Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Google Analytics: Tips and Tricks – Why do some search keywords show 0 visits

Question 1: A visitor goes to Google searches for a keyword, come to my site views few pages then goes back to Google does another search and comes back to my site all within 30 minutes (same visit). Which keyword will get credit for the visitors activity?

Question 2: I see a lot of keywords with 0 visits and 0 page views in my Google Analytics keyword report. What does that mean?

Answer:
Google Analytics, assigns the visitors activity to the first keyword that drove visitor to the site and assigns only those pages to the keyword that were a direct result of the first keyword. Note: This test was done on Organic results only, I will look at the impact of paid search (PPC) in my future tests.
Let’s look at an example. I used SeattleIndian.com for this test.
Here are the steps that I took
  1. Did a search on “SeattleIndian.com 0 pages” and landed on SeattleIndian.com via a click on search results.

  2. Bounced back (viewed only 1 page) and went to Google (by typing in Google.com)
  3. Did a search on “SeattleIndian.com 1 pages” and landed again on SeattleIndian.com via a click on search results.
  4. Again bounced back (viewed only 1 page) to Google (by again typing in Google.com)
  5. Did a search on “SeattleIndian.com 4 pages” and landed again on SeattleIndian.com via a click on search results

  6. Viewed 4 pages and left.



Below is the Google Analytics report showing the activity.



As you can see one page that I viewed from 1st keyword “SeattleIndian.com 0 pages” get assigned to that keyword and it also gets the credit for visit. The other 2 keywords do not get the credit for the visit or the pages views. The other 2 keywords will show 0 visit and 0 page views.

So where do the page views associated with the other keyword go? Well, I don’t have an answer for that yet. I am still researching and will blog once I have an answer.

In next article I will discuss which keyword gets the credit for conversion if a visitor uses multiple keywords to come to the site and converts with one of the keywords. Is it the first keyword, 2nd keyword or the 3rd keyword that gets credit? (Assuming visitors used 3 keywords).