How To Exclude Brand Search Terms & Keywords In Google Analytics’ Traffic Sources Reports

Recently a client came to me with a question about where to prioritize their content-writing efforts for the site redesign, and I offered her an answer based on Google Analytics’ keyword data.

The problem is that if you just export your top keywords, you’re going to see brand search terms near the top.

What can you do with branded keywords? They’re not actionable, because you rank for your brand terms and will continue to rank in the future.

You want to find out what are your top keywords to prioritize where you spend your time writing copy.

So how do you exclude brand search keywords from your Google Analytics traffic sources report?

1. Click the “advanced” link that is near the search-filter box.

Google analytics - click the advanced search link

You’ll see a screen like the following one:

advanced search to include or exclude keywords

2. Click on the Include drop-down and switch it to exclude. Then type in your core brand term. So if your company is called John’s Crazy Shoes, type “John” or “Crazy”. Finally, click apply, and voila – you’re done!

click exclude, type your brand name or phrase and apply

What about if your brand name has lots of alternative spellings and misspellings? Or what if one site has multiple brands, due to a rebranding or multiple child companies sharing a single site with the parent company?

In such a case, you can use regular expressions, or regex, to exclude all of the brands .

All you need to do is switch the matching parameter to be “Matching RegExp” and type each of the various spellings into the text field.

regular expression matching for traffic source report

regular expression for multiple brand terms

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(Related post: How To Build Your Company’s Brand Online)

Comments

  1. Just what i needed for my analytics, Matching RegExp. :)

    Comment by Maria Selling - November 11, 2012 @ 8:05pm
  2. Hi Gabriel. Thanks for the tip. Doy you, by any chance, know how to make these kind of settings permanent? I mean, is there any way to do that only once and exclude some keywords permanently?

    Comment by Alex - December 17, 2012 @ 8:17pm

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