Google Analytics “Not Provided” Keywords…Should You Care?
In a word…yes. But it’s not the end of the world, despite rumors to the contrary. While losing keyword data will certainly make life a little more difficult for SEO professionals trying to gauge their organic search performance, it’s a problem that, like most problems, can be overcome with a little craftiness.
But if we’re being honest, was keyword data really a huge part of anyone’s SEO strategy anymore? Even before the full switch to encrypted search, there had been a rise in “not provided” keywords. Keyword traffic had become more of a general guideline to check, rather than a standard KPI by which to measure performance and make decisions.
Of course, most of the outrage is directed at the fact that keyword information is still available in AdWords, leading some to believe that a user’s privacy doesn’t matter if the agency is paying for the AdWords service. I guess the only rebuttal to this would be…ummm…yeah, Google wants to make money. Trying to push people to AdWords, while not popular, is certainly a viable business decision on many levels. The question of whether any incremental revenue will be offset by decreased brand goodwill is a debate for another day (or another blog post).
But back to the point of this post, if in fact there ever was one. How can you get around “not provided” keywords? Admittedly, no method is going to be completely accurate, but some savvy folks have figured out ways to make do. To wit: you can use Google Webmaster Tools to get a general idea, though your numbers won’t be 100% accurate due to the rounded data. Additionally, you can use your Landing Page data and compare it to your AdWords results…but again, this is more of an educated guess than anything else. But, to some degree, isn’t that what marketing is?
Any other bright ideas out there for getting around the “not provided” data? Let us know in the comments section! As an added bonus: the person that leaves the most entertaining or insightful comment will win a Q&A about their company, to be posted on this blog. Think about it…free publicity for your company, and your name will be seen by literally tens of people on the internet! It doesn’t get any better than that.