Cool Custom Report: Organic Search Terms & Traffic, without WT.srch=1

Get a WebTrends report on organic (natural) which organic (natural) search terms (as opposed to paid search terms) brought traffic to your site.


This question came up in the WebTrends user forum and I’m turning it into a quick post, because all WebTrends users should know how to get an organic traffic report.

The question was “how can I get a report that lists only organic (natural) search terms that brought traffic to my site?  WebTrends has an out of the box report for natural search terms, but it requires me to have put WT.srch=1 into the destination URLs of my paid search ads, and I haven’t done that.” The answer is, briefly, “go ahead and use the Search Phrase or Search Term reports, but eliminate paid search traffic from them.” This requires that:

  • Your paid search traffic has to be distinguished from other traffic in some way, using something in the destination URL.  Not the referrer.  The destination URL.  Hopefully you have already set this up; we wrote a post about PPC tracking parameters a while back.

Here’s how.

  1. Figure out if you already have markers in  your paid search traffic that identifies those visits as paid search.  (If you don’t, run, do not walk, to the computer to set up destination URLs properly in your paid search program.)
  2. Figure out which of those parameters you’re going to use.  It doesn’t matter what the parameter value is; you are going to base a filter on the existence of that parameter.  Just choose one that only appears in paid search visits, and appears in all paid search visits.
  3. Create a new custom filter –
    • type “Visit” for visits.
    • Filter on Entry Page.
    • Set the definition of the entry page to be anything, for example just an asterisk if you’re not using regular expressions.
    • Add a URL parameter to the definition
    • Set the Parameter Name to be the parameter that you identified in step 2.
    • Set the Parameter Value to be equal to anything, for example just an asterisk if you’re going to stay with the type Text.
    • Click on Done.
  4. Create a new custom report –
    • Give it a name and title and category
    • Set the Primary Dimension to one of the search phrase/keyword dimensions.  I suggest Search Phrases.
    • Leave Secondary Dimension empty
    • Set your measures – Visits is the important one here but you might want to do more, such as Visitors and Page Views.   You could also make a separate copy of the report just for first-time or returning visitors, and so on.
    • In all these reports, I suggest turning “Include Interval Data” on, which means you’ll see a time-trend graph.  It will slow down the processing but it’s worth seeing sudden bumps in individual keywords.
    • In the Filters tab, find the filter you just created (that identified paid search traffic) and set it to Exclude.
    • Review the summary screen then save it.
  5. You can also, of course, apply this filter to other dimensions like Pages reports (what pages were visits by organic traffic).
  6. Activate the new custom report in the profile of your choice.  If you have software, you can create a new profile just for this and re-analyze old data, while also adding the report to one of your existing profiles to get data going forward.  If you’re a profile aficionado, you’ll understand this.  If not, this might be a little confusing, sorry.