Google Keyword Not Provided Fix – Sort Of

When Google made a change over to their secured servers, it hid a very important attribute to SEO professionals everywhere and that was the keyword attribute that let you know what keyword that the visitor used to get to your site. Instead of showing you the keyword the visitor used, it just lumped it under Not Provided in Google Analytics which left you with no idea as to that persons intent. Until now.

Assuming that you have set up your website in a neat and orderly fashion and have properly optimized them, all may not be lost with this great little fix we found.  It doesn’t give you the keyword that they used, but it will tell you what page they went to and that’s almost just important.

This way if you have areas of your website such as shirts, pants, you can finally see where they landed which will at least give you  clue as to what keyword probably got them to your site.

Here’s a walkthrough on how to accomplish this. First the text and then a pic of how it should look if you followed the steps correctly;

  1. Login to Google Analytics
  2. Choose the website you want to add the filter to.
  3. Click on Admin
  4. Click on All Filters on the left hand side, then click New Filter.
  5. Here’s what should be in each field:
    Filter name  – Call it NP rewrite or something similar
    Filter Type – click Custom Filter, then click Advanced
    In the Field A–>Extract A row – Choose Campaign Term from the drop down box
    In the blank box that appears next to it, put (.not provided.)
    In the Field B –>Extract B row – Choose Request URl from the drop down box
    In the blank box that appears next to it, put (.*)
    In the Output To–>Constructor row – choose Campaign Term from the drop down box
    In the blank box that appears next to it, put np – $B1
    Field A Required
    = Yes
    Field B Required = Yes
    Override Output Field = Yes
    Case Sensitive = No
    And lastly, click the domain you want to apply the filter to and move it from the left box to the right by highlighting it and clicking the Add button in the middle.
  6. When you’re done it should look like this (click the pic for a larger image)np-problem-fix-edit


Now what does this accomplish? Well, when it’s been running for a while, you can click on Acquisition, Keywords, and then Organic and you’ll see what visits came as Not Provided and it will show you where that visitor landed.

The sample below shows you what the output looks like and where they landed. You may not know the keyword, but we know that whatever the keyword was,  it’s attributed to a specific page on our site which will at least give us a good idea as to keyword intent and that’s a huge part of the picture that you otherwise had no idea about.

For instance using the example below we know that the customer landed on the used inventory page, staff pages, etc.  With the staff landing page, we can pretty much assess that they’re searching for contact info or maybe even a person’s name. We can then cross reference and see if any press releases went out with staff names on it that may have caused that surge to occur. Voila! We’re not totally blind anymore.

Happy analyzing!


Posted in Coding, Google, Keyword Research, SEO and tagged , , .