Those of you using Google Analytics to track your website activity have probably noticed a dramatic rise in the number of keywords listed as (not provided). Keyword (not provided) occurs when a person performs a Google search while logged in to one of their Google accounts. That means when someone is logged in to any Google product – Gmail, Google AdWords, Google+, Google Analytics, etc. – and they do a search, the keyword they use will be encrypted by Google. In Google Analytics, it will show as (not provided).
According to Google, they have made the change to encrypted keyword data to protect the privacy of their users. Of course the keywords used by visitors clicking on paid ads is not encrypted. Protecting user privacy is important, but hiding the keyword used to find a web page makes life pretty difficult for webmasters, marketers, and business owners. Before Google made this change, you could view the exact keyword used by someone to find a page on your website and then improve the quality of your content based on the keyword. This is another reason to have a diversified digital marketing strategy that includes integrated marketing efforts that include building and engaging social media communities on different networks and platforms.
Look at the growth in (not provided) searches to one website we track:
As you can see in the screenshot above, the number of encrypted visits is on the rise. The opportunity to use visitor keyword data to improve your site’s content has declined significantly – and will continue to decline as more and more people use Google’s (often free) products.
Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture
With any analytics package, no matter how imperfect, you still have significantly more insight into what is happening with your marketing/brand presence than at any time in the past. You only need to ask your “print media specialist” how many people read your ad and from where to get an understanding of how valuable digital data can be in making quality business decisions.
If you’re interested in learning more about our keyword analysis services, call 614-285-7565. Contact Sigma Creative today!