How Google Analytics is used is subject to change, due to a new trend of more frequent secure and private search experience, thanks to Google search over SSL.
The same way that users’ are ensured their credit card and other personal details are protected, a distinct move towards SSL searches will ensure that all search data is protected and made secure too.
This secured channel (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol that helps provide secure Internet communications for web browsing, as well as e-mail and instant messaging. As you may know, SSL allows search queries and traffic to be encrypted in order to prevent other parties from having access to search results and terms.
While this feature provides the knowledge of a safe and protected search each and every time, the user may be negatively affected by a slightly slower search experience, due to the time it takes to establish a secure connection with Google. However, because it is only very slightly slower, it should not influence a user’s experience too much.
How this affects Internet Marketing Specialists is that Google Analytics may not be entirely accurate or relevant when determining which key terms to use for a particular business. This is because, quite simply, while the results themselves are displayed, the organic search terms and queries are hidden.
This is problematic because it prevents Internet Marketing Specialists and business owners from determining the best keywords to use for their business or for a more specific purpose. The trend toward SSL Search is growing, with rumour mills rife that Firefox has just included built-in SSL searches that activate by default as of Firefox 14.
Internet Marketing Specialists who are concerned about the lack of search information readily made available are aware of filters that can be created in Google Analytics, to allow a little more information to be displayed. These filters can show detail such as which page users are “landing” on, which may provide insight into the sorts of keywords used to take them there.
From another perspective, the good news is that AdWords data is not protected and is displayed in its entirety. My opinion is that SSL actually heightens the effects and benefits of using AdWords to draw in visitors, simply because you can more accurately determine which keywords really work.
Here are my tips for effectively analysing what results you are given, and turning them to your best advantage.
• Your number of clicks are provided by Google Analytics, but your search terms are not. Study what page/s most of your traffic is landing on. What are the words that are most commonly used on that page? You can make some pretty good educated guesses that these words were used in the search terms.
• As mentioned earlier, take a good look at your AdWords results. What is the data showing you? Use this data to indentify your best keywords. Don’t have any Google AdWords set up yet? Well, this would be a very good reason to get behind it. Imagine the dividends you will receive.
• Be specific to get results. Don’t underestimate the amount of people who will link to you. Being specific on your website will get you the results you need to grow your business.
• Set up filters to negate the situation as much as you can. These filters can be created in Google Analytics, to allow a little more information to be displayed. These filters can show detail such as which page users are “landing” on, which may provide insight into the sorts of keywords used to take them there.
I would like to conclude by recognising that it’s easy to get caught up in Google Analytics and spend a great deal of time agonising over it and double-guessing your choices. However, I will bring you back to the one aspect that Google values above everything else, even advertising spend – that is, relevancy.
If users don’t readily receive the information they are looking for, Google will lose all of its traffic. Therefore, it’s in Google’s interests to ensure that all users are satisfied with the results they receive from a search. In turn, it is in a business owner’s best interests to receive traffic that will buy from them. After all, if you sell wheelchairs, it won’t be in your favour only receiving traffic from mothers looking for prams and strollers. You won’t sell anything!
With this in mind, be specific and use your common sense. What do you sell? What does your business do? Use those keywords, as well as your location. You should have a sense of the terminology people use when referring to your business, products or services by now, and if you don’t, ask friends or family members not in your industry. When it comes to Google Analytics, it has a specific purpose so use it the way it was intended.