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WARNING: this definition may break your heart…

I remember a time, pre-2011, when you could click on the Organic Search > Keywords report in Google Analytics and see a lovely long list of all the different terms people had typed into search engines that brought people to your website… Ahhh those were the days!

Then Google decided to encrypt them for “privacy” reasons, and we started seeing a greater and greater percentage of (not provided) keywords, which is now around 98-99% for most websites.

So when people ask me about how to use Google Analytics to find out their keywords, I have to burst their bubble, and explain the dreaded (not provided) situation.

However, there are a couple of ways to “unlock” these keywords, as search engines are indeed still tracking them!

The easiest (and free) way, is to verify your website with Google Search Console (another free tool from Google), which will share some of the keywords your website ranks for in and which bring traffic to your website.

I’m planning on running a free webinar to demonstrate this in a few weeks, so keep an eye out.

The other tools and techniques are generally paid tools, like SEMrush, so if you’re not keen to commit to a monthly subscription, Search Console is the way to go.


Erica Stacey

Erica is a Google Analytics and Google Ads certified professional, so you’re in qualified hands. Erica has had over a decade of experience – working for agencies and a wide range of clients – in digital and social media marketing strategy, website development, search engine optimisation (SEO) and marketing (SEM), content marketing, inbound marketing, online advertising and so much more. A professional in the field of design, branding and marketing, she is a trusted name in the South Australian and online community to help an array of businesses sort out and achieve their marketing objectives.

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