Google Analytics Keyword Report: A Step By Step Guide on How to Track Keywords in Google Analytics

See how people on Google search engine find your pages and where they convert by tracking keywords in Google Analytics.

Djordje Cvijovic on October 29, 2021 (last modified on October 28, 2021) • 10 minute read

When implementing an SEO strategy, you want to make sure everything is working as intended. And to do that, you shouldn’t only check where your site is appearing on search engines for chosen keywords. You should also analyze whether your target keywords are driving traffic to appropriate pages across your site, and whether users who land on those pages actually convert. And that’s where the Google Analytics keyword report comes in.

The Google Analytics keyword report gives you insight into your users which can help you decide whether or not it’s worth focusing more on certain keywords. It also shows which keywords are driving the most traffic to your site helping you make better decisions when it comes to planning future on-page SEO strategies.

See how you can track and measure keyword performance in GA, as you learn more about the following:


Why Is Tracking Top Ranking Keywords Important?

Tracking top-ranking keywords give you vital information about what content and topics your users are most interested in searching for and reading about. This can help with planning future posts, and ultimately your entire on-page SEO strategy.

How to Set Up Keyword Tracking in Google Analytics

Let’s go ahead and set up tracking on your site.

Step 0: Website verification

Before you can set up keyword tracking, you must first verify ownership of your website with Google Analytics. To do this, you need to open your Google Search Console account.

After you click on Search Property open the drop-down menu, and select Add Property. Select the URL prefix option and then enter your site’s URL. Click Continue to proceed to the next step.

Step 0: Website verification

The process verification may take up to a few minutes, and once your ownership is verified, you’ll see the Ownership verification message. Click on Go to Property and finish the verification process. You’ll be navigated to your search console homepage.

Step 1: Connect Your Website with Google Analytics

After the verification process, you have to connect your website with Google Analytics.

Open your Analytics account and select your website (property) that you have already verified. Then, navigate to the admin section.

Connect Your Website with Google Search Console step 1

Under the property column, find All Products.

Connect Your Website with Google Search Console step 2

Scroll down and click the button Link Search Console and click on Add. Select exactly the same website URL as you entered in the first step to connect with Search Console. If linked wrong, you might issue linking problems.

Connect Your Website with Google Search Console step 3


You’ve successfully connected Analytics and Search Console.

Step 2: Analyze Your Keyword Ranking Data

Now, you should see live data in Google Analytics complete with keyword rankings. To view your keyword rankings in Google Analytics, select the website property tab and go to Search Console report under navigate to Acquisition » Search Console » Queries. This will show all of the search queries that brought people to your site.

Analyze Your Keyword Ranking Data step 1

The keyword rankings report in Google Analytics will look like this.

keyword rankings report in Google Analytics

You can sort your keywords by clicks, impressions, click-through rate, or average position by clicking on the headings.

The top 100 words or phrases are displayed on this page using an average number of impressions, clicks & positions formula: (impressions + CTR) / average position = avg CPC/impression). For example, if a query has received 500 total views over its lifetime and it averaged a first-page rank (position #0), then we’d calculate its avg CPC by multiplying 500 * 0 = $0.

If you want to know what users were searching on Google to find a specific page – Navigate to the Acquisition » Search Console » Landing Pages report and click on the desired URL.

Now it’s time to analyze your keyword data!

How to Track and Measure Keyword Performance in Google Analytics

Tracking the performance of your keywords is the first step towards improving your SEO strategy over time. Here is the easiest way to track keywords performance in GA:

Step 1: Login to your Google Analytics account and navigate to Acquisition -> Campaigns -> Organic Keywords.

How to Track and Measure Keyword Performance in Google Analytics

Step 2: Choose a period you want to cover with a performance report. Choose this wisely since you’ll only be able to track organic keywords for this defined period. Usually, people track their traffic for a period of 28 days.

Step 3: Click on the pivot table and select these parameters for the pivot table.

pivot table in GA
pivot table parameters in GA

After you select this you will be able to see a table that is similar to this one:

pivot table in GA

Now you have all of the performance numbers for each search engine. With this information, you can optimize your Google ads and find new keywords that might get you more traffic and better rankings.

Additionally, you can apply advanced segments to your pivot table in order to make it more efficient (include branded/non-branded keywords, keywords that start with a particular character).

For example, for online stores owners can choose the e-commerce tab of the organic search report and select revenue.

ecommerce keyword report in GA

And PPC experts can get better insights into paid keywords by navigating to Traffic Sources -> Search. You can compare different time periods.

Lastly, you can track the performance of Google Adwords keywords by navigating to Advertising -> Adwords. The advantage is that you can include two important metrics in the pivot table: Revenue Per Click and ROI. If you understand them well smart you can measure exactly the profit gain by keywords.

paid keywords report in GA

As you can see, keyword performance tracking can give you valuable insights about which keywords drive the most traffic, what your top-performing ads for PPC are, or even how much revenue did google AdWords brought to your business.

Using Search Query Reports in Google Ads

If you want to see your Google Ads keywords in Google Analytics, then go to the Search Query reports. In this section of Google Analytics, you will find a list with all search queries that led users to click on one or more of your website’s pages. This report is very helpful not only for SEO purposes but also to better understand Google Ads performance.

Go to Acquisition -> Campaigns -> Keywords -> Paid. You can see a table with queries that let you filter through keywords by their labels like “not provided” or any other label that is created automatically from Google Ads.

Most Important Google Analytics Reports for SEO

Now let’s take a look at the most important Google Analytics reports you can use for SEO.

Organic search report

This Google Analytics organic search report helps you gain deeper insights into your website traffic. Use it to see which sources, referrers, and social media websites drive the most traffic to your website. Monitor bounce rate, the quality of your mobile traffic, and more.

Organic search report example

Landing page report

This landing page report can show you which pages on your website drive the most traffic and conversions. Use this report to identify your top pages, sessions by source, your overall conversion rate, and more.

Landing page report example

Conversion goals report

If you are looking for a simple dashboard to track your goals, use this conversion goals report that monitors goal completions in Google Analytics and the overall conversion rates on your website. You can track goals by page, see goal completions and conversion rates by channel, and more.

Conversion goals report example

Assisted conversions report

The assisted conversion report shows how many conversions your site receives from certain sources. The difference here is that it focuses on assisted conversions which means a visitor came from a particular source and then took action after being directed by another channel such as email or social media.

Using the assisted conversion report is a great way to measure the impact of social media and referral sources instead of just measuring the amount of traffic sent from these sources or the number of website visitors from those sources. Assisted conversions are one more thing that sets Google Analytics apart from other web analytics tools – its ability to track conversions based on actual actions taken, not just page views alone.

Related: How to Use the Assisted Conversions Report in Google Analytics to Develop Your Marketing Strategy

Site speed report

The site speed report, as the name implies, measures your page load time and how it impacts your bounce rate. It’s a very powerful report that provides a great way to find out where there might be issues within site indexing that can impact other areas such as organic traffic or paid advertising results.

Site speed report example

Site search report

The site search report is another important report that shows you how many people are using Google to search on mobile devices rather than computers. This can be a very interesting number for understanding the behavior of your readers and what kind of content they might prefer based on their device.

Mobile traffic report

The mobile traffic report shows you what percentage of your traffic is coming from mobile devices. Use this dashboard to assess how mobile and desktop visitors use your site, and optimize user experience for both mobile and desktop based on your findings.

Mobile traffic report example

Track Keyword Performance in Databox

Tracking keyword performance in GA is not hard, but it’s not straightforward either. If you want to skip the manual setup, you simply need to opt for Databox instead.

With Databox, you can easily pull in your Google Analytics data (or data from over 70 other analytics tools), visualize your most important metrics, and access your reports on any device with just one click. It’s that easy!

To start pulling your keywords rankings performance from Google to Databox, all you need to do is to sign up for a free trial and connect your Google Analytics account with our reporting tool.

About the author
Djordje Cvijovic Grew up as a Copywriter. Evolved into the Content creator. Somewhere in between, I fell in love with numbers that can portray the world as well as words or pictures. A naive thinker who believes that the creative economy is the most powerful force in the world!

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