If you’re serious about growing traffic to your blog, then you definitely need to know how to see search terms in Google Analytics. This is how you will find out what keywords people are typing into search engines in order to find your blog.
Why You Need to Know How to See Search Terms in Google Analytics
Organic search traffic was a HUGE driver of traffic to my travel blog, and it’s more reliable than social media (which could go away. I doubt Google is goin’ anywhere!).
By knowing what search terms people are typing to find your blog, you’ll be able to optimize your blog post’s SEO better, and write more posts that will rank on the first page of Google. Powerful stuff.
But in order to see those search terms, you must first set up Search Console—and to do that, you normally need to know a bit of code.
Don’t worry! I’m going to show you how to set up Search Console in Google Analytics so you can see what search terms people are typing into Google to find your blog.
Before Getting Started, You Need 2 Things:
Before you set up Search Console, MAKE SURE you do these two things first:
- Install Yoast SEO Plugin
- Set up your Google Analytics account and link your blog to it
If you HAVE NOT done BOTH of those things yet, do them first, or you won’t be able to set up Search Console. Click the links above to be taken to my detailed tutorials.
Step-By-Step Guide: How to Set Up Search Console in Google Analytics
Step 1: Log into your Google Analytics dashboard
Step 2: Go to Acquisition > Search Console > Queries
Step 3: Click the button that says “Set up Search Console data sharing”
Step 4: Scroll down and click the button that says “Adjust Search Console”
Once you click “Set Up Search Console data sharing,” you’ll be taken to a page that looks like the one below. Scroll down.
At the bottom of that page, you will see a button that says, “Adjust Search Console.” Click it.
Step 5: Click “Edit”
After you click “Adjust Search Console,” you’ll be taken to another page. Click where it says “Edit.”
Step 6: Click “Add a site to Search Console”
Step 7: Click “OK” on the popup
Step 8: Find your site in the list and click Manage property > Verify this property
You will be taken to another page. If you have properly added your blog to Google Analytics, you should see your blog in this list and it will say “Not Verified.”
To the right, click “Manage Property,” and in the dropdown menu, select “Verify this property.
After you click “Verify this property,” it will take you to this page:
Ignore this page! Move onto step 9.
Step 9: Log into your WordPress Dashboard and go to Yoast SEO > Search Console
Open your WordPress blog in another tab. Log in. On the lefthand side of your WordPress Dashboard, you will see the Yoast SEO plugin menu. Click that and select “Search Console” from the submenu.
Step 10: Click the button that says “Get Google Authorization Code”
Step 11: Click “Allow” on the popup
A new window will open and you will need to let Yoast SEO access your Google Analytics account. Click “Allow.”
Step 12: Copy the code to your clipboard
Step 13: Go back to your WordPress dashboard Yoast and paste your code
Paste the code you copied from Google Analytics into Yoast SEO:
If you have multiple sites in Google Analytics, you must select the correct site from the drop down menu. Then click “Save Profile.”
After you click “Save Profile,” you should see this page, which means you’re all set:
Step 14: Now, go back to Search Console and click “Refresh.” You should now see your blog listed! Select it and click “Save”
Step 15: Click OK on the popup
Step 16: Go back to you Google Analytics dashboard > Search Console > Queries
You should now see your Queries in the dashboard! NOTE: It takes 2 days for queries to show up, so you won’t see them RIGHT NOW. But check in 2 days and you will!
Now You Know How to See Search Terms in Google Analytics…. But How Can You Use That Knowledge to Grow Organic Search Traffic to Your Blog?
Now that you know how to set up Search Console in Google Analytics, you will soon have access to powerful insights about your visitors: Search terms! Or as Google Analytics labels them, “Search Queries.”
This is powerful knowledge, blogger friend. Here’s why:
Option 1: To see what search terms people typed in to find a SPECIFIC BLOG POST: Go to Google Analytics > Search Console > Landing Pages.
You’ll see a list of the URLs to all the blog posts that were found via organic search (mostly Google search, but also includes Bing, Yahoo, etc.):
Click the URL to the blog post for which you want to know which search terms people typed in to find it:
You will see a list of all the search terms typed in that led a visitor to that specific blog post
How to leverage this knowledge: Focus on the CTR (click-through rate) because this tells you your blog post matched their search intent. In other words, the title and description of your blog post appeared to solve their problem, so they found it valuable to click on it.
You might find via Google Analytics Search Console that your blog post is ranking for a keyword you had no intention to rank for–but this is a good thing! Now that you know, you can go back and optimize that blog post for this new keyword.
Option 2: To see all the search terms people typed in to find your blog in GENERAL: Go to Google Analytics > Search Console > Queries
You’ll see a list of all the keywords people typed into Google search and then subsequently clicked through to some page/post on your blog.
How to leverage this knowledge: You can see which topics your blog is best ranking for. With this knowledge, you may decide to write more about that topic.
For example, let’s say your top keywords in the Queries report in Google Analytics are “easy paleo breakfast recipes” “paleo muffins” “paleo pancake recipes” and “paleo-friendly breakfasts.” This means your blog posts about paleo breakfast recipes are ranking well in Google, and people are clicking them! You might want to write more paleo recipe posts, such as ones targeting the keywords for “easy paleo dinner recipes,” “paleo-friendly dinners” and “paleo soup recipes.”