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The silver lining of “Not provided”

Google analytics has for many years supplied website owners and SEO companies with in-depth information about the performance of their websites. Recently however Google has changed the way they collate the information and for anyone who is logged into a Google account they no longer record the keyword data. What this means is that we can tell that these people have come to a site via search engines however we cannot tell what keyword they have typed in to get there. The number of “not provided” visits has risen gradually and now means on average over 70% of the search engine visits that a website receives will be “not provided”.

So the question is how do we now find out which keywords are producing traffic to websites?

Well, we feel that although we can now not access the exact keyword lists, it will actually mean a much fuller picture for website owners if the data is analysed correctly.

By looking at keyword rankings along side entrances to the page that is being optimised for that keyword, we can establish which keywords are converting from their ranking to then bringing traffic to the site. We can also see a correlation between improved rankings and improved traffic to specific pages. This data will allow you to make all of the same decisions that the previous analytics keyword lists allowed you to and more.

In addition, you can also start to see the potential a keyword may have. Where as previously you would have looked at visits from a keyword independently, by looking at entrances it allows you to see how many derivatives that keyword may have. Therefore, the optimisation of one keyword could spawn several derivatives, each of which would rank and bring traffic to the site via its entrance page.

In summary every cloud has a silver lining. The “not provided” growth should not worry people into thinking that you can no longer have an insight into keyword terms. You simply need to come to conclusions through analysing other parameters and if done so correctly keyword optimisation potential can actually be analysed much more effectively.