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How Marketer can overcome Google Analytics’ Increased Privacy

Google Analytics continues to change year after year. One of its latest updates is its increased use of “(not provided)” keywords in users’ accounts. In fact, “(not provided)” keywords consist of 81% of search data in Google Analytics. While this enhanced privacy feature may be useful in protecting users’ privacy, it creates an immense impediment for email marketing specialists, digital marketing professionals, and businesses as a whole. Marketers and companies can’t determine the organic keywords that consumers use to find their page. (Register for Smartt's 2-day Google Analytics Training Course to learn the ins-and-outs of Google Analytics.)
This can effectively affect companies’ relevancy of AdWords keywords, web content, and online conversions. Moreover, it deters companies from using popular keywords to help them gain online exposure.
To help overcome this issue, we’ve come up with 4 approaches companies can use to determine organic keywords:


  1. Use Webmaster Master Tools

    To use Webmaster Master Tools, create a webmaster account. This will enable you to see your webpages’ pageviews, backlinks to your website, and most importantly, search queries. You’ll be able to identify top keywords that drive traffic to your webpages. What’s more, you’ll be able to see the keywords’ impressions, clicks, and click-through rates, as well as your website’s average position for these queries.

  2. Use the Search Engine Optimization function in Google Analytics

    If you go to the “Acquisition” section in your analytics account, you will find a feature called “Search Engine Optimization” at the bottom of the scroll down. This feature gives you all the keywords searchers have used to land on your website. While this function may not be able to breakdown the queries for each landing page, it gives you a grand overview of the types of keywords searcher use when researching online. And similar to Webmaster Master Tools, the “Search Engine Optimization” feature allows you to see each query’s impressions, clicks, average position, and click-through rate.

  3. Use on-site keywords

    If you have a search box on your website, use it to generate a list of keywords visitors use on your site to find relevant content. This can give you a better understanding of the types of keywords people search online and in turn, help you create content that are more relevant to consumers’ needs. That said, on-site keywords may not be suitable to enhance brand awareness as keywords that are used on-site may be more specific to certain products or services.

  4. Conduct a SEO audit

    If Google Analytics’ increased privacy feature is creating impediments for you, you can avoid this problem by doing SEO audits independently without relying on the analytics tool. For instance, if you’re an online men’s retailer, you can search for specific terms related to your company manually through Google search engine. You can search for specific queries such as “Vancouver polo” “Vancouver men’s dress shirt,” and “Metro men’s blazer” to see how high you’re positioned on search results. Additionally, you can use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to generate a vast list of keywords relevant to your initial queries. For example, if your initial keyword is “shoes,” you can use the Keyword Planner tool to find relevant terms such as “sneakers,” and “boots.” This allows you to broaden your search range and find other queries that could drive traffic to your website.


Though Google Analytics remains one of the most powerful analytics tools in business today, its privacy feature can create negative impacts on companies’ performances. That said, by using the 4 tips above, you’ll be able to successfully overcome this issue and come up with potent keywords that will drive immense traffic your website.
Got questions still? Smartt offers a 2-day Google Analytics Course and a 1-day digital marketing training program designed to help corporate marketing teams bring ROI-oriented data and actionable insights into the boardroom. 
Note: You should also take a look at our article on upgrading to Google Universal Analytics. It will help you track users across multiple mobile devices!