Tracking Organic Traffic


Tracking Organic Traffic

How and where you get your organic traffic data can affect what you see and how accurate it is. The most common tools used for website analytics are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Omniture (AdobeAnalytics), and SEMRush. Each of these tools collects and measures data in different ways.

It is the slight differences in how traffic data is collected that cause discrepancies from one tool to another, affecting data accuracy between +4% to -11% of visits received [3]. Even something as simple as a visitor’s default internet browser can affect reported traffic by up to 26% [3]. Because no single tool can provide all the data needed to track a visitor to your website, it’s important to pull data from multiple sources and piece it together to form a more comprehensive data picture.

Currently, the best source for keyword data is Google’s Keyword Planner (previously known as Google Adwords). However, this platform no longer provides average search volumes but instead provides average search volume ranges.

Tracking Organic Traffic Sample

That means we don’t truly know what kindof search volume a keyword has since itfalls within the fairly large ranges providedby Google and depends on a variety of factors. Missing data miscategorized traffic, and spam also continues to be consistent and ever-changing issues with organic traffic. These issues have a larger impact on websites with smaller amounts of traffic (generally those with less than 5,000 visitors a month). While these particular concerns can impact any website, it’s often less impactful to sites with higher traffic data.

Missing traffic can also come from ad-blockers, empty referral data, timed-out sessions, missing cookies, or even disabled technology like javascript. All of these things lead to gaps within Google Analytics data.

Given today’s analytics toolset and functionality, we don’t have a feasible or scalable way to tie keyword rank to organic traffic. Most people can make a general case about improved traffic gains from improving keyword rankings, but tying this directly to a singular keyword or keyword phrase is simply not possible at this time.