The world of SEO is constantly evolving, and keeping up with the latest trends and best practices is crucial for any website owner or marketer. One important aspect of SEO is understanding and analyzing organic search terms, which are the queries people type into search engines that lead them to your site. With the introduction of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you might be wondering how to leverage this powerful tool for tracking and analyzing organic search terms for your website.
GA4 offers a wealth of features and insights that can help you optimize your site’s performance in terms of organic search traffic. By setting up Google Analytics 4 to track organic search terms, you can gain valuable insights into how users are finding your site, which search terms are driving the most traffic, and how you can improve your content to better target these terms.
Additionally, integrating GA4 with other tools such as Google Search Console (GSC) can help you get an even richer understanding of your site’s organic search performance and make informed decisions about your SEO strategy.
- GA4 allows you to track and analyze organic search terms to optimize your site’s performance
- Integrating GA4 with Google Search Console provides a deeper understanding of your organic search traffic
- Customizing GA4 reports and leveraging enhanced measurement events can help you make data-driven SEO decisions.
Table of Contents
Understanding GA4 Organic Search Terms
GA4, also known as Google Analytics 4, is an advanced tracking platform designed to help you gain valuable insights into your website traffic and user behavior. One essential aspect of understanding GA4 organic search terms, but this doesn’t happen automatically for your site. Organic search refers to the traffic that comes to your website through search engines (like Google) without any paid advertising.
To get a clear picture of your organic search performance, GA4 allows you to analyze the search terms that users enter when they find your website. By focusing on these search terms, you can optimize your content and improve the overall visibility of your site in search engine results.
Start by accessing the GA4 organic search report in your dashboard. This report will help you identify the keywords and search phrases that are driving traffic to your website. You can see metrics such as Average User Engagement Time and Total Users to understand how well your content is meeting the needs of your visitors.
When analyzing the organic GA4 search terms, keep these tips in mind:
- Look for search terms with high user engagement, as this indicates that people find your content valuable and relevant to their search query.
- Identify search terms with low engagement or low click-through rates, as this might indicate a need to optimize your meta descriptions or search snippets.
- Spot trends and topic opportunities by focusing on emerging keywords or search phrases that are steadily gaining traction.
By understanding your search term data in GA4, you can make informed decisions about your SEO strategy, create targeted content, and cater to your website visitors’ needs. Be patient, as improving organic search traffic takes time, but with a consistent and data-driven approach, you’re setting up your website for greater success.
Benefits of Leveraging GA4 Organic Search Terms
The beauty of SEO is its reliance on data. It’s not a guessing game or your gut; your decisions can and should be informed by the wealth of information at your fingertips. And few pieces of data are as vital as organic search terms. By truly grasping the significance of these terms, you unlock a treasure chest of benefits for your SEO strategy.
Understanding organic search terms allows you to get inside the minds of your audience. These are the words and phrases they’re typing into Google when they stumble upon your site – which is a powerful marketing tool! By learning these terms, you’re effectively learning their language, their concerns, their needs. This is invaluable insight that can guide your content creation, ensuring you’re answering the questions they’re asking and offering solutions to the problems they’re facing.
Tracking organic search terms can improve search rankings. SEO is a long game, and sometimes the path to the top of Google’s search results can seem clouded in mystery. Organic search terms provide the breadcrumbs. By identifying the terms that lead people to your site, you can optimize your content with these terms in mind, enhancing your visibility and ranking potential.
With a clear view of the search terms that are currently driving traffic to your site, you can identify gaps in your content. Are there relevant search terms that you’re not ranking for? This is an opportunity for content expansion, allowing you to attract a broader audience and further establish your authority in your niche.
Understanding organic search terms provides an important benchmark for your SEO efforts. As you tweak your strategy, launch new content, and make adjustments to your site, you can monitor changes in the search terms leading to your site. Are you attracting more traffic with certain keywords? This could indicate a successful strategy that should be replicated in other areas.
o, why should you do this? By linking GSC and GA4, you can:
- Obtain a comprehensive view of your organic search traffic, including metrics like pageviews, impressions, click-through rate, and average position in search results.
- Identify specific and impactful keywords that drive organic traffic to your site. This information will help you refine your content strategy and overall SEO efforts.
- Receive insights regarding which pages are performing well or underperforming. This can guide your content optimization efforts and ensure your users find what they’re searching for on your site.
With GSC data in your GA4 dashboard, you can also set up custom reports to break down your organic search traffic by dimensions like device type, country, or even landing pages. Simply head to the
Reports tab in your GA4 property, and explore the possibilities with GSC metrics at your disposal.
Keep in mind that combining GSC and GA4 is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every site is unique, and the benefits you gain from this integration will depend on your individual goals and requirements. However, by giving it a try, you’ll likely open up new insights into your organic search traffic and unlock untapped potential for your website’s growth.
So go ahead and connect your Google Search Console with GA4! You’ll soon see the benefits of this powerful combination and, more importantly, so will your website’s performance.
Organic search terms aren’t just numbers on a screen. They’re insights into your audience, guidance for your content strategy, a roadmap to improved visibility, and a yardstick for your SEO success. Embrace this data & the insights it offers, and watch as your SEO strategy becomes more informed, targeted, and ultimately, successful.
How to Configure GA4 for Tracking Organic Search Terms
Setting up GA4 to track organic search terms is a straightforward process that can help improve your website’s performance. In a friendly and casual tone, let’s dive into the steps you need to take.
First, make sure you have a Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property set up for your website. If you haven’t created one yet, follow Google’s instructions to get started. Remember, GA4 is essential for tracking organic search terms effectively. Here’s a video to help, too.
You’ll also need a Google Search Console (GSC) to get a little more information. This is even easier, and here are Google’s instructions to set up GSC if you don’t already have that set up.
Once the 2 are set-up, follow this video to quickly connect GSC to your GA4 account.
By following these steps, you’ll have a GA4 configuration ready for tracking organic search terms. This setup will provide valuable insights into how users find your website through search engines, allowing you to make informed decisions for optimizing your site’s performance. And remember, maintaining a friendly, casual, and professional attitude will make the process enjoyable for both you and your website visitors. Happy tracking!
Understanding Organic Search Reports in GA4
You do get a basic understanding of the overall volume of organic traffic through GA4. Simply head over to ‘Reports’ > ‘Acquisition’ & you’ll see your google analytics organic traffic on both ‘User acquisition’ and ‘Traffic acquisition’.
On both, you’ll see basic visuals, but then scroll down. In the far left of the list, you’ll see ‘Session default channel group 🔻’ or ‘First user default channel group 🔻’ depending on Traffic or User. Click on that, and then choose the option with Source / Medium. Then you’ll be able to see traffic by organic source – like Google, Bing, and more.
In addition, if you’ve got Conversions configured, the Conversions column will tell you how many of those conversions (aka leads, newsletter sign-ups or however else you’re using conversions for) came from organic search. 💥
Let’s take this a step further, though, and see about the organic traffic by the page. You can see page level detail under ‘Reports’ > ‘Engagement’ > ‘Landing page’ or ‘Pages and screens’, as well, depending on the reports you normally refer to. However, we’ll just hang out here in ‘Traffic acquisition’ because the process will be almost exactly the same regardless. So whichever report you prefer, you can replicate this process.
Filter for just organic traffic. Click ‘Add filter’ and in the window that appears, search for the Session medium. Choose ‘organic’ and then ‘Apply’.
Scroll down to the table at the bottom. Click the ‘Session source / medium 🔻’ column name and choose ‘Session source’. Now click the plus sign next to that column. Type in Landing in the search bar that appears, and then click on the only option – ‘Landing page + query string’.
You now have a list of the source – like Bing or Google for each page on your site. In the example above, baidu is a search engine that is not as widely known in the US, but it’s the dominant search engine in China.
You can also see this page level detail under ‘Reports’ > ‘Engagement’ > ‘Landing page’ or ‘Pages and screens’, as well, depending on the reports you normally refer to.
Organic Search Terms in GA4 with Google Search Console
I find the real power once you’ve connected to GSC is to look at the search terms, though.
Once you’ve successfully connected GSC to your GA4, you’ll get a new section in your GA4 Reports labeled Search Console that I sometimes refer to as GA4 Search Console to help distinguish between the actual GSC reporting. Expanding this section gets you a ‘Queries’ and ‘Google organic search traffic’ options.
Just like other reports in GA4, you have the ability to change the date range that is in the reports along with the ability to ‘Add comparison’. The date filter functions like normal, but the comparison options are much more limited than what will display as an option. You can add comparisons for ‘Country’ & ‘Device category’ only at this time.
Just know that these reports won’t perfectly match the traffic you will see in the other Google Analytics 4 reporting. How things gets counted between the tools just aren’t quite apples to apples. They are still directionally relevant, though.
Also, while we were just looking at the traffic counts from Yahoo, Bing, etc a moment ago in the GA4 reports, know that this is just the Google search information here in this section. No Bing information will be found here (or any other site for that matter).
Information here is also delayed by 48 hours after it’s collected, so don’t lean on this to be real-time. Google also states that the data is available on a rolling 16 months.
There are a couple of graphs at the top, to show the overall clicks over time and your top 5 queries leading organic traffic to your site, but I don’t find them overly helpful.
I like to scroll down below the visuals to get to the meat.
You’ll see the ‘Organic google search query’ (which are your GA4 organic search terms) along with the clicks through to your site, impressions, a click through rate, and the average search position for each query.
- Organic google search clicks: The number of times someone clicked through to your site when they searched the phrase in the row
- Organic google search impressions: The number of times someone was offered your site as a resource when they searched the phrase
- Organic google search click through rate: The rate of the clicks to impressions. The higher, the better.
- Organic google search average position: The average placement in the search results. Again, the higher, the better.
You can add a 2nd column next to Organic google search query. A large menu will appear, but only Device category & Country will truly be available. A good rule of thumb to see what you can choose (in case this changes) is to click on the arrow to the right of the ‘Organic google search query’ column heading to add another layer to the GA4 organic search terms for exploration.
The default report will show you 10 rows, but use the dropdown to get up to 250 rows per page.
Additionally, you can click on the headings like the clicks to sort from highest number to lowest, and if you click again on the same column it will sort from lowest to highest.
Google organic search traffic
This report lists out the top landing pages driving organic traffic. This would be way more powerful if the keywords driving traffic were here, but it’s an indicator to see what is currently driving organic traffic to your site to help you see what’s working, what can be optimized, and how that traffic organic traffic looks by seeing the following information on the ‘Google organic search traffic report’:
- Organic Google search clicks
- Organic Google search impressions
- Organic Google search click-through rate
- Organic Google search average position
- Engaged sessions
- Engagement rate
- Average engagement time
- Event count
- Ad revenue
Organic Traffic Acquisition Channels in GA4
In GA4, understanding your website’s organic traffic acquisition channels is essential for measuring the performance of your content and SEO strategies. There are different types of organic traffic, including organic search, organic social, and organic video. Here’s a quick overview of these channels and how you can analyze them in GA4.
Organic Search Traffic
Organic search traffic refers to the visitors who find your website through search engines like Google or Bing without interacting with any paid advertisements. To track organic search traffic in GA4, navigate to the ‘Acquisition’ section and look for the ‘Organic Search’ channel. Here, you can view metrics such as users, revenue, conversions, and user engagement metrics.
Organic Social Traffic
Organic social traffic is generated when users come across your content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn without you having initiated any paid promotions. To analyze organic social traffic in GA4, visit the ‘Acquisition’ section and look for the ‘Social’ channel. Analyzing this data will help you understand which social media platforms are driving the most traffic and engagement, allowing you to optimize your content and strategy accordingly.
Organic Video Traffic
If you’re using video content on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo, it’s important to track your organic video traffic. This refers to the users who find your video content through recommendations, search results, or browsing without the use of paid promotions. Unfortunately, GA4 does not provide a dedicated channel for organic video traffic. However, you can still analyze video traffic by looking at the ‘Referral’ channel in the ‘Acquisition’ section. Make sure to filter and segment the data to focus on video platforms to see how your video content is performing.
Remember, maintaining a friendly and casual tone while still being professional is key to engaging with your audience. By understanding these different organic traffic acquisition channels in GA4, you can optimize your digital marketing efforts and drive better results for your website. Happy analyzing!
How can I view organic search queries in GA4?
To view organic search queries in GA4, you need to connect your GA4 property with your Google Search Console account. Once connected, you can find organic search queries in the Reports section listed under ‘Search Console’.
Which report shows organic search terms in GA4?
After connecting your GA4 property with Google Search Console, the organic search terms can be found in the ‘Acquisition’ report under the ‘Google Search Console’ section.
Is there a way to track search terms in Google Analytics 4?
Yes, how to see search terms in Google Analytics 4 by connecting your Google Search Console account to your GA4 property is what this post is about! This will enable you to see organic search term data under the ‘Search Console’ Reports area.
Can I see a keywords report in GA4 like in Universal Analytics?
GA4 does not have a dedicated keywords report like in Universal Analytics. However, you can view organic search keywords in the ‘Search Console’ reporting after connecting GA4 with your Google Search Console account.
What is the difference between organic and paid keywords in GA4?
In GA4, organic keywords refer to the search terms that users type into a search engine to find your website through unpaid (organic) search results. Paid keywords, on the other hand, are search terms attached to ads in platforms like Google Ads, where you pay to show your website in the search results. To view paid keywords in GA4, you need to link your Google Ads account to your GA4 property.