Can't see SEO keywords in Google Analytics?
In this article, we're revealing the exact steps to take to know what your website is ranking for in Google.
You'll also learn:
- Why it's important to track keywords (and the benefits)
- What to do with the keywords you find
- Alternative ways to access keywords
- And much more.
Let's dive in.
3 Steps to See Keywords in Google Analytics 4
Remember Universal Analytics?
Well, this version of Google Analytics is no longer available, which used to provide some organic search terms.
In Google Analytics 4, organic keywords aren't available by default.
So, to get access to keywords in Google Analytics 4, you need to connect your GA4 property with the matching Google Search Console property.
But don't worry, it's super easy.
Step 1: Setup a Google Search Console Account
Before we begin, you will need to have Google Search Console set up and gathering organic search data.
You can read how to do this in our post on how to add Google Search Console to WordPress.
Once GSC is set up, you'll start seeing Google search impressions and clicks within 24 hours.
Step 2: Connect Google Analytics Account and Search Console together
From your Google Analytics dashboard, click on Admin, then Search Console Links from the Product links box:
Then click on the Link button:
You'll need to follow a series of steps to make the connection between GA4 and the matching Google Search Console property.
First, click on Choose accounts:
Then check the box next to the matching URL of your GA4 property and click Confirm:
Then, from the list, click on Web Streams:
And choose your GA4 Web Stream property:
You'll then need to review the connection and click on Submit:
The connection between GA4 and GSC will now show in the list:
Step 3. Display Google Search Console Keywords in Google Analytics
After making the connection between Google Search Console and Google Analytics, the keywords report won't show automatically.
To activate them, go to your Google Analytics Reports:
Then click on Library:
Then locate the Search Console box, click the three dots, and click on Publish:
You'll then see a Search Console menu appear in the left sidebar:
Clicking this link will show you a couple of options:
Queries show a list of organic search queries in an interactive table.
All the data can be filtered by organic keyword, country, or device or sorted by clicks, impressions, click-through rate, and position.
Google organic search traffic lists the pages and posts and their total traffic.
This table can also be sorted by the number of users, engaged sessions, engagement rate, ave. engagement time, event count, and conversions:
That's it. Now, let's take a look at what all this means.
Analyzing Keywords in Google Analytics 4
To be able to analyze this data in Google Analytics, lets break down key metrics, where to find top-performing keywords, and how to use the keywords you find.
Understanding Key Metrics
Metrics in Google Analytics and Google Search Console are the numbers that reveal how well our sites are doing.
We wrote about these at length in our post engagement metrics, but here's a rundown of what they mean with Google Search Console keywords inside Google Analytics.
- Impressions: The number of times your content is seen in Google SERP over a specified period.
- Clicks: The number of times a piece of content was clicked for a specific search query or in total for the page.
- Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of clicks compared to the impressions.
- Engaged sessions: The number of sessions where the searcher interacted with the content (click, scroll, etc.).
- Engagement rate: The percentage of interactions compared to the total organic visits.
- Ave. engagement time: The average amount of time people spent interacting with the page.
- Event count: The total number of events that were triggered (pageview, file download, click, scroll).
- Conversions: The number of times a searcher completed a desired action or goal.
Identifying Your Top-Performing Keywords
When checking your keywords in Google Analytics or Google Search Console, you'll be able to sort them by the number of clicks they get.
Depending on your type of business will depend on which are the best pages.
For example, an eCommerce site's most valuable pages will be the product of category pages.
But for a niche website or review blog, your most valuable pages will be the ones that have a high ad RPM or high affiliate conversion rate.
It's up to you to define these pages by checking how much revenue each page generates.
Then you can look at this table in Google Analytics 4:
The table is sorted by clicks and the keywords highlighted are specific products people are searching for in Google.
We can see that the best keywords are the ones with the most clicks, but you'll need to take into account things like conversion rates and profit margins.
Still, this gives us a bird's eye view of which keywords are doing the best in organic results.
How to Use the Keywords You Find
The purpose of analyzing the keywords you find is to optimize your website and improve your SEO strategy.
One way is to add keywords to old articles for content freshness. This is beneficial when you find keywords that are similar to your primary keyword but have the same search intent.
Sprinkling these keywords throughout the content naturally will help search engines rank this content higher for these search terms.
Another way is to find keyword opportunities that could be used for new content. This would be keywords your site is already ranking for but the piece of content doesn't exist on your site.
Then, you identify which piece of content was ranking for that search term and create an internal link from it to the new piece of content.
Doing this consistently will create more topical relevance throughout your entire site and increase your keyword rankings and organic traffic.
The Importance of Keywords in SEO
Want to know why tracking keywords is so important? Maybe you've skipped the steps above to see what all the fuss is about.
Well, in this section, we'll explore why keeping an eye on keywords is crucial for SEO and the growth of your organic traffic.
Why You Need to Track Keywords
Pearson's law states:
“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”
This is also true when it comes to tracking keywords your website ranks for.
It's all very well doing keyword research and publishing content, but if you don't know which keywords are performing well (or not so well), you're leaving a lot of opportunities on the table.
For example, you might be focusing on content on a particular topic that is too competitive. Or your current content strategy isn't as effective as it could be.
Simply put, analyzing organic keywords helps you make informed decisions that move the needle and compound your efforts.
So, adding your keyword to Google Analytics is a smart move.
The Benefits of Keyword Research
Now, before you can track keywords or even rank content, it's important to do keyword research first.
Even though Google has stated heavily in recent months that content optimization for SEO should come second and written for humans first.
Still, targeting keywords is still a must. Why?
Because if no one is searching for a keyword or topic you're writing about, search engines will find it difficult to rank your content for anything.
With that said, here are some benefits of keyword research:
- To understand what your audience is searching for: Search keyword volumes help guide your content strategy.
- Target keywords that align with your product or services: You can match keywords people already search for to your product and service pages.
- Understanding the search intent: Helps you write content with the same intent as what already ranks.
- To check keyword difficulty: If your site is brand new, going after competitive keywords won't be an effective strategy.
- To analyze the competition: This can help you find keywords you're more likely to rank for depending on your site's authority.
Keyword Tracking Alternatives
Looking for other ways to track keywords your site is ranking for. No problem.
Here are a few keyword rank-tracking tools to consider.
Rank Logic is a fairly new tool created by Niche Pursuits founder Spencer Haws.
This WordPress plugin not only displays Google Search Console data well, but you can also access Google Analytics data as well.
That means that all of your important website metrics can be managed from one location inside your WordPress admin.
Plus, you get tons of extra features that aren't easily available in GA or GSC:
- Easy-to-read graphs and tables
- Segment author and content performance
- Monitor the effects of content changes with events
- And a lot more.
You can grab Rank Logic for as low as $77 for one site or learn more about Rank Logic here.
MonsterInsights is a Google Analytics plugin for WordPress with some impressive features.
The most compelling reason to use this tool is how easy it is to read and understand your site's traffic performance.
In other words, it's much easier to keep track of how your site if doing than using GA4.
Furthermore, MonsterInsights also lets you connect to Google Search Console, so both sets of data will be in the same place.
Other features available:
- Easy setup wizard
- Real-time stats
- Advanced level tracking
- Lots more.
Normal pricing for MonsterInsights starts at $199, but new users get 50% off their first year. You can also read out MonsterInsights review to learn more.
SEMRush is an all-in-one keyword research, site auditing, and keyword tracking tool for content marketers and SEOs.
This advanced tool can be used by anyone with a website that wants to do extensive keyword research and keep track of their rankings in search engines.
It offers way more features than Google Analytics and Google Search Console, plus it's much easier to use with its attractive user interface.
Features you can expect:
- Keyword data tool
- On-page SEO
- Competitor analysis
- Rank tracking
- Organic traffic insights.
Pricing for SEMRush starts at $129.95 per month, and you can get all the details in our SEMRush review.
There you have it. Accessing keywords in Google Analytics isn't too difficult, plus it saves you from having to log into two separate accounts.
We also looked at the importance of tracking organic keywords and some alternative methods, such as Rank Logic.
If navigating Google Analytics is too challenging for you, consider trying out Rank Logic here.