Last September, Google officially made the move to encrypt all search queries , except for ad clicks. This sent the SEO world abuzz, as this would mean that marketers and website owners alike would see more traffic coming from the “not provided” source in their analytics.
With Google planning to encrypt 100% of searches, there are some challenges that lie in the horizon. With the lack of keyword-level data, we would have to discover new ways to understand the performance of our search campaigns. We also would have to leverage reliable data still available to make sound decisions.
Here’s a list of new methods to get started:
Integrating Google Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics
Connecting our Google Webmaster Tools account to our Google Analytics account will allow you to see keyword-level data, such as impressions, clicks, average Google position, and click-through rate.
Leveraging Paid Search Data
Google’s encryption is specifically targeting organic search data, while allowing activity on paid search ads to still pass keyword-level data. If you run or are running any non-branded paid search campaigns, look into the keywords that are driving traffic and conversions for your website. This will give you an idea about the terms you should focus on from an organic perspective.
Analysing Page-Level Data
Analysing page-level data instead of keyword-level data can help you determine the performance of a set of targeted keywords. This will allow you to make further improvements to the page, and analyse data points, such as traffic, bounce rate, time, conversion paths, and keywords making the page rank and their corresponding positions.
Leveraging Google Trends and AdWords
Even though you won’t know the specific keywords that your search traffic is coming from, you can still leverage Google Trends and AdWords to identify upticks in branded search volume.This will also result in non-branded search traffic lifts.
Leveraging Branded Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns
Like with Google Trends and AdWords, leverage your PPC campaigns to get insights. Once your branded campaigns receive the same traffic volume while your overall search traffic increases, you can assume that your non-branded search traffic is growing.
Tracking and Comparing Keyword Rankings to Page Visits
Create different keyword rankings using branded, non-branded, short-tail, long-tail, and topical keywords. Map these keywords to the pages that are ranking, and then analyse the performance of those pages. This will give you an idea on the performance of your keyword groups.
Google’s encryption will affect the way companies build, implement, and optimise search marketing campaigns. Placing the focus on page-level data instead of on keyword-level data will be the key to success.
Contact us today so we can get started on your online marketing campaign.