Finding SEO opportunities with Google Analytics

Finding SEO opportunities with Google Analytics

Since Google has decided to encrypt the keywords used by logged in Google users, the number of  visits coming from the “not provided” keyword has dominated the keyword standard report.

For a moment, I thought the end of our ability to track search keyword with Google Analytics.

There is however a cool report that will tell you the search key phrases your site is ranking for, how many people are using that key phrase and what is your actual ranking for each one of them.

excited?  Let’s do it!


Step 1. Create an account for Google Webmaster tool

To set up this report you will need a Google Webmaster Tool account and link your account to your Google Analytics account.

Step 2: Access the report

In Google Analytics select Acquisition –> Search Engine Optimisation -> Queries



(Note If you haven’t linked you Webmaster tool you have to click “Set up Webmaster tool data sharing”)




Step 3. understanding the report

The default reports will look like this.


Here is what you should understand:

The Queries are the words or phrases that people have type on Google and where your site was displayed among the search results.

The Impression is how many times your site has appeared in the search results for that given query.

The clicks indicate the amount of time someone has click on your site after using the query.

The Average position is your average ranking for that query. Remember that by default there is 10 results by page, so if your ranking is 6 your site appears on page 1 and if your ranking is 23 your site appears on page 3.

CTR (Click Through Rate) is simply the number of clicks / the number of impression. It represents the proportion of visits you had among all the people who have used that query.


Step 4. Let’s tweak this report

You can always use this report “as is” and focus of the most popular queries.  However I prefer to find the queries that I do have a good ranking but not the perfect one (somewhere between rank  4 and 12) and that each query has a significant amount of traffic.

To find these you need to build a custom filter (click on Advanced located on the top of the report)


Add a filter Average session  less than 13


Average session greater than 3.

If you prefer to go wider increase those number.

The final step is to sort those selected queries by descending number of sessions.  That way your most important queries will show first.

That’s it!

You now have a list of queries (or key phrases if you prefer) that are already having some traction but can certainly be improved with some effort.

Happy tracking!

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Marcos D'Urbano

Owner at Simple Analytics
During the past 10 years doing analytics and completing an MSc in Business Intelligence, I realized that very simple techniques can have a huge impact on our results and your bottom line. I created Simple Analytics because I do love analytics and firmly believe that complex things can be explained in a simple way. I teach and coach busy online entrepreneurs on how to use analytics to keep their business on track.