In December, an update went out which changed Google webmaster tools. This changed the way the keyword unavailable aspect from Google analytic has been viewed ( for myself anyway).  However long before this, Google had already started rolling out not provided for keywords. On account of secure searches (those of you that have are logged into Google+ or even Gmail when searching) they decided to encrypt keyword data.

This means website owners could not tell what people had searched for when they clicked through to a website. A few months ago this was ‘not provided’ for keywords was at 50% for many sites. However, Google have now gone a step further and decided to make keyword data 100% not provided on GA so you can imagine the amount of stress this has caused website owners, SEO practitioners and analysts alike.

This post is about exploring the ways that siteowners and SEO analysts  can use the recent changes to Google Webmaster tools to find out more about what people are searching for when they visit a website.

Using Google Webmaster tools

Google Webmaster tools is a great way of checking into the specifics of a website’s performance in terms of impressions and how many people are actually  clicking through to each page.   Website owners use it also as a tool that shows when there is a technical error with page layout and altering the way each page is displayed on search engines and how it is viewed with search engines.  You can do a lot with Google Webmaster tools i.e. test your site’s page speed, submit an XML site map, and check on the click through rate, impressions and a lot more.  So there is really a lot to do with this tool.

Now here is the exciting part; those who use Google Webmaster tools for their own reporting via the API will be able to show exact data. Now that Google have ruled out their 100% not provided keyword feature on Google analytics this comes in very handy indeed.

Take a look at the current version of Google Webmaster tools;

 webmaster tools

Before the update, Google’s Webmaster tool only showed the figures rounded up to the nearest 100 or 10.  The number of clicks shown below is more precise rather than it displaying ‘<10’ as the amount of clicks and ‘<400’ as the amount of impressions it is displaying the actual numbers of ‘394’ impressions and ‘9’ clicks.

Internal Search

Using internal search to find out what people are searching for within your site and set this up with Google Analytics.

By setting up internal search with Google Analytics  you’ll have more of an idea on what people want to find within your site.  Say you have an ecommerce site with many products and niche pages per product. You can discover the products that people are searching for the most and if you don’t have that particular item type you can make the decision to add new (highly demanded)  items to your stock.   These are the kind of things that will help you to know more about the kind of things people want to know when they visit your site.

Have you any thoughts about this Google Analytics and combating keyword not provided?   Feel free to leave your comments below.

By Ibukun Sodipe