Do You Have A Search Box On Your Website?

The most common answer is yes!  If not, then it is recommended.  But, do you know what people are searching for?  Having the ability to search for the content on your website with a search box is a really useful function that can save a lot of time searching around a website for info, but you’re not utilising it to the best of your ability if you don’t know what people are searching for.

The good news is that it is really simple to add using Google Analytics!

How Do I Track Internal Searches In Google Analytics?

The first step is to find the parameter that Google Analytics will be monitoring. If you use WordPress, it is usually on its own.  I will show you how I found this and where you will be able to check underneath.

Once you have the parameter, you just need to active search tracking and add it into your google analytics account, under the View > View Settings section in the Admin area of your analytics account.

First, find the search box on your website and perform a search.  Once you hit enter, the URL will change to something similar as the screenshot I did on the Interact Digital site, when looking for content around SEO.

Analytics admin cogOnce you have the correct parameter, you need to go to your Analytics account, click the admin button, which is a little cog in the bottom left of the screen.

Then go to the View Settings tab on the right-hand side and look in there.  Towards the bottom of the screen, you will see a ‘Site Search Settings’ slide.  Slide this to on then add in the parameter that you have already figured out.  In our case (using WordPress) it is a simple S.

Internal search trackingwith Google Analytics

How Do I check the Internal Searches In Analytics?

Once you have these steps set up, you will want to know where to find the words that people are using to find the content they desire.  It is important to know that the searches will only be tracked after the settings have been changed.  Analytics won’t be able to show you searches that have taken place before the settings were changed.

Depending on the volume of traffic you have on your site, you may have to wait a week or so before you get any data on search terms being used on the site, but pretending that has happened, to see the search terms being used, go to Behaviour > Site Search > Overview in your Analytics account to see the data accrued.

What Can I Do With This Information?

The searches that people are using on your site should give you an insight into the popularity of particular words or interests and what people are generally looking for.  If they are using the search box, is this content easy to find on your site?  If not, why not?  It could be for every person using the search box, 5 others are looking elsewhere.

The idea behind this is to get the information that people are looking for front and centre.  If you are selling products and see people looking for certain products that are not on the home page, feature them on the home page!  make it easy for people to get access to your content.

Another area that the search may highlight, is missing content.  If you see words and phrases that are not on your site anywhere, it may be a good idea to get some content based on these words.  It could be that you are being handed nuggets of keyword gold.  Take advantage!

Want some further help with tracking internal searches?  Or want a more detailed report including categories and other parameters?  Please feel free to get in touch with us using the form underneath and chat with us.

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