Tracking Organic Keywords From Google Analytics

There are essentially 2 methods, one is simpler to set up and the other requires additional steps.

Method 1

1. Login to your Google Analytics Account and click the Admin button (need help creating or customizing your account?)
2. Click Filters > New Filter
3. Name Your Filter (ex. Organic KW Rank Tracker)
4. Click Filter Type > Custom > Advanced
5. Field A -> Extract A > Campaign Term > Enter the following into the text area:  (.*)
6. Field B -> Extract B > Referral > Enter the following into the text area: (\?|&)cd=([^&]*)
7. Output To -> Constructor > Enter the following into the text area: $A1 (rank: $B2)
8. Leave everything else as it is and hit “Save.”

It Should look like below

tracking organics rankings in google analytics

There are other ways of tracking, the method outlined below is more complicated to set up but is infact easier produces a better tracking feature

Method 2

1. Login to your Google Analytics Account and click the Admin button
2. Click Filters > New Filter
3. Name Your Filter – “Filter 1 (Data Extraction)”
4. Click Filter Type > Custom > Advanced
5. Field A -> Extract A > Referral > Enter the following into the text area: (\?|&)(cd)=([^&]*)
6. Field B -> Extract B > Leave blank / Skip
7. Output To -> Constructor > Custom Field 1 > Enter the following into the text area: $A3
8. Leave everything else as it is and hit “Save.”

Now, you have to create an additional filter.

Here are the steps:

1. Login to your Google Analytics Account and click the Admin button
2. Click Filters > New Filter
3. Name Your Filter – “Filter 2 (Display Data)”
4. Click Filter Type > Custom > Advanced
5. Field A -> Extract A > Custom Field 1 > Enter the following into the text area: (.*)
6. Field B -> Extract B > Campaign Term > Enter the following into the text area: (.*)
7. Output To -> Constructor > Campaign Term > Enter the following into the text area: $B1 ($A1)
8. Make sure the radio buttons are: Field A Required YES, Field B Required YES, Override Output Field YES, Case Sensitive NO
9. Hit “Save.

These filters MUST be applied in this order. If you created them following the instructions above, this should be the case. If not, look in the main filters tab in Analytics and click Assign Filter Order. Filter 1 must come before Filter 2. If you’re having a problem.

Having the ranking data in Analytics is pretty slick and very helpful, but do you know what is even more helpful? Creating Advanced Segments to break things out in a way that is more meaningful to business people. For example, you should create an Advanced Segment that allows you to visualize traffic from your keywords bucketed by ranking – all number one keywords vs. keywords in position 2-5 vs. keywords 6-10 vs. keywords 11+.

Note: Google Analytics filters only work moving forward. They cannot be used to analyze historical data. Any time you add a custom filter, you probably want to create a new Google Analytics Profile. This is done to prevent anything from messing up the data you may be using for existing reports. At the very least, do this initially to make sure that the filter works properly. Once you know things are good, you can go ahead and add the custom filter to your preferred GA Profile (although we still recommend using a new profile moving forward). If you still need help after reading this, drop us a line.