Why Is Referring Keyword Showing “Not Provided” In Analytics GrowTraffic blog title graphic

Table of Contents

Why Is Referring Keyword Showing “Not Provided” In Analytics?

Users use keywords to find your website in search engines. And sometimes site creators may want to analyse this data to see which keywords are bringing in the most traffic.

Except… Oh. You’ve come across a “not provided” in the reports. Because though it may be a powerful and helpful tool, Google Analytics isn’t perfect.

We’ll take a look at Analytics’ “not provided” keyword error in this article.

What Does Keyword Not Provided Mean?

When you see that the keyword is not provided, it means Google is choosing not to share that data with you. It doesn’t mean that users didn’t search it – they did. Google just chooses not to show you the details.

But why?

Well. Google decided to make their search more secure to protect the privacy of searchers. Therefore, you’ll find a (not provided) in analytics results if you try to find out the keywords.

How Does This Affect Your Site?

Not being able to check what keywords your audience searches to find your website is frustrating.

As a website owner, you want to plan your SEO and other marketing strategies. Without the keyword data, however, it’s difficult and challenging to do. You can’t track conversions and it makes keyword optimisation harder – so it’s more challenging to boost your site’s traffic.

So… Is there any way to discover what the keywords being searched are?


How To ‘Unlock’ Keyword (Not Provided) in Analytics

There’s a few ways you can ‘unlock’ or ‘fix’ the keyword (not provided) issue in analytics.

Google Search Console

One of those solutions is Google Search Console.

Link up your Google Analytics account to your Google Search Console data and that’s it. You can view organic search keywords.

Google Search Console is a free tool which enables you to view your site’s performance on Google. Everything from keyword rankings to page views.

You can view reports on Search Console that show the keywords that your site has appeared in search results for. The 4 metrics – impressions, clicks, rank position, CTR (click-through-rate) – demonstrate which keywords are the most valuable to your site.

Then you can optimise keywords to boost rankings and drive more organic traffic to your site.

There are additional plugins you can install which offer loads of addons and features to help you uncover your keywords.

Custom Tracking

Custom dimensions are not tracked by default but this additional information is monitored in Google Analytics.

By creating custom dimensions, you can track the most popular keywords on your site. You’ll get to know which search terms are sending the most traffic. If you set up a specific keyword or phrase for a post, you can create a custom dimension to record these keywords.

So even though they’re not tracked by default, they can still be analysed.

Filter Data

Though Google Analytics can keep data hidden, segmentation can still help to gain a clearer understanding of how users end up on your site. Although you can’t see the specific keywords attracting traffic, you can still see where traffic is arriving on your site.

You can use Google Analytics to set up a filter to show the landing pages of all the ‘(not provided)’ traffic. It won’t help in determining the keywords but it will help site owners determine the most valuable and effective topics.

Then content can be optimised based on the filtered results. Site owners can focus on creating content that they know will be valuable for users and increase traffic.

Google Trends

Another one that won’t uncover your keyword (not provided) but is still a helpful tool.

With Google Trends, you can enter a keyword and view its level of interest over time. Geographical location, search category, and time frame are additional filters. And if you wanted to compare, adding more keywords would show that data.

Using your brand’s name, you’ll have a general overview of how your brand’s awareness has evolved. Then you can check the specific terms that are being searched in relation to your site.

Invest in SEO Software

There are tools out there that have been created specifically so you can view those keyword (not provided).

They do require you to pay for them. But it’s completely optional whether you choose to invest in these software tools or not.

They are good, though. These tools, like Keyword Hero for example, only show keywords with 83% or higher probability of being the keyword (not provided). And at least 60% of the keywords are matched with certainty.

GrowTraffic: Contact Us

If you’re interested in improving SEO for your site, why not contact us?

Here at GrowTraffic, we specialise in SEO and digital marketing.

Did we mention that we’re an award-winning agency? Because we are.

You can call on 0161 706 0012, email info@growtraffic.co.uk or fill out our contact form.

Home » Search Engines » Google » Why Is Referring Keyword Showing “Not Provided” In Analytics?

Share this post