Google Analytics keyword not provided – Any alternative?

Google Analytics is a fantastic tool for website owners – from small sites to huge e-commerce or Government organizations.  It’s an excellent source of useful information about your site visitor trends and behavior.

However, following recent updates, Google stopped showing the majority of the keywords that are driving your organic traffic. That’s the frustrating area with Google Analytics.

The famous keyword not provided issue!

If Google won’t show you what you are currently ranking for, how can you improve your search engine rankings. For the most part, these “not provided” keywords drive the most traffic to your site.

Google Analytics keyword not provided

From the image above, keywords that generated over 88% of my natural traffic for the past few days are not provided. So I’m looking for an analytics alternative that will reveal these not provided keywords.

Any Google Analytics alternative?

Well, in this post, I’m not going to discuss a totally different Google analytics alternative.  We want to look at how to capture keyword data from Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) to Google Analytics and still come out with a list of most searched keywords that drive traffic to our blog. With this data, we  can monitor our rankings and increase our traffic.

Connecting your GWT account to your Google Analytics account

This is a simple process that should be done within few minutes.

First, log into your Google Analytics account and click on your website URL to view your report. Once you are in the dashboard, click on  “Acquisition” on the left menu, then click on “Search engine optimization” and then  on “Queries”. You should now see a screen that looks something like this:

Google analytics alternative

Click on “Set up Webmaster Tools data sharing” and follow the steps as Google walks you through the setup procedure.

Once this is complete, you will have access to three reports under the  search engine optimization navigational link; queries, landing pages and geographical summary.

A – Queries

The queries report will show you the keywords you are ranking for – impressions, clicks, average ranking position, etc. Note that this report by default is sorted by impressions in descending order, from the highest to the lowest.

B – Landing Pages

This report lists the pages that are ranking well – impressions, clicks, average ranking position, etc. It will show you your most popular pages first.

C – Geographical Summary

This report shows which countries your search engine traffic is coming from. The country that generates the highest impressions is listed first.

Google Analytics keyword

NB: In this post, I discussed 10 factors that will motivate advertisers and cause them to validate your advertising offer. Where your traffic comes from is one of the deciding factors. Check out the post for 9 other factors.

The shortcomings of these reports

Though these reports reveal critical ranking data (and address the keyword ‘not provided’ issue to a certain extent), there are still very limited in helping you come out with a solid SEO strategy. Here are their week points;

  • The ‘queries’ report does not provide details on pages that receive traffic from specific keywords.  That means you won’t know which page to optimize for which keyword
  • The ‘Landing pages’ report has similar weakness. It does not give you the keywords driving traffic to those pages.

After analyzing these reports, you are still left with a lot of questions on your mind; You have the keywords that drive the most traffic to your blog but to which pages? You have the most popular pages but the question still remains – which keywords make these pages most popular?

Possible answers

You may want to go back to your Google Webmaster Tools where these details are provided or try this online seo tool.

I’m of the opinion that GWT is one of the best free keyword tools to help you know what’s working already for your blog and how to improve on it.


Google analytics keyword ‘not provided’ data is a controversial topic, and there’s no fail-safe way to access the data. However, you can always use alternative solution to gather some amount of that to serve the purpose.

Let me hear from you in the comment box. Do you have any Google analytics alternative that is a way to resolve the keyword not provided issue? Does it even matter to you that some of the keywords that drive natural traffic to your site are not provided?

28 thoughts on “Google Analytics keyword not provided – Any alternative?”

  1. Hello dear Enstine Muki.
    I’ve been using GWT since many days and these tools are really pretty and informative to web masters.
    Personally, I use Google Keyword Planner tool to analytic keyword’s informative and find out niche keywords. I feel better to use this tool because this tool lets me search keyword by filtering : v BTW, thank you in advance dear for sharing this informative article with us.

  2. Hi Enstine,
    Very informative post and I am totally agree with you that Google Analytics is really an amazing tool and probably everyone using it these days including me. it really feel very frustrated when we see not provided in Keyword list. Thanks for sharing this alternative with us. Google webmaster is really very helpful for finding different things about our blog.

  3. Hello ENstine
    I have enabled both webmasters and analytics and still I am not getting the info of the impressions and the clicks…. from where i can do this and get the reporting of clicks and impressions????

  4. Enstine:

    Thanks for sharing these really helpful master insider techniques! Usually when I read this sort of techie stuff, my brain starts to wanna shut down!

    However, not so when I read and study your extremely practical material! I’m certainly going to look into what you’re advocating here.

    And hopefully have some extremely positive results t share in the not so distant future! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wonderful info sir, I agree with you, and this article is a small guide, and I found “not provided” I think it is hidden by Google, but after reading your great article, I know that, that not provided means the huge traffic key words and “Google show in Keyword planner” to show keywords, but that is your personal, in the webmaster tool we found keywords, which types of searches going on, and it is the best tool to know keywords which are going fast in the web, and sir you give an excellent information, and I am a follower of you sir. Thank you sir for giving a great article

  6. Enstine, I love using Google Webmaster tools, so many great things about it that you can learn about your blog or website. I also use Bing Webmaster tools as well to find other keywords and things that may be wrong. They do offer different things than Google. I had used the WebMeUp too in the past as a FREE trial. It was good.

  7. Enstine,

    Thank you! I have not done this yet but I absolutely will. I’m the same was as Harleena ” I only rely on Google Keywords for my posts as I don’t use anything paid.” Reading that she has already implemented your suggestion to link our GWT account to our Google Analytics account makes me realize that I’ve been missing out on some great data.

    • Hey Sherryl,
      Thanks for stopping by. Sorry for the late reply to your comment though 😉
      Been busy with family moving in from holidays.

      I’m sure you’ll get something from linking both systems. I’d like to know if all goes well 😉

      Do have a wonderful week

  8. This post is really helped me. I have configured what you have mentioned in the post.
    Just on clicking edit button on GA, it navigated me to Google webmaster tools, there we have to save our site to GA. After that immediately I observed a lot. I am happy.. Thanks to you…

  9. Hi Enstine,

    Google analytics is a great tool to grab immense amount of stats related to visitor behavior, demographics, device, referral source, OS etc. However, this act of not providing certain high ranking KWs, that drive good traffic to the blog is not much appreciated!

    I mean, it acts like a hindrance often. That’s when the method you described comes handy. Not too detailed info being offered by it, but still, linking GWT and Analytics turns out to be of some help! 🙂

    Found link to this post on Kingged. And I sure will Kingg this post up there!


  10. Thanks for sharing , this amazing tips I actually started using another analytics tools to get keyword data for my blog.but I don’t think so I need that tool any more.all credit goes to Google going unpredictable this kind of tips certainly immersed as a hope in seo world.keep sharing like this


  11. I did’t face the issue, before it appeared I’ve been using SEMrush, Even if used for free you’d still have access to organic keywords.
    The interesting thing is that: Does’t matter if it’s your own website, just like in Google analytics you can view data of your own site only. Let me know if it helps.

  12. I am struggling from a past few weeks to know from which keywords im driving traffic on my blog as only thing i can see in analytics id not provided for the majority of keyword traffic. This article helped me to know which keywords are driving traffic to my site. Thanks a lot for the article.

  13. Hi Enstine,

    Wow! For once I’d done something before you’d written about it 😉

    Honestly speaking, because I only rely on Google Keywords for my posts as I don’t use anything paid etc. this was the first thing I did and it’s all been going well since then. It’s good you’ve shared about it here with the rest of us, just in-case anyone needs this information. Nothing works like Google’s ways!

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂

    • Aha!
      Good to know you were ahead of me Harleena! That shows this is something that’s helpful. 😉

      Google is the main source of natural traffic so it’s logical to depend on it. Most of those SEO tools fetch data from Google so that explains why you get almost the best results relying on it 😉

      Ah! thanks for the guest post from Babanature 😉

  14. Hi Enstine,,
    Indeed a great guide about that hidden keywords that show “Not Provided”. I have already enabled this feature in analytics with my webmaster account.
    This is such a great tool to look what people are searching around you.

    Although thanks for writing about it.
    cheers !!!

      • Yes, Its not a complete solution, but still we can know what is trending on our blog 😉
        You too have great time Enstine !!!

  15. Hi Enstine,
    Great info. I agree with you that google webmaster tool is great for google keyword research and know your current traffic status. There is also another option called it is also a great tool to provide a detail report on the website and your competitor analysis. 🙂

  16. Too much optimization can hurt your productivity, I mean it buddy, let’s forget a little bit about optimization and let’s write for people. This doesn’t mean you should ignore what keywords brings traffic and so on…

    Enstine, I’m freaking curious how you achieved over 5k followers on G+, if you already said that please forward me to that article, if you didn’t said that perhaps you can create an article in near future and share some love like you always do. Thanks buddy!

    • Anything too much is bad buddy. However, thinking optimization does not mean NOT writing for people. BTW, we need to optimize for both visitors – people first and then search engines

      Good post idea 😉 I have not written on Google+ before but I think I’ll put something up in the coming days

      Hope you are having a great weekend

  17. Hi Enstines,
    I recently discovered your blog but have not had the time to comment. I have read about 5 of your articles and I really love your style. Keep it up

    About the not provided list of keywords in Google Analytics, I think it has been a real concern for webmasters. However, the premium version of Analytics reveals everything but how many users can afford up to $150k per year to give away to Google? That’s madness in display

    I love that we can link GWT to GA and get some limited amount of info. However, I prefer getting this directly from GWT with more detailed data

    Thanks for writing on this Enstine and I think it will be helpful to your readers

    ~ Actul

    • Hey Actul,
      Good to see you here and finally dropping a comment 😉

      $150k is no joke for most of us. I’d rather build a solid online business with it than dash it to Google 😉

      Thanks for being part of the community and hope to see you around again pretty soon

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