How to Track Google Analytics Keywords (Step-by-Step)

How to Track Google Analytics Keywords

Wondering if you can see which organic keywords you rank for in Google Analytics? You can’t see Google Analytics keywords right out of the box, but you can set it up so that you can see your keyword data.

In fact, you can track them and see where each search query is ranking, their conversions, impressions, and click-through-rate (CTR).

In this article, we’ll show you how to track keywords in Google Analytics step by step. Let’s start!

How to Set Up Google Analytics Keywords Tracking

A simple solution to track keywords using Google Analytics is to connect Google Search Console. It’s a free tool by Google that connects with Analytics to let you see how your website is performing in search. And it shows which keywords you’re currently ranking for.

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Not only that, but you can find and fix a lot of different errors on your website using Search Console, such as getting Google to index your pages or resolve security issues.

Follow these steps to connect Search Console to Analytics and start tracking your keywords today.

Step 1: Verify Your Website in Google Search Console

The first step is to add your website to Google Search Console and verify it. To do that, go to your Google Search Console account.

If you haven’t created a property yet, you’ll see the Welcome to Google Search Console screen:

Welcome to Search Console

If you have a property (or several) set up and you need to add a new one, click the dropdown at the top left and click Add a Property.

Add a Property to Search Console

Now, you’ll see two options for setting up and verifying your site. We highly suggest going with a Domain property, and we’ll be using that for our tutorial.

To verify your site via a Domain property, you just need to verify that you’re the owner of the domain (not just the URL).

So, you’ll need to verify through your DNS (Domain Name Service) provider. Your DNS provider is whomever you bought your domain name and/or hosting services from. Some popular providers include Bluehost, Siteground, GoDaddy, and Namecheap.

To get started, paste in your domain name (your URL without the www) and click Continue:

Domain Property in Search Console

Now, Google provides specific directions for a few DNS providers in their dropdown. You can just pick Any DNS provider for the instructions that work for any site:

Verify Search Console via DNS

Next, copy that string of code (the TXT record) and paste it into the appropriate spot in your DNS. Where you add a TXT record is different for each provider, but once you figure it out, it’ll generally look like this Siteground example:

Create a New TXT Record

All you would do here is paste the code from Search Console into the Value field and click Create.

If you can’t find where to create a TXT record, just search “how to create a TXT record in (DNS provider here)”.

Now you can go back to your Search Console tab and click Verify. Hopefully you’ll see a success message!

For more help with verifying your site, visit Search Console Help.

That’s it! You’ve connected your site with Search Console and you’ll now be able to see all the valuable data inside it, and connect it with Google Analytics.

Step 2: Connect Google Analytics with Search Console

Once you’ve verified your website with Google Search Console, you’ll have to connect it with your Google Analytics.

To do that in Google Analytics 4 (jump to the Universal Analytics instructions), go to the Admin cog:

GA4 Admin Cog

Now, click the Search Console Linking button near the bottom of the Property column:

GA4 Search Console Linking

Next, click the blue Link button:

Link Search Console to Analytics

Then, click the blue Choose accounts link.

Choose Accounts

Next, click the checkbox next to the correct property that you want to link with and then click the Confirm button.

Confirm property link

Click Next.

Next - Search Console

Click Select.

Select a Web Stream - Search Console

Now, click the Choose button next to the data stream (Analytics property) you want to connect to:

Then, click Next.

Next - Search Console

Finally, make sure everything is correct and click Submit.

Submit Search Console Link

That’s it, your link is created! You’re not done yet, though. To see Search Console data in Google Analytics 4, you’ll have to turn on the reports.

If you’re using Universal Analytics, go to your Analytics account and select the property (website) that you verified in the first step. Then go to Admin settings.

Now, under the Property column, click on All Products.

click-all-products-in-ga-admin-area

In the next window, scroll down and then hit the button that says Link Search Console.

click-link-search-console

Then click on Add.

add-search-console-settings-connection-to-ga

You’ll then have to select your website URL to connect with Search Console.

link-your-ga-site-to-gsc

After selecting your website web address, click OK.

You’ve successfully connected Analytics and Search Console!

Step 3 (GA4 Only): Add Search Console Reports to Analytics

Although you’ve connected Search Console and Google Analytics 4, you still need to add the reports to the navigation, since that’s the easiest and fastest way to locate them.

To start, click on Library:

Google Analytics 4 Library

Next, locate the Search Console card and click on Edit collection.

Search Console Collection of Reports in GA4

Next, click the Save button, then Back.

Save Collection in GA4

Now, click on the three dots on the Search Console card, then click Publish.

Publish Search Console reports collection

That’s it! A new Search Console reports section should now show up in your sidebar:

Search Console reports in GA4

Step 4: View Keyword Reports in Google Analytics

Now that you have your Search Console reports set up in Google Analytics, you can see:

  • Which keywords you’re ranking for in Google and what their position is
  • Which keywords are sending traffic to your site
  • Which pages are ranking in search
  • Click-through rate

In Google Analytics 4, head to Search Console » Queries to see a report of which queries your site appeared for in search. For each term, you get clicks, impressions, click-through rate, and average search position (rank).

Search Console Queries Report in GA4

The Google organic search traffic report gives you the same report, except with your landing pages instead of the queries used to find you.

In Universal Analytics, find your Search Console reports under Acquisition » Search Console. In this section, you’ll find 4 reports. Each report will give you clicks, impressions, click-through rate, and average search position (rank).

You’ll be able to view those four metrics by query, landing page, country, or device depending on which report you choose.

Search Console Reports in Universal Analytics

Step 5: Install ExactMetrics WordPress Plugin

If you’re a WordPress user, there’s an easier way to see your top search queries right inside your WordPress dashboard.

Just install ExactMetrics!

ExactMetrics is the best premium WordPress Analytics plugin that makes it super easy to use Google Analytics, set up advanced tracking such as ecommerce, forms tracking, media tracking, and more in just a few clicks, and view all your most important website statistics inside your dashboard.

exactmetrics-premium-wordpress-analytics-plugin

Simply install the WordPress plugin on your website to view your keywords. Make sure you’ve selected a Plus license or higher to access the Search Console report.

For further instructions on getting set up with ExactMetrics, read How to Add Google Analytics to Your WordPress Site.

Step 6: See Keywords in the Search Console Report

As long as you have Google Analytics and Search Console connected, ExactMetrics will have a Search Terms report ready for you.

To view the report, log in to your WordPress site. Then go to ExactMetrics » Reports. Now, select Search Console from the top menu.

exactmetrics-google-search-console

The report shows you the top 50 Google search terms your website is ranking for. And for each search term, you can view its clicks, impressions, CTR, and average position.

Using the data from the report, you can clearly see which keywords are ranking high and generating organic traffic. Besides that, you can also see which keywords require more optimization if they’re not ranking on the first page.

You can also find new keyword ideas and content ideas from this report. For instance, if you see a search term that’s on the first page, then you can look for more keywords like it and cover them on your website.

And that’s it!

We hope you liked our article on how to track keywords in Google Analytics. We think you might also like to read How to Track Link Clicks in Google Analytics and WordPress.

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