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NOTE: There is an updated version of this technique.

Do you ever wonder what searchers are exactly searching for and what actual keyword phrases are driving PPC traffic to your site? Using web analytics, you can examine your PPC traffic and configure the analytics program to provide you with “your PPC keywords vs. what searchers actually typed”. This data would help you refine your list of keywords by adding more targeted keywords or including unwanted keywords in your list of negative keywords.

For example, if you are marketing a limousine service for your client and you have “limousine service” as a keyword, the analytics PPC keyword filter might show you that people are typing “limo” or “limo service”. You can then add these two keywords and to your list of keywords. You also might find out that people are typing “cheap limo”, and let’s say your limousine service client doesn’t compete on price and doesn’t want to get traffic that is related to “cheap limo”, then you would add this “cheap limo” to your list of negative keywords.

Our friends at GA Experts came up with a way to get detailed PPC keyword data from Google Analytics. In case you need some extra help to configure this filter for www.domain.com, follow the instructions below.

  1. Go to the GA Account for domain.com.
  2. Click on Filter Manager.
  3. Click on Add Filter.
  4. For Filter Name, use something like Data Filter – PPC Keywords 1
  5. Filter Type is Customer filter.
  6. Choose Advanced.
  7. For Field A -> Extract A, choose Referral and enter in (\?|&)(q|p)=([^&]*)
  8. For Field B -> Extract B, choose Campaign Medium and enter in cpc|ppc
  9. For Output To -> Constructor, choose Custom Field 1 and enter in $A3
  10. The next 3 options should be yes followed by no for case sensitive.
  11. Hit Save Changes.
  12. Click on Add Filter.
  13. For Filter Name, use something like Data Filter – PPC Keywords 2
  14. Filter Type is Customer filter.
  15. Choose Advanced.
  16. For Field A -> Extract A, choose Custom Field 1 and enter in (.*)
  17. For Field B -> Extract B, choose Campaign Term and enter in (.*)
  18. For Output To -> Constructor, choose Campaign Term and enter in $B1, ($A1)
  19. The next 3 options should be yes followed by no for case sensitive.
  20. Hit Save Changes.
  21. Almost done! Click on the link that says Analytics Settings, then click on +Add Website Profile.
  22. Choose “Add a Profile for an existing domain”, make sure your domain is chosen, and enter in PPC Keywords for the Profile Name. Click on Finish.
  23. Click on Edit besides the PPC Keywords profile. Configure Main Website Profile Information, Conversion Goals and Funnel, and Users with Access to Profile just like it was configured for the other profile.
  24. Click on +Add Filter, choose “Apply existing Filter to Profile”, choose you’re other filters (if applicable) along with the two new filters you just created. Make sure Filter – PPC Keywords 1 comes in the list before Filter – PPC Keywords 2. In fact, these should probably be the top two filters. Hit Finish.
  25. Click on Analytics Settings. Your new profile will have data in it within hours or days depending on website traffic.

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