This page walks you through some of the SEO insights Keylime Toolbox provides. You can log into the demo account and see the analysis and insights as you go through this guide.
Try it: Logging In
You can log into a demo account and follow along here:
Click on demo.example.com on the Search Analytics dashboard to access the reports. Note that since the demo data is not from a real site, it might look pretty noisy. But it should give you a sense of the kinds of reports and data available.
How We Recover “Not Provided” Data
Google Webmaster Tools query data isn’t affected by secure search, since it provides data directly from Google’s query logs. But Google Webmaster Tools provides only the top queries for a site.
If you add subfolders, Google will report the top queries for those subfolders as well, and depending on how a site is structured, adding subfolders can often increase query coverage dramatically.
But there’s a problem with this approach.
The site and each subfolder provide query data for all parts of the site under it, so you end up with lots of duplication in each subfolder’s reports. In order to use this query data, you’d need to download all of the query files (every day) and merge them all together, then eliminate the duplication.
This process recovers “not provided” data in two ways:
- Provides a substantially greater number of queries
- Provides accurate traffic numbers for provided queries (for the queries that do appear in web analytics, the visit count is normally low, since most of the visits are “not provided”)
Take a look at a few examples.
“Not provided” issues don’t just obscure queries, they obscure traffic as well. The number of visits that web analytics reports for a query is nearly always lower than the actual total. Google Webmaster Tools generally reports 100% of visits for a query (it just doesn’t always report all queries, which is why Keylime Tools aggregates data from multiple folders). In many cases, a query is reported in one source but not the other. Keylime Tools matches queries from both data sources and takes the higher visit count when the query exists in both places, then otherwise aggregates the queries. In the example below, you can see that Keylime Tools has reduced the “not provided” percentage from 85% to 50%.
This uncovered data gets more useful with query segmentation.
Individual Keyword Data
Keylime Tools aggregates keyword-level data so you can see the full list of queries reported in only one data source or the other, and all related data for each query.
How We Estimate Total Traffic Per Segment
One of the many valuable things about query data is the ability to know what topics your audiences are most interested in. It’s also useful to track branded vs. non-branded searches over time (since branded searches are more accurately reported as part of direct visits). And tracking by topic helps separate traffic changes due to seasonality vs. rankings issues.
But you can’t use any of these types of reports in web analytics anymore. Any query-based reports will nearly always show a downward trend as more visits shift into the “not provided” bucket.
Keylime Tools solves this problem by estimating the likely distribution of “not provided” traffic based on what is known about provided traffic. Don’t use Google Analytics? We’re working on integrating with other web analytics programs, but in the meantime, you can use segmented Google Webmaster Tools data to understand how queries are distributed and see trends over time.
You can see this below for branded vs. unbranded queries.
Try it: Setting the Estimation Method
- From the www.example.com site in the demo account, click the Adjust This Setting link next to the Calculation Method in the upper right.
- Note the current estimation method and switch the toggle. Note how the table distributes the “not provided” data for each segment to calculate estimated total traffic numbers.
The report below charts branded and unbranded queries over time:
Try it: Branded vs. Unbranded Traffic Over time
- From the www.example.com site in the demo account, click the SEO Trends menu in the left sidebar.
- Choose 2014 from the date selector.
- Choose Branded and Unbranded from the Segment selector.
- Choose the Estimated Total Traffic Toggle.
You’ll see estimated total traffic trends for branded and unbranded traffic for the year, along with average ranking, click through rate, and impression data.
How Segmenting Traffic Provides Greater Insights
What percentage of traffic to your site is coming from support questions? That’s a category of queries you may want to go down over time (as your product usability improves). Is that new content investment paying off? Why did traffic just take a downward turn? Are rankings down or are fewer people searching for a particular topic right now? These are tough questions to answer without query data. Keylime Tools provides at a glance answers to these questions and more.
Tracking A New Content Area:
When you begin investing in a new content area, you want to monitor that the number of queries the site is visible for is going up over time, leading to a higher number of impressions, and more traffic. Keylime Tools does this for you! Just tell Keylime Tools the segment you want to track.
When traffic declines, it might not be due to a ranking problem, it may just be seasonality. Being able to separate traffic, ranking, and impressions for queries can not only save hours of digging, but it can help you plan for audience behavior based on past trends.
In the example below, Keylime Tools is tracking a particular topic area. Traffic goes up then declines dramatically mid-year, but just for that one segment of queries. When we look more closely, these are all queries related to summer activities and ranking has held steady, while the search volume has gone way up then back down.
Try it: Tracking Seasonality
- In the demo site, go to the SEO Trends tab.
- Make sure Compare Categories is selected and for the Segment, choose Healthy: Seasonal Change (and make sure other segments are not selected).
- For the date range, choose 2013 in the right field > Group by month.
Note that GWT-Provided Traffic declines throughout the year (GA data is not yet fully created for this demo site). But rankings stay the same. The number of queries the site appears for actually goes up, but overall, impressions have gone down. The interest in healthy topics peaks at the first of the year, and then we lose interest.
Pinpointing a rankings decline:
You can spend hours trying to isolate rankings declines from other issues (seasonality, technical problems…) and can use rankings reports from a static list of keywords (that may be skewed due to personalization issues. Keylime Tools provides ranking change data at a glance. In the report below, you can see that branded queries haven’t lost ranking, but unbranded queries have.
A Better Alternative to Rankings Reports
Ranking reports track a static list of queries. This doesn’t give you the whole picture since searchers use hundreds of variations of keywords (not to mention many rankings reports can provide skewed data due to personalization). Keylime Tools solves these issues by:
- Getting ranking data directly from Google (so it’s averaged based on where searchers actually saw the site in search results)
- Matching all variations of a query (including synonyms) so you can see the true picture.
In the example below, the organization wants to track searches for “boats”. A ranking report would track simply that. Keylime Tools can track a categorized segment of boat-related queries, which reveals that the site appears for 1,067 boat-related queries (50 of them ranked at position 1), which account for .7% of total traffic for the site and the query that provides the most traffic is “speed boats”.
Looking at average click through rates for that segment of queries, #1 ranking gets the highest click through (at 45%), the click through rate at positions 5 and 6 is basically the same (20%), but the click through drops off considerably at position 7.
Keylime Tools also shows the specifics for each keyword (including data related to the search results page and the visitor interaction on the site. Keylime Tools then aggregates this data for all queries in the segment so you can easily track the metrics over time and compare performance by segment.
Try it: Ranking Report Alternative
In the demo site:
- Access the Query Details tab.
- For the segment, choose Kittens and for the date range, choose May 2014. You can see Keylime Tools is tracking 875 related queries.
- Scroll to the Provided Queries section and download the Excel file for complete details.
Have questions? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.