Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on October 13th, 2010

How to Filter Keywords in Google Analytics

Using the wrong keywords is like drinking unfiltered water: you are doing what you need to do–targeting keywords for organic rankings/drinking H2O–but you may be slowly poisoning your campaign/body with the unwanted minerals/traffic. Now, I don’t know too many folks who have been seriously poisoned by unfiltered water (not one of my Google Alerts), but I have seen organic search campaign eventually tank because they didn’t correctly filter their data to determine good keywords from the bad. Good thing we have Google Analytics.

When you receive your Google Analytics report, take a look at the bottom of most of your tables and you will find an Advanced Filter option.

With this option, you can filter your data in the table according to almost any set of conditions you wish. For example, let’s say you are interested in seeing which keywords brought visitors who spent at least 2 minutes on your site:

Keep in mind that when entering the condition for Avg Time on Site, you need to use seconds. So on this step you would enter 120 instead of 2.

If you wanted to see what keywords have a bounce rate of less than 30%, change the filter to bounce rate and use decimals: so 0.3 for 30%, 0.15 for 15%, .75 for 75%, etc.

Are you getting the hang of it yet? Sweet. Let’s take it up a notch and enter multiple conditions. In this example, we want to filter out all the low traffic keywords as well with a bounce rate of less than 35% and more than 100 visits.

You can set up an unlimited filters for keywords, but at some point there won’t be any keywords getting through your filters so analyze wisely.

Using Advanced Filters while analyzing your Google Analytics data is an excellent way to discover what keywords are important to your campaign, and what keywords are slowly poisoning your campaign.

To see the example I used in action, check out this Google Analytics video:

Thank You For Reading/Watching!

No one likes people who don’t share, especially Keanu Reeves and his gang of crazy dogs, giant flying cats, and magical monocle. So if you liked what you read, please share my post with any of our socially-labeled buttons, or we’ll sick the whole gang after you! Please subscribe to our RSS feed as well so you can receive daily fodder from our blog.