Get the exact keyword for Adwords – Review of approaches in Google Analytics
Google Analytics immediately offers tight integration with Adwords, which raises the possibilities of analyzing this source of traffic to a whole new level. It is therefore possible to cross-reference Adwords keywords with the wealth of data available in Google Analytics. However, what about the keyword searched by the visitor before clicking on the ad? What was the original research intent ? And ultimately, why do some Adwords keywords convert so badly on my site?
** Updated April 25, 2008 to reflect changes to new tracking code
A small review of what is being done in this area highlights two main approaches to obtain this famous keyword:
- Custom Filters Method by Jim Newsome
- Custom variable custom variable method with ga.js by Michael Harrison
The good news is that it works, the bad news is that no solution is perfect. In more detail, let's see each of the approaches.
CUSTOM FILTERS METHOD
This first approach is certainly the simplest and only requires creating two filters in Google Analytics and applying these filters to a separate profile.
When it comes to filters, we always recommend applying them to a new profile, to keep a profile with raw data.
- Create two filters, Override Bid Term 1 & Override Bid Term 2 .
- Apply these filters to a new profile, in the order presented.
Keywords from Adwords will now be displayed in the format “Adwords keyword, (words+keywords+searched)”:
- Quick to set up
- Does not require a change to the site
- For some unknown reason (we are investigating this), this method does not show conversion data in Google Analytics, all numbers are zero.
Although very disappointing from a conversion data point of view, this method is set up in the blink of an eye and allows you to discover the impertinent searches that led to a click on an ad.
CUSTOM VARIABLE METHODS
Question of grouping the two approaches:
FOR THE NEW VERSION OF THE TRACKING CODE – GA.JS:
- Download the following new script: ga_keyword2.js
- Change the tracking code on all pages of the site, to reference this new script:
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
FOR THE OLD TRACKING CODE – URCHIN.JS:
- Download the following script: ga_keyword.js
- No need to call the sleuth() function, a simple script reference will do the job:
_uacct = "UA-XXXXXX-1";
- Here is the script to use: ga_keyword.js .
- Change the tracking code as follows:
To take advantage of the result, go through “Traffic sources > AdWords > AdWords campaigns” and choose “Custom values” in the segment drop-down menu:
- Lets get the conversion data!
- Allows cross-referencing with several other Google Analytics reports
- Requires modification to site code
- Monopolizes the use of the personalized variable, relevant to segment visitors in many cases (members vs non-members, visitors vs buyers, …)
If you don't currently use personalization variables on your site or don't plan to, don't hesitate!
AND THE WINNER IS…
As you will have understood, there are no ultimate winners but two interesting solutions requiring compromises in all cases. However, both approaches address the initial need to understand why certain AdWords keywords aren't converting.