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Google Analytics not provided: you can still get vital data

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category Analytics Search Engine Optimization


One of our users asked us the other day:

My Rank Tracker is reporting on fewer Visits for keywords that used to work really good for me previously. I assume it's related to Google Analytics not provided problem. Is there any way round this? How can still see if my keywords bring me traffic?

Ted, the Netherlands

That's a great question, Ted! Many SEOs are concerned, so we'll give a detailed reply here on our blog.

What it's all about

Two weeks ago, Google announced they'll encrypt even more users' searches.

The problem is basically the growing number of not provided data in Google Analytics:


If you have a new version of Google Analytics, you'll find your stats on how many Visits your keywords bring in Acquisition -> Channels (Organic Search).

In the example above 80% of keyword data is not provided. This number is growing for most websites, and it is believed that it won't take long for not provided share to hit 100%.

As a result, SEOs are anxious to find  other ways to know how many Visits each of their keywords brings.

Where else this data can be taken from

Presently, there's no direct way to know for sure how many Organic Visits a particular keyword brings you.

Yet, there's a number of sources you can use to get strong hints regarding the performance of your keywords:

1. SEMRush

SEMRush will give you a list of keywords sites already ranks for. Keywords placed highest on the SEMRush list are likely to bring you most traffic.

In relation to not provided problem, you'll be looking at your progress with organic traffic as a whole. SEMRush will be of great help in finding long-tail keywords that work for your competitors. Add them to your keyword list and explore new opportunities to get more traffic from Google - even if you won't have it backed by actual traffic data.

2. Search Queries in Google Webmaster Tools

Search queries will reveal keywords that your site showed for, i.e. Impressions, and Clicks. This data is available in Google Webmaster Tools in Search TrafficSearch Queries.

You'll also find it available in  Google Analytics Account (Acquisition -> Search Engine Optimization -> Queries) if your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools accounts are properly integrated.

3. Anchor data in SEO SpyGlass

As you know, SEO SpyGlass provides traffic stats for backlinks. The tool tells you which links in particular brought you Visits. What is more, you can see the anchor text of a backlink that brought your traffic.

This anchor text data is also a strong hint regarding what keywords work for your site. Though it's not quite related to organic search visits, it's still a great way to see which keywords resonate with your users.

Focus on the big picture

Regardless of all changes Google introduces, we should stay positive and get maximum value from the data we have.

This update, in particular, is an excellent chance for SEOs to tackle web analytics from a different angle and focus on the big picture.

It is organic traffic as a whole that matters. It is the performance of your landing pages that matters.

Finally, it is bigger metrics like total traffic, revenue per visit and overall customer loyalty that matter most. If you create really helpful content that resonates with your users and makes them convert, focus on measuring that.

Also, ask yourself:

What would change in my SEO strategy dramatically if I knew the exact number of Visits each of my keywords brings? What crucial decisions would I make if I had that data at hand?

The point is, you're to have your core keywords in mind anyway.

For example, if you make BuzzBundle, you'll target social media tools no matter what because that's the keyword that makes most sense for your product.

Use ranking fluctuations as your main benchmark. If you know that the search volume for your target keyword is considerable, and you see your rankings grow, it is most likely that these very keyword brings you traffic.

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