As you probably know by now, organic keyword data will soon display in Google Analytics as “not provided” so you will be unable to determine what organic search queries sent traffic to your website. The query data will still be provided in Google AdWords reports so if you’re site is also running an AdWords campaign you can use that data to structure your approach to content marketing. However if you’re not running an AdWords campaign, what can you do to find out if your content strategy is effectively driving traffic?
The Top Landing Pages View in Google Analytics is Your New Best Friend
If you open up Google Analytics and click on “Behavior” then “Site Content” and finally “Landing Pages” you will get data on the pages that visitors to your site landed on. Now the next trick is to look at the “New Visits” column to determine how many of those visitors came to your site for the first time. For most sites these new visitors are going to land on the page from an organic search, but you also need to consider that some of them may get there from a referring site (Facebook, Twitter, etc). This isn’t a way to exactly replicate your lost keyword data, but it provides a quick and dirty approach for you to gauge the effectiveness of your new content.
Unique Titles are much more Effective than Generic Ones
When approaching topic generation, don’t forget that unique and interesting topics will outperform generic titles. For example, don’t just use a title like this: “Social Media Trends”, instead create something that pulls in the reader like: “7 Reasons Why Social Media is Becoming More Like SEO Each Day”. The longer the title you create the better chance you have of ranking for strings (phrases) in the title you create. Not to mention you will not rank in the top 10 for a competitive phrase like “social media trends” on the merits of the post itself (without a significant amount of links).
Where to go to Learn More
There are plenty of great articles out there with the background behind Google’s announcement, plus additional steps to take to get a sense of where your Google organic traffic is coming from. Here are a few that we read that proved quite useful:
- For more information on additional tactics read this Search Engine Watch article describing 10 ways to get organic search data.
- Dig in to landing pages, search queries, webmaster tools and AdWords data with this post How to Unlock Your “Not Provided” Keywords in Google Analytics
- Search Engine Round Table was one of the first sites to break the news, the comment thread has some interesting anecdotes Google Not Provided 100% of All Organic Search Queries