Last Updated on January 17, 2017
Wouldn’t it be great if you could see what keywords you are ranking for, right inside Google Analytics?
This is something you used to be able to get very easily. Until Google removed them.
Lucky for us, Google will still deliver. Right to your doorstep (aka analytics) You just need to know how!
It’s a simple trick really.
Connect your Webmaster Tools (aka Search Console) with Google Analytics – then you can have your cake and eat it too!
Keyword data and analytics living together harmoniously.
Ready to get your keywords back?
This post is aimed at showing you quickly and simply how to set this up.
Let me show you how it works…
Getting Your Keywords In Google Analytics
Let’s see all the juicy keywords you can find if you set this baby up.
First, you need to open the landing pages – which are the pages people come to from Google (in most cases, it will be all your pages – or most of them).
Here is where you can find that (once it’s set up of course!):
Then you can choose a specific page or post and take a look at the keywords Google is showing you. They give all the data you would normally find in Search Console too (or at least most of it):
These are the keywords from a post on a site I own (blurred for my privacy :>) – including of course the good old “not set”.
No, Google never gives us everything. But, at least you have an overview of the kinds of words a post is ranking for.
What can you do with this treasure trove of data:
- improve your content
- tune the keywords in a post
- think about other posts you might want to create
- come up with products to sell – right from this post
So, as you can see, knowing what keywords a post or page is ranking for can be quite helpful.
Getting Keywords Into Google Analytics
Since Google stopped showing us keywords in Google Analytics, we’ve had to use this alternative method – connecting Google Search Console with Analytics.
If you don’t have Google Search Console set up for your website yet, that is the first thing you need to go do – here is a post on how to do that (and connect to Bing too!).
Off you go, I will wait while you get that set up…
Note: Just a quick rundown of what steps that post includes:
- Create an account on Search Console (using gmail)
- Add your website to search console
- Add your sitemap.xml (you will need to create that on your site first)
Connecting Google Analyics With Search Console
Once you have done that, you need to connect the two tools (Google Analytics and Search Console) like this:
1. Go to the Landing Pages section again under Acquisition and you will see this
2. Go ahead and click that button “Set Up Search Console Data Sharing”
3. That will take you into the Admin section of Analytics – scroll down to the bottom until you see this:
4. Click “Adjust Search Console”
5. Then you will see this page where you can click “edit”
6. Now you have to choose the web property (ie. your website) that you want to connect. If you have both www and non-www versions, pick the one that is most relevant.
Then scroll down and click “save”
7. Go back to analytics (probably in another tab or window) and click Done (you can see it in the image further above).
8. Go back to the Landing Page section again and now you will see a list of your pages/posts that are getting traffic from search.
9. click on one you are interested in to get the keyword data list for that page
A Few Problems You Might Face With This
I have done this probably 30 or 40 times for clients and students of my SEO course, so I have seen a few minor issues with this process. Here is a quick list of the problems you might run into
Analytics and Search Console Not Owned By The Same Gmail Account
In general, the account you use to do this with needs admin access to both Analytics and Search Console. I use and create one for each site or client so that this is never an issue. If you have a problem with this, try giving one Gmail account access to both and see if it fixes the problem.
Worst case: create a new Gmail with access and ownership of both.
You Have Mutliple Versions Of Your Website On Search Console
The best practive on Search Console is to register both versions of your website (www and non-www) and set a preference for the one that your site actually uses.
However, if you do this, you will have two “properties” (websites) to connect with Analytics when you are at step 6 above. Make sure to choose the one that has “preference” in Search Console and therefore has the actual data/visitors. If you make a mistake, do it again. Google let’s you go through the process again.
Now You Have Keywords In Google Analytics
Most of the useful keyword data from Search Console is now in your Google analytics.