Google Analytics 4 Is Covering Organic Keywords Data to Protect the Privacy of Searchers

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If you haven’t already transitioned to Google Analytics 4, you’d better do it now because Universal Analytics has ceased processing hits. Change is hard, but the switch will be a good thing. There are alternative platforms to use instead, but Google Analytics is an indisputable tool to optimize your online presence and enhance your marketing strategies.

The new version, Google Analytics 4 (or GA4), has been around for some time now, yet numerous website owners are completely in the dark or refrain from using it. Not only does Google Analytics 4 support cross-device reporting, but it also helps marketers model future transactions. You’re going to get a much better idea of how your campaign is performing. 

Nevertheless, there’s one area where Google Analytics 4 fails: the organic search terms report. An ever-growing number of results are listed as ‘Not Provided,’ so you can’t find out what queries led to your website or what keywords generate the most sales. Organic search results are hidden from the view. The reason for this is that Google wants to protect the privacy of searchers. If a user is logged into their Gmail account – or any Google account, for that matter – when searching, their search is conducted over SSL. Google is able to see the information, but website owners find it impossible to access it. 

Organic Keywords Are Used in SEO To Attract ‘Free’ Traffic

Optimizing for the right keywords can increase your visibility on relevant SERPs if you rely on local businesses. Needless to say, the framework requires some adaptation for the international scene. For instance, keyword research shouldn’t be neglected if you want to maximize your reach in Spain, which has approximately 45.1 million internet users. You must identify the terms and phrases people use to search for products/services.

Using the right keywords is essential in digital marketing in Spain – it can help you define your content, shape your business strategy, and drive the performance of your website in search engines. Don’t use machine translations (they’re still just not good enough). 

Despite the fact that paid advertising offers immediate results, organic search strategies ensure long-term results. An organic search strategy increases brand visibility for the targeted keywords, helping you outrank your competitors on Google, regardless of their size (and bank account).

Organic keywords are dissimilar to pay-per-click keywords on which advertisers bid inside Google Ads. Paid search results appear on top of the search engine results pages under the ‘Ads’ label. They may be placed in several locations around the free search results. Even if Google’s algorithms constantly evolve, on-page keyword optimization remains a leading factor. 

Is There Any Solution to the ‘Not Provided’ Problem? Why, yes! 

Google Analytics 4, by default, doesn’t show organic keywords in the Acquisitions report, so it’s difficult, if not impossible, to know all the different keywords your website ranks for in the SERPs. The good news is several workarounds can reveal the data hidden behind the figures.

Niels Krikke, Corporate Marketing Manager at Seeders, a leading global authority, has a few suggestions that you can include in your strategy. If you strongly believe it’s worth investing time in decoding information about visitor behavior and keyword conversions, please try any of the following solutions. 

  1. Use Keyword Hero. In case you didn’t already know, Keyword Hero is a web-based tool powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning that eliminates the unwelcomed ‘Not Provided’ message from analytics data. It takes two minutes to set up. You can automatically detect branded keywords and monitor branded/non-branded keyword performance. 
  2. Connect Google Search Console to Google Analytics 4. You can connect/link your GA4 and previous Universal Analytics property with your Google Search Console Account. You can then use the data to pinpoint new content development opportunities and prioritize marketing efforts. 
  3. Export Your Search Console Performance Data to BigQuery. You can oversee and scrutinize big data volumes, thanks to Google BigQuery. It’s fantastic if you have a large website with countless pages or extensive traffic. 

The techniques mentioned above are described in detail on Seeders’ blog. Attention must be paid to the fact that there’s no guaranteed way to access the data. You might have to implement one or more fixes to get around ‘Not Provided’. 

Some Actionable Use Cases for Keyword Data 

It’s foolish to assume that you’ll rank at the top of Google search results for every keyword relating to your industry. You must increase your organic rankings and traffic by focusing on search intent – it’s an exercise that involves time and effort. Hiring SEO services is worth considering if you lack the in-house expertise, time, or resources to align your website with the search engine’s ranking algorithm. The first organic result in Google Search has a click-through rate of 25.6%6 as of March 2023. The question now is: What can you do to improve your SEO rankings? 

A suggestion would be to optimize website pages using underperforming keywords, i.e., the ones that have failed to generate impressions. Undeniably, competitive keywords generate more online traffic, but competitors mostly seek them. You’re basically starting a war. Equally, you can optimize pages with a low organic click-through rate but a high keyword ranking.

With the help of the Google Search Console, you can find these pages right away, obtain performance insights, and determine areas of improvement. Get a featured snippet if you want to optimize your website for users across different countries or languages. Google Snippets is an opportunity for international SEO, which is an entirely different ballgame. 

In Closing 

To summarize, marketers have always relied on organic keywords to attract free traffic via search engine optimization. Universal Analytics no longer processes new data in standard properties, so only Google Analytics 4 can be used to identify opportunities to boost conversions and improve engagement on your website.

Don’t fret if you can’t find a report for organic search keywords because Google hides the referral data. You’ll see the keywords as simply ‘Not Provided’ in your analytics. The system does allow for the keyword terms to be shown under certain circumstances, as demonstrated by Niels Krikke, Corporate Marketing Manager at Seeders. For more details, visit the blog (you’ll find even more useful information). 

Google Analytics tends to be complicated, and the arrival of Google Analytics 4 doesn’t make things easier. If you want a lot of data, it’s a good fit, but ensure you have the time and ability to analyze and act on it to improve your SEO and grow your organic traffic. 

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