Keywords are the key to your content marketing success. Besides running keyword research with Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, Ubersugest, Long Tail keyword Pro, and other tools, you can also find a considerable amount of keyword data in your Google Analytics.
What is Not Provided keyword?
However, in October 2011, Google announced that they started to encrypt search queries for users who were logged into Google. The encrypted search queries are shown as Not Provided in Google Analytics organic keywords report, which bad new news for marketers.
Now in 2017, you may not get much valuable keywords data from Google Analytics organic keywords report. By the way, the paid keywords report is not affected.
In my case, I see 97.69% of Not Provided keyword and 0.23% not set. that is really not much value to me.
How to Unlock Your ‘Not Provided’ Keywords
In some cases, Google has blocked more than 90% of the keywords data, but there are some methods to reveal these keyword data. Though not 100%, it will be very helpful.
1. Setup Google Search Console Data Sharing
As you probably know, you can also view the keywords data in Google Search Console. If you connect Search Console to Google Analytics, you will have a clearer view of the keywords data.
Just navigate to Acquisition > Search Console > Queries. From there, you will have more keywords data.
If you have not setup Search Console data sharing in your property settings. You can follow the steps below to link Google Search Console to Google Analytics.
- In your Google Analytics account, click Admin
- In the PROPERTY column, click Property Settings.
- Scroll down to Search Console Settings. Click Adjust Search Console and then click Add to add the URL of your website. Then it will confirm that the website is verified in Search Console and that you have permission to make changes.
- Under Search Console, select the reporting view(s) in which you want to see Search Console data.
- Click Save.
2. Turn to other Search Engine Keywords Data
Though Google takes a very large market share of search engines, Bing webmaster tool is still worth using. If your website generates some considerable of traffic, you will get lot of keyword data from Bing Webmaster tool.
3. Segment ‘Not Provided’ Data Using Filters
Don’t be too overwhelmed by the large percentage of not provided keywords. There is a little trick that helps you get some value out of the not provided data by using segment and filters.
You can refer to the steps below to set it up
- Click Admin, select the view that you want to apply the filters to.
- Click Filters and ADD FILTER to create a custom filter.3. Select“Custom” as the filter type. Type the following parameters into their respective fields.
Field A: (.not provided)
Field B: (.*)
Field C: np – $B1
- Check the box”Case Sensitive” and click Save.
Wait a few hours and you will be able to see the users searched not provided keywords are brought to which pages. Well, you may not content with this solution. Then try the next one.
4. Internal Site Searches
Another keywords data you may neglect are internal site search queries. When users want more read more information on your site, they use the search button. If they cannot find what they searched for, they are disappointed and you lose a potential customer.
Google Analytics can help you track this data easily.
- Click Admin and View Settings.
- Scroll down to the Site Search Settings to turn it on.
- To see the query parameter, you can perform an internal search and look at the URL. The letter behind “?” is the query parameter. Usually, it is “s” or “q”.
- Click Save.
To view the internal search keywords data, you can go to Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms.
5. Use Free tool Keyword Hero
Keyword Hero claims that it can help you get rid of the Not provided keywords in your Google Analytics reports by showing you the exact match keywords.
Doing lots of maths, calculations, and machine learning kind of stuff, they predict which keyword the user typed into Google. In my test, before using Keyword Hero, I get 97% of keywords shown as Not provided. Using Keyword Hero, only about 20% of them are not provided.
It is certainly worth a try. The free version offers 25 URLs to check your 25 most frequented URLs. If you want to get more data, you need to upgrade to higher version.
This might be an expensive option if you have a lot of URLs that need checking, but it is the simplest and most convenient method.
Someone has predicted that Google might reveal the Not Provided keywords to those sites that using HTTPS. I hope that day comes soon.
Instead of waiting for the uncertain prediction, try one or more of the methods above to unlock the not provided keywords in Google Analytics.
What do you think about these methods? Which one do you want to try first? Have you got other methods to get more value out of the not provided keywords?