Why Does Analytics Show 0 Visits for Some Search Queries?

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

One common question among Google Analytics users is why the program shows 0 visits for some keywords. After all if it recorded that someone reached the site through search and recorded the keyword they used, then why doesn’t that count as a visit?

I wondered the same thing when I first started using GA and this is what happens when the program records a “0 visit”:

– User wants to see our blog post about Eventbrite and Social ROI
– User searches for “fahrenheit marketing”
– They arrive on the home page (Google records their arrival and their search query “fahrenheit marketing”)
– User notices the post is no longer in the four most recent blog entries
– User hits back button (Google keeps session open for 30 minutes)
– User searches for “fahrenheit marketing evenbrite social roi”
– User lands on the blog post
– At this point Google has to decide “Do we close the old visit and start a new one? Or keep the current session open?”
– Since it’s been less than 30 minutes, Google keeps the current session open and records “fahrenheit marketing evenbrite social roi” as 0 visits

When you pull a query report, don’t immediately remove the 0 visit queries. They aren’t bugs or bots, they are actual visits but from the same visitor.