As we all know in October 2011, Google came out with a statement that all logged in searches with Google’s will not be a secure search and we will not be providing data to website owners. What this means is that now when a user is logged in we do not see the keyword the user typed into Google. The initially said it would only have a single digit affect to most website users. This couldn’t be farther from the truth where on average I Daniel Kamen, see upwards of 20% of visits to my site from Google as Not Provided. Not surprised as how they are now making big pushes with all Google tool especially Google Plus. I am not hear to say how all of this is unfair and paid search gets data, but rather to discuss how can we provide data to our clients. And if you do year over year comparisons you it is not a fair comparison to last years data if you cannot prove 20% of you non-paid search engine visits. There is no right way but these are some of the methodologies I now use.
- Simple Ratio Approach
You can simply go to keywords visit data and find out the ratio of branded visits to non-branded visits. This can simply be done by clicking Traffic Sources–> Keywords, scrolling to the bottom and adding a filter. Make sure to click keyword contains. Then type in your brand name. You may also want to add variables or simply type in part of your name to ensure you have all the branded data. This will show you the amount of visits from branded. If your total amount of visits was 100 and you now have 50 branded visits your ratio of branded to non-branded is 1 to 1. You can then use this ratio on a monthly basis to show performance improvement.
2. Landing Page Goals Approach
Though this approach is more comprehensive it can definitely be more time consuming. However it is more effective when we are talking about tracking goals with keywords. If you are an advanced SEO I am sure you thoroughly planned your keyword mapping strategy and have very specific keywords targeting a very specific page. If this is the case you can look at your keyword visits report click the drop down to the right of keyword and choose landing page.
Now you will be able to see a landing page report with the according keyword. Now you can see how many visits for that keyword went to that landing Page. There will be other visits from random keywords as well from this page including the not provided data. So now you will want to look at the ratio of how many visits this keyword brought to this landing page. Then use that ratio to parse out how much not provided visits should be regarded as that keyword.
Though you can never guarantee this to be accurate this is definitely a scientific way to explain to your clients and show how your hard work has paid off.