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Show Keyword Position Using Filters And Advanced Segments

Posted by Bryan Casson

This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of SEOmoz, Inc.

There are many ways to filter your Google Anlaytics results, but how many of the methods out there can actually give us data that we can present to our clients in a way that they understand? After reading various posts on filtering organic traffic in Google Analytics I decided to convert the results we got from the filter into readable, valuable content that the client could understand. The end product was a easy to understand graph showing the position of your searched keywords as a percentage of total visits:

Show Keyword Position Using Advanced Segments

I really believe that this is valuable from a reporting point of view. How many of your clients have asked if their keywords are rank in the top five positions or better yet, in the 1st position. Well now you can tell them that 33% of their total visits are from keywords ranked in the top five positions in Google. If Google displays a not provided result due to their new privacy policy, we can at least assign a position to the result and get an indication of where that mystery keyword is located. For my results I decided to define my target down to organic visits including universal results, however you can rewrite the filter to suit your needs.

So how do we get results like this?

You can start of by reading Danny Ng post on "Track SEO Organic Rankings with Google Analytics", where he walks us through a simple set of filters that allow us to put "Universal" + "Organic" search data into Google Analytics. In summary, the filters we are going to need are as follows:

Step 1 (Creating the Filters):

We need to create a set of filters under a new profile to pull only organic Google traffic and allocate a keyword position to the keywords in Google Analytics. It is suggested that you create a new profile for these filters as it will rewrite your Analytics data.

Step 1: Filter 1 (Extracting the data):

We need to create a set of filters to extract the ranking data from the (cd) parameter and hold it for us in custom field 1.

Advanced Analytics Filter Extract Ranking Data

Step 1: Filter 2 (Displaying the data):

We will then need a filter to grab the information from custom field 1 and show the results under the "Traffic Sources > Search > Organic" section of your Google Analytics.

Advanced Analytics Filter to Rewrite Campaign Data

Note: Be sure that the filter order is correct, Filter 1 must be above filter 2 in the order.

Assign Filter Order In Google Analytics

After a few hours you will start to see the results. Numbers will start to appear next to your keywords showing their organic positions (including universal results).

Results Of Organic Keyword Filter

Step 2 (Segmenting the Data):

Step 2: Segment 1 (Position Top 1 Segment): Create a new segment under Advanced Segments > +New Custom Segment and call the number position you wish to segment:

Segment Your Organic Keyword Positions

Step 2: Segment 2 (Position Top 5 Segment): Create a new segment under Advanced Segments > +New Custom Segment and use the "or" statement to add numbers 1-5:

Repeat Your Segmenting For Organic Positions

Step 2: Segment3 (Position Top 10 Segment): Create a new segment under Advanced Segments > +New Custom Segment and use the "or" statement to add numbers 1-10

You can repeat this to get Top 50 or Top 100 if you really have the time. Wait a couple days so that you can get some good data in and then turn on your advanced segments options "Position Top 1" , "Position Top 5" and "Position Top 10" along with the segment "All Visits" to get some very valuable results.

Activate Your Advanced Segments

That is it, let me know what you think. I have shown this position segmentation to a few of my clients and they are loving it. I know that there are many filters out there but from a client point of view, this method is very easy to understand.

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