Analytics tools now show a very small amount of keyword data due to the ‘Secure Search’ function Google implemented back in October 2011. ‘Secure search’ was offered to Google users as a way of keeping their search data private. Finally, in September 2013, Google implemented the 100% secure search feature, which means finding out which keywords were used in Google is now near impossible (with the exception of 1 or 2 keywords which manage to slip through the net!). This has become an increasingly frustrating issue for all website owners as finding out which keywords and landing pages are generating an ROI is extremely difficult.
However, by using Google Webmaster tools, you are now able to see a comprehensive keyword report that gives you insights into your website’s search engine behaviour, whilst this data isn’t 100% accurate, it still offers more to work with than Google’s Analytics tool.
What Google Webmaster Tools will show you:
- Visitors to your website via specific phrases
- The Average position of your Google Organic listings
- The number of times your website appeared in Google’s search results, this is known as impressions
- A ratio showing how often people who see your website in Google’s search results, click through to your website and become a visitor
Let’s compare Webmaster Tools & Google Analytics Keywords data.
When we look at Google Analytics, you will notice that 920 of our search engine traffic is showing ‘not provided’. That’s 85% of our search engine traffic lost to Google’s secure search.
Webmaster tools is showing us 811 search terms that displayed our website in Google’s search results. This data tells us which keywords are performing well in Google, indicated by the avg. position, estimated clicks and CTR (click-through rate) columns. However, this data doesn’t show us important information such as bounce rates and conversions like Google Analytics.
Google’s Webmaster tools is showing us 811 Search Queries, whereas Google Analytics is only showing us 64.
Conclusion: The implementation of secure search poses a difficulty for all website owners, but find solace in knowing everyone is in the same boat and that at present, Google webmaster tools will retrieve some of the vital data which Google is now withholding.