More and more, search marketers are seeing “(not provided)” in their Google analytics associated with keywords they are tracking. This is frustrating for most of us, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your keyword tracking. There are other ways to mine the data that is important to you.
One way you can measure traffic by keyword – though admittedly it isn’t perfect – is to track the traffic for your landing pages instead.
Measuring Landing Page Traffic
If you’ve done a good job of optimizing your website’s landing pages, then each page should be optimized for one or two keywords. But no more than that. So how can you use those landing pages to measure traffic for your keywords?
Let’s say you have four landing pages optimized around five different keywords, like this:
- Landing page 1 is optimized for keywords A and B
- Landing page 2 is optimized for keyword C
- Landing page 3 is optimized for keywords D and E
- Landing page 4 is optimized for keywords C and E
Your task is to find out how much traffic you are getting for each of your keywords based on the traffic you are getting for the landing pages. So how do you do that?
Let’s say each of the landing pages received this much traffic last month: Landing page 1 = 1,000 visitors; landing page 2 = 1,500 visitors; landing page 3 = 500 visitors; landing page 4 = 2,500 visitors.
One way to break down your visitor count per keyword is to split the traffic count evenly for each keyword associated with a single landing page. So, on landing page 4, each keyword would receive half the traffic count – 1,250 visitors. You could then ascertain that keyword C received approximately 2,750 visits last month (1,500 + 1,250).
That’s probably not very accurate, but it could be close. The problem is, the more traffic you receive for each landing page, the less accurate this measurement is going to be.
Historical Keyword Traffic Measurements
Another way is to go back through your history. If you have access to historical records, then you could take a look at the last known traffic numbers for each keyword you are tracking. If you know, for instance, that keyword A had 800 visitors at last count and keyword B had 400 at last count, then the ratio is 2:1 in favor of keyword A. You could assume the same ratio holds and you could split the traffic numbers for landing page 1 accordingly.
Again, this likely isn’t an accurate measurement, but it can give you some idea as to how much traffic you could be getting for each of your keywords. It sure beats flying in the dark.