How SMB Marketers Can Overcome Loss of Google Keyword Data

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    In a previous post, I wrote about Google’s recent change to secure search, which was taking away some keyword information that many small to midsized businesses rely on to gather information on Web content on their sites. This change has left many SMB webmasters wondering what to do to regain some of that functionality without having to spend too much money on new products.

    Unfortunately, there is not a simple workaround.

    If your company is willing to buy ads on Google, you can get the keyword data. However, this also means you will need to have ads and a campaign developed to run on Google, which will likely not be cheap. For those businesses that have considered Google Ads or that already run ads elsewhere, it may prove to be a valuable tool. Some, though, have wondered whether Google’s change to secure search is to steer customers towards using Google Ads to boost revenue.

    Also, according to Crispin Sheridan at ClickZ, Google Webmaster Tools still provide some useful data on keywords. In his recent article, he shared:

    The Search Queries report shows us what keywords drove clicks to the site. Additionally, it provides data on what pages surfaced by keyword in Google’s SERPs through impressions, whether the page won a click or not. 

    Average position of the Page is the other useful tool to consider. This reports the average top position of a site on the search results page for a given query. It also displays the change compared to the previous period.

    Another ClickZ post by Andrew Beckman points out that although marketers have relied on keyword data for a long time, those days may be numbered:

    ‘…that analysis as we know it today is likely going to change, as the “web cookie” days also appear to be numbered, as indicated in recent months. Mozilla’s implementation of blocking cookies has already started the trend; Google, Apple and Microsoft have also been devising plans for new internet tracking technologies that will eventually replace the cookie.’

    In that vein of thinking, perhaps it is time that marketers rethink the way they create online content. According to, predictions on what marketers will rely on in 2014 include image-based content, diverse social media postings, mobile-friendly content, simplified messages, and social media sharing.

    Not to mention, many other factors contribute to online marketing success. If your business is online to sell, focus on what will increase customer buy-in instead of just increasing page clicks. ClickSprout offers numerous tips on how to capture customers on your website, including using the right colors, integrating video into your site (if it’s the right fit for your audience!), adding case studies and testimonials from real customers, and making your site as user-friendly and friction-free as possible.

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