Analytics “Not Provided” Data Hack

Remember a short while back, when I wrote to you about Google not providing all your Analytics data if you’re not advertising with AdWords? Well… I found a way around it that works to show you the keywords landing pages where people are using anyway end up after typing in their query.

It’s not my hack. It belongs to Dan Barker over at the Econsultancy blog, and it’s pretty neat, so I thought I’d share the process with you.

One caveat first: Barker says that it can mess up your data, if you don’t do this right, and that neither he nor Econsultancy take responsibility for messes, if you decide to try it. Guess what? Pat Marcello and the SEO News Blog aren’t taking responsibility either, so do this at your own risk!

To be honest, if you have only a little bit of Google traffic coming in, it’s probably not worth the effort to set this up. Yet, it’s not a long drown-out process. It’s pretty easy to do, and if your organic traffic is significant, this can give you some of the interesting information that Google took from you back. (Seriously, read this article, if you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, K?)

First, what does this hack do?

Through this filter (which you’re going to set up in a mo), you can see where these “not provided” visitors landed and it will give you an idea of what keywords they may have used to get to your page.  Here’s a screen shot from my Analytics account for this blog:

Google Analytics NP dataWhen in Google Analytics, go to “Traffic Sources” in the left-side navigation panel and click on “Search,” then “Organic, ” and then the little blue link at the top of the results that says “keywords.”

In this example, notice how right there at the #2 spot is “(not provided).” These are visits from people who weren’t logged into Google when making their search. I have no idea where they landed or anything about them, but… this hack allows you to figure more things out.

Notice positions 4, 9, and 10 in the above image that start with “np – /.” That’s data gathered in relation to what I’m about to show you. I can at least tell that the not-logged-in people searched on this particular day for “SEO quake,” to learn why their Facebook facepile widget wasn’t working right, and to learn more about SEO bounce rate and what it means. That gives me some indication of what they were looking for when typing their queries into the search bar at least.

Why is this important?

Hel-lo… When you know what your top pages are, which bits of content are most successful… write more about those things, right? So, people keep coming back to your blog. It’s good data to have.

Here’s how it goes:

  1. Add a new filter: Click on the little wheel icon in the upper right-hand corner of the Analytics dashboard for the site you’re working with.
  2. Select Filter, then “Add New Filter.”
  3. Complete the next screen just like thisAnalytics Filter for NP data

(In Feed B that’s a: (.*) — don’t miss the dot before the star — and in Campaign Term, it’s: np – $B1)

And voila! I encourage you to go over to Econsultancy and read the blog post. Barker has included specific instructions with screenshots, if you need those, and also a way to test to see if you’ve done it right. I have to tell you, though, it took a day for this to show up in my results, so it may not be instantaneous for you. If you test it and it doesn’t work right then, on the spot… Wait until the next day and go back and check your stuff.

If you have tons keywords landing pages appearing in your results like I do, just type “np” into the search bar above the fist result. Check this out:

Google NP search results

I have 109 different sources when I use this query that at least let me know where these “not provided” people went after they searched. Pretty sweet, huh?

OK, enough. Try it, if you dare.  🙂

Anyway, thanks Dan! You rock.


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