How to Unlock Not Provided Results in Google Analytics

Ever wonder what keyword terms or phrases people are using to find specific pages on your website? Let’s look inside your Google Analytics account to find out…

Go to your Google Analytics profile and look under:

Acquisition > Campaigns > Organic Keywords

You’ll probably see a majority of your Organic Search Terms in are hidden from your view behind a keyword term called “Not Provided”. If you are like most other businesses, you’ll have a high number of search results associated with that term.

Even though we can’t see the actual keyword people are using, we can at least to see the page being delivered – based on a person’s search in Google.

To create a quick workaround to reveal the data behind these figures configure your settings as follows:

  1. Go to Admin > Filters (in your GA account) and set up an advanced filter. Call it “Not Provided Filter”.
  2. Set Filter Type as “Advanced”.
  3. In Field A > Extract A (with default set to “Campaign Term”) enter what I show in bold (.not provided.)
  4. In Field B > Extract B (with default set to “Request URI”) enter what I show in bold (.*)
  5. In Output To > Constructor (with default set to “Campaign Term”) enter what I show in bold (np – $B1) and check the following 3 boxes (Field A Required, Field B Required, Override Output Field).

After you complete this change, you should start to see a few keywords starting with “np – /” within a day or two.

Before this workaround, we could only assume the data behind “Not Provided”. And we might have been led to believe people were simply searching for what we see in the other terms. But after a few days, you’ll start to notice that a lot of people are actually searching something they are finding on other pages within your website.

CHRISTOPHER MENGEL brings over 20 years of insights to business owners and talent leaders inside emerging technology and professional services firms to implement new initiatives, develop new strategies for growth, carry out organizational and cultural change, manage complex projects, and fill business-critical roles. Have a challenge you want to solve? Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter and subscribe to his posts or contact him.

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