The ROI Revolution Blog

Exact Keyword Tracking with ga.js

February 14, 2008

Sleuth! Magnifying glass icon.Last April, I posted a script that allowed paid search advertisers to view the exact search queries of their visitors. This was essentially a free tool that gave website owners the ability to weed out ineffective keywords and put more money toward the precise phrases that were really driving their business.

Google Analytics doesn’t do this out of the box. It will tell you exact search queries for visits from organic listings, but for paid search, you’re stuck with the keywords that you’re bidding on. With broad and phrase matching, these could vary pretty drastically from what the visitors typed into the search engine.

We’ve gotten a lot of requests to update the script for the new version of the Google Analytics JavaScript, ga.js. Always happy to oblige, we’ve been hard at work on our new version of the Google Analytics Keyword Sleuth. Call it a Valentine’s Day gift from ROI Revolution to you.



Using ga.js?

If you’ve upgraded to ga.js, then you’ll need to grab the new ga_keyword2.js file from our server and upload it to yours. Make a note of where you put it.

Now, update your Google Analytics Tracking Code:

The only addition is <script src=”/path/to/ga_keyword2.js” type=”text/javascript”></script>. Be sure to update this line so that it actually points to the script. And, of course, be sure to update the UA-XXXXXX-1 number with your own Google Analytics profile number.

Still Using urchin.js?

If you haven’t updated to the new version of the Google Analytics JavaScript, fear not. We’re still working on ways to improve our script for urchin.js. So, since we’ve made a few improvements to the script, you’ll probably want to update yours with the most recent version.

You can get the latest ga_keyword.js file from our server and upload it to yours. Make a note of where you put it.

Then update your Google Analytics Tracking Code:

Again, the only addition is the line: <script src=”/path/to/ga_keyword.js” type=”text/javascript”></script>. Be sure to update it so that it points to the script. Also, update the UA-XXXXXX-1 number with your own Google Analytics profile number.

Please bear in mind that this script is presented as-is. We’ve tested it extensively with our own Google Analytics accounts, but your mileage may vary. If you have any major problems, let me know in the comments. We’re always working to improve the script, so keep posted on the blog for updates. You can sign up for our email newsletter, or keep track via RSS.

As a quick aside, I knew there was demand for this tool when I developed it, but I’m still amazed at its popularity. Internally, it is one of the most widely requested features from our pay-per-click teams, and I love that they’re using it to really help our clients maximize their ad spend. There’s a rumor going around that they’re planning on unveiling some of the cool ways that they use exact keyword data right here on the blog, so… all the more reason to add the RSS feed to your reader of choice so you don’t miss it.

How about you? How are you using our script to better your paid search campaigns? Any suggestions or requests?

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