search, and the statistics gained from analyzing it can provide you with the necessary data about conversions for not set keywords.
Earlier records and data
If your site has been running for some time already, your Google Analytics have keyword conversion data from the days before the increase in user data encryption, and this data may still be useful to you.
It’s better to save it in cloud storage or on a hard disk, as there is no guarantee that Google will keep this archived data forever.
Page level surveys
Various tools, like the kind used for page level surveys, can also be used to gain keyword conversion data. While asking a user questions like “what keyword brought you to this page” won’t give you much feedback, something along the lines of “what is the purpose of your visit today” can give you surprisingly accurate information about the most popular keywords.
Research your competitors
By looking up how your competitors describe their products and what keywords they use the most, you can understand a lot about the market and its tendencies.
Using the Keyword Hero tool for tracking not set organic keyword conversion
Keyword Hero is a new tool designed specifically to deal with the problems of (not set) keywords in Google Analytics.
It works by pulling the search data from Google Search Console, using different sources of data for keyword classification and clustering, and then using a machine learning algorithm to match it with Google Analytics data. This may sound a bit odd, but the tool actually works. Also, it has a free trial period, so you won’t lose anything if you try it.
Matching keywords data in time from GWT to sales from the specific page
There is another interesting way to fix (not set) keywords in Google Analytics. The Google Webmaster Tool can provide you with information about the number of clicks from an individual keyword to your website. With GWT, you can collect data about individual keywords, and then gain data on the conversion by matching it with the sales (or some equivalent) on the pages of your website.
While this technology has several limitations, and click report is different than a visit report from Google Analytics, this is still one of the better ways to deal with the problem.
Find out keywords conversion from Ads and match it with our organic traffic from GWT
Google Ads can now provide organic click data, and therefore can be used to find out keyword conversion. The data may seem the same as the data from the Google Webmaster Tool, but it isn’t. In fact, by using Ads to find out keyword conversion and comparing it to the organic traffic data that we get from GWT, you can improve the synergy between SEO and PPC.
How to set up Google Analytics for custom reporting
Despite Google Analytics being unsuited to deal with tracking organic traffic, it still has at least one useful function — custom reporting. This feature allows you to pick the dimensions and metrics of the report, as well as decide on how it will be displayed (not all metrics and dimensions can be paired, so it’s a good idea to check out Google’s list of dimension-metric combinations).
To create a custom report, you need to do the following:
- Make sure that you’re signed in to Google Analytics (and in case you have multiple accounts, choose the one you want).
- Go to the “Reports” tab.
- Go to Customization > Custom Reports > New Custom Report.
- Enter a t
- Select a Report Type — There are four different report types: Explorer (the standard one), Flat Table (the one that displays data in rows), Map Overlay (the map of the world with traffic statistic from different countries) and Funnel (a conversion funnel scheme).
- Choose desired metrics and d
- Apply the changes.
How to track organic keyword conversions with Google Analytics
Despite the increase in the encryption of user information, there are still several ways for you to fix the (not set) keywords in Google Analytics that you need to effectively run your business. Whether by combining existing software, or using some new conversion tracking tools, you can still get the necessary information and plan your business according to it.