Video Tutorial: Hacking Google Analytics for Keyword Research

Last summer we did a collaborative post with fellow Vancouverites VKI Studios called Stop Google Analytics from Stealing Your Valuable Keyword Data. Google Analytics really isn’t “stealing”, rather “concealing” the actual search queries that trigger your paid search ads when you’re using broad match. It’s a “ye have not because ye ask not” situation.

“Ask and ye shall receive,” and by ask I mean set up a couple custom filters that will expose this data to you. I will be so bold to say that if you can not see exact keyword referrals you have no business using the broad match type! (<---And I rarely use exclamation points or blog the same topic twice!!!)

This trick has become the most important keyword research tool I use after a campaigns launch (I use a few methods of keyword research to set up Ad Groups including the Google Keyword Tool). Once the campaign is underway, I use the exact keyword referrals to discover negative keywords, uncover new Ad Group and product opportunities and to understand more about how people search. What's missing is transactional data for each keyword, unfortunately.

I decided to screencast the set up process for a few reasons.

1) To share this tip again with our new readers (we’ve almost doubled in readership last summer) and remind those who have put off adding the filter to set it up ASAP.
2) To show you how quick and easy this is and provide you with a resource (printable PDF) that will give you the confidence that you can set this filter up yourself!
3) To show you how to find your data in Google Analytics by AdGroup, so you can add apply the appropriate negative keywords at the Ad Group level.

If you bear with me to the end, I share some of the crazy matches we’ve been getting for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic store‘s broad matched keywords. You’ll see why I value this information so much!

Can’t see video? View it here.

Companion Resources

Download “Cheat Sheet” Instructions (PDF)

Cut and Paste Values:

As with almost all multi-part filters, sequence is critical and must be ordered accordingly using the “Assign Filter Order” page for the profile.

First Filter:

Field A -> Extract A: Referral: (\?|&)(q|p|query)=([^&]*)
Field B -> Extract B: Campaign Medium: (cpc|ppc)
Output To -> Constructor: Custom Field 1: $A3

Second Filter:

Field A -> Extract A: Custom Field 1: (.*)
Field B -> Extract B: Campaign Term: (.*)
Output To -> Constructor: Campaign Term: $B1 ($A1)


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