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Top 13 expert methods to replace Not Provided data


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Last September, when Google made it clear they'd be encrypting an extended number of search queries, the SEO community has been keen on cracking the Not Provided code and finding ways to analyze performance of their keywords.

There were experts who came up with detailed guides on adjusting Google Analytics reporting, those who suggested fetching keywords data from alternative tools, those who argued there were metrics more important for decision-making than keyword data, etc.

In this deck, you'll find top 13 expert methods to still get the Not Provided data, from very simple to quite difficult. Which one suits you best?

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Top 13 expert methods to replace Not Provided data

  1. 1. Pro methods to get the “Not Provided” data Top 14 SEO experts on Google’s “Not Provided”
  2. 2. What is “Not Provided”? Google restricts the keyword data they send to websites so that visits coming from secure Google search pages would appear in Google Analytics under the label “not provided”, instead of the actual search term. Grouping a large number of keywords under the banner of “Not Provided” denies site owners fundamental information about how their site is performing in organic search.
  3. 3. How big is the problem? • The percentage of “not provided” traffic Google is sending to sites is steadily rising.
  4. 4. How big is the problem? • The percentage of “not provided” traffic Google is sending to sites is steadily rising. • As for Feb, 2014, 82.42% of all keywords are hidden behind the “not provided” data
  5. 5. How big is the problem? • The percentage of “not provided” traffic Google is sending to sites is steadily rising. • As for Feb, 2014, 82.42% of all keywords are hidden behind the “not provided” data • And very soon it will hit 100%.
  6. 6. What Remains? Keyword Data Options Here are 14 experts methods to still get the “not provided” data, from very simple to quite difficult. You choose which one suits you best.
  7. 7. #1 Dan Barker @danbarker E-business consultant Focus on landing pages Go to Google Analytics • Look for “Not Provided” search terms. • Where you find them, look to see which page the visitor landed on. • Change your keywords report in Google Analytics to show those two pieces of information (the fact that Google suppressed the keyword, and the landing page), rather than just the utterly anonymous “Not provided”
  8. 8. #2 Focus on landing pages Go to Google Analytics Rachael Gerson @rachaelgerson SEER Interactive • Create filter to view Keyword + Landing page (the easiest) • Create advanced segments to include only “Not Provided” • Create a brand-new profile to include “Not Provided”
  9. 9. #3 Megan Marrs @marrsipan Wordstream Set up internal search Set up site search to see the queries visitors have used in the search box on your site.
  10. 10. #4 Dissect Google Analytics strings If you look at the URL from a Google search in your address bar, you’ll see that it is not the actual URL of the page. Rather it is a redirect URL with a string of parameters and codes attached to the end. This string provides a wealth of information about the keyword and relative link position of the result that was clicked. Sean Ellis @seanellis Qualaroo
  11. 11. #5 Rely on Approximated Traffic What we came up with is the Approximated Traffic feature in WebMeUp… Viktar Khamianok WebMeUp We take a lot of SEO data, apply complex calculation – based on research and statistics – and here it is – the figures you weren't supposed to see are to be found under Approximated traffic in WebMeUp.
  12. 12. #6 Make use of SEMRush/Keyword Spy data Annie Cushing @AnnieCushing SEO consultant Some SEO tools like SEMRush or Keyword Spy reports can provide insights on keywords that work. I love these reports. But you have to throw it into a pivot table to get any kind of insight from it.
  13. 13. #7 Look at Bing and Yahoo! stats Graham Charlton Rely on keyword data from Yahoo! and Bing as an alternative to Google Not Provided. But be careful… @gcharlton Econsultancy This is a possible solution, and will provide some insight, but Google's sheer dominance of the search market means that there just isn't much of it.
  14. 14. #8 Use Google Webmaster Tools Here are the challenges Google's Webmaster Tools solves: Which search queries does my website show up for, and what does my click-through rate look like? Avinash Kaushik @avinash Google
  15. 15. #9 Open a Google AdWords account Mike Murray @mikeonlinecoach Online Marketing Coach Google isn’t so concerned with privacy that it won’t continue to provide keyword data for paid search customers... Now, it’s hardly organic data, but an AdWords account will provide some insights and an indication about whether a keyword phrase has any value.
  16. 16. #10 Identify decision you base on keyword data Reid Bandremer @ReidBandremer Lunametrics First, SEOs need to pin down the gaps in actionable insight they need to fill. Ask some deep questions. Break this down into a set of problems, then prioritize the problems. Then you’ll be on the path to develop the right package of solutions.
  17. 17. #11 Realize Not Provided approaching 100% is not fatal Most execs don’t care which keywords are driving traffic and converting best. They’re too busy to care about that.. John Doherty @dohertyjf Ex-Head of Distilled Most execs care about overall revenue coming from the organic, or any other, channel. They also care about their pet keywords, for better or for worse…
  18. 18. #12 Base your keyword research on personas Michael King @iPullRank iAcquire Rather than just putting together a list of keywords and search volumes, we run survey to understand where users are in their Consumer Decision Journey with their search.
  19. 19. #13 Rely on search rankings Analyzing ranking changes across keywords that have historically driven traffic will now be a critical tool in identifying and reacting to negative traffic changes. Ray Comstock @SEOCatfish BusinessOnline It will also be important to carefully track which URLs are ranking for which keywords in order to correlate ranking changes to traffic changes.
  20. 20. #14 Consider CRO for pages, not keywords Rob Ousbey @RobOusbey Distilled Many sites would previously run Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) tests for particular keywords or group of keywords. Now they can only consider conversion rate of individual pages – and for good. … As long as you begin by measuring the CR for people landing on that particular page and work to improve that, you’ll be working on the right thing.
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