Keyword Blackout in Google Analytics Makes It Hard to Know Your Traffic

Over six months ago, Google announced that for users signed into their Google account using https:// at Google, would no longer have their search terms or activity shown in Google Analytics. Matt Cutts at that time mentioned that this would not be a big impact for website analysis but would however provide secure searches for users.

Fast forward now about six months, and if you are like me, in Google Analytics I cannot see upwards of 54% of my website traffic’s search keywords. That’s no small number! So, what’s a website owner to do to understand what is happening on his or her website and to try to know what keywords are popular to your web presence.

Here are three things you can to to try to get more keyword data:

1. Make sure to link your Google Analytics account with your Google Webmaster control panel account and verify your access. When you do this, Google Analytics will show more keyword information under the Search Engine Optimization links from the left side bar. Although this is simply not as much data as before, it does give you additional insight into the traffic and keywords popular for your website.

2. In Google Analytics add query parameters to you can track activity on your own site search function. This article found at SiteProNews written by Nell Terry explains how to do just that; track searches in Analytics.

3. Advertise on Google AdWords for keyword and conversion keyword discovery. Using AdWords, and if you link your AdWords account to Google Analytics the data will flow into the section called traffic and then advertising and will give you more keyword insights.

Unfortunately with keyword blackout in Google Analytics, and the “not set” descriptor, even site owners find it hard to understand what keywords are driving search traffic. However, these tips will allow you to glean a little bit more knowledge into what is driving your own traffic so you can further evaluate activity and change accordingly.

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