Where are my Google keywords?

If you're actively trying to increase your WordPress site's visibility on search engines like Google you'll need to track which keywords are working for you. How you do this has recently changed.

Digital Marketing
Analytics Data

We use Google Analytics for each WordPress site that we build. When training our clients, specifically around Search Engine Optimisation for WordPress we have relied on the keyword tools in Google Analytics to demonstrate traffic generated per keyword.

Over time, using the keyword section in Google Analytics you were able to see the search terms used when a visitor found your site on Google and clicked through to visit it.
google analytics keywords
See the screenshot here; this is showing all the keywords for a short period and the number of visits.

This tool worked hand in hand with your keyword strategy, where you’ve focused your efforts on optimising your WordPress site for a number of specific keywords and phrases.

The idea being, you implement the strategy and then use the tool to see it in action.

What’s changed?

This ability has slowly been changing. In 2011 Google started to encrypt the searches for users in the US. This has since been slowly rolled out to users in all other countries.

In September this year crunch day came, Google has now begun encrypting all searches for all users.

This means that the tool in Google Analytics will now not show any keywords for Google organic searches. (NB. If you’re buying Google Adwords you’ll still see those keywords)

What’s the solution?

Well,there is another Google tool called Webmasters Tools that you can use to test the success of your keyword strategy. 

If you’re a client for whom we’ve built a WordPress site you’re in luck because as part of our Go Live process we setup your site in Webmaster Tools.

In some ways Webmaster Tools is actually more simple with the information that it provides. The screenshot below shows some basic stats about the traffic you’re getting from Google organic search.


If this is new to you, Impressions is the number of times your site has shown up on a search engine result page, while Clicks is the number of times that someone has clicked on that result to visit your site.

Then the tool goes on to show you statistics like this.

WordPress and Google WebMaster Tools

Here I can see the search query, impressions, click through ratio and the average position that my site is displayed on the search result page. All good information and very relevant to see if the keywords and phrases that you have optimised your site for are starting to work for you.

While you can see all of these great stats you can’t see what that particular user did when they arrived at your site, which you could using Google Analytics.

Where to find these stats

google webmaster toolsLogin to Webmaster Tools, then choose your site out of the main list.

You will then see the Site Dashboard menu (see screenshot opposite). Open up Search Traffic and in there you will see a menu item Search Queries – that’s where you’ll find the statistics outline in this article.

How to learn more about WordPress and SEO

If you’re keen to increase your WordPress site’s search engine optimisation keep an eye on our regular webinars. They are free to DMA clients, check out the latest ones here.

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