Tracking actual search rankings with Google Analytics

Some time ago I came across a fabulous tip from Andre Scholten posted on Yoast about how to track the actual rankings on search engines for keywords you’re receiving traffic from. That’s right, let me say it again: track the actual position of your link on a Search Engine Result Page, as well as the traffic generated from that keyword.

How does it work?

Read the article for the full details, but the basics of it revolve around using advanced filters to extract the page of results. The resulting filter will reflect the keyword and the pagination location the user clicked from. This method will track position to the page level, i.e. page 1, page 2, page 3, etc… and not the #1, #5, #9 level of detail. That said, grouping SEO traffic by the page it was generated on is still a fabulous idea in my opinion.

My only addition to the filter set would be to augment the page number. As Andre explains, page 3 results on Google would actually be reflected by “start=20”. Thus, I would add a filter that runs after the “determine the page” filter and changes “start=20” to “page=3”. Automating this to work for all pages would be great, but I’m not quite sure how I would do that with REGEX just yet, so stay tuned…!

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