Several years ago, Google Analytics started showing “not provided” as an item listed in your keyword list as a way that searchers find you.
What started as a small percentage of your keywords now accounts for upwards of 90% of your search keyword traffic. For example, on our site, we don’t see more than 98% of our keywords thanks to “not provided”!!
What are “not provided” keywords?
When searchers are logged in to their Google accounts, their search queries are listed under the “not provided” option.
Since Google has put more pressure on searchers to create Google accounts – whether they use a Google product like Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Analytics, etc. or not – a majority of searches (90%+, to be exact) are done by those logged into their accounts.
3 Ways to Get Past “Not Provided”
When this category was originally introduced, you could simply create a filter to get past “not provided” keywords in order to gain access from them.
1. Use Entrance Pages
Having pages specific to your service or product offerings on your website isn’t just great for SEO, it’s great for data collecting, too.
By going to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages, you’ll be able to see where visitors land on your website. From there, you can glean more about where your visitors come to first.
Finding they aren’t landing on the pages you want them to? You need to optimize more!
2. Use Google Search Console
Do you use Google Search Console? If not, you should be. Simply go to the website and verify your site.
Once you’ve verified, go to Search Traffic > Search Queries. GWT has become much more exact over the years at the search volume and ranking for each of the major search terms for your website. So, it’s a great secondary option to Google Analytics keywords.
3. Use Search Engine Optimization/Queries
Last, but certainly not least, by using your Google Analytics again, you can see which terms visitors are using to search for you. Not only that, but you’ll also see your current ranking and impressions for each term.
The caveat? In order to gain access to this data you will need to sign up for Google Search Console.