Google Analytics gives you the possibility to store which keywords your visitors use when they use search on your site.
This information is really useful for:
- Understand what your users are looking for
- Understand if they are finding the information
- Give you ideas on new posts
- Give you additional keywords for your posts and site
- and many more interesting information
Let’s configure site search, so you can start collecting the information.
Configure site search
The first thing you need to do is to navigate to your site to understand which search parameter your internal site search is using.
Let’s exemplify by doing a search in our site. For example let’s search for the word “Google”:
Look at the URL on your browser and find the search query parameter. It is the letter that appears after the question mark on the URL. For us the letter is “s”:
Now, we log in Google Analytics and click on “Admin”:
Click on “View Settings” and scroll until you find “Site Search Settings”. Remember to test all your configurations on your test view to avoid losing or messing up your data.
Fill in as follows:
- Click “ON”
- Input the query parameter, in my case “s”
- Check the “Strip Query Parameters of URL”. (I explain below what this means)
- If your search engine allows for search refinement with categories, click “ON. I will leave it “OFF”
If you have done everything correctly your data will start showing in Google Analytics.
Strip Query Parameters from site search
If you don’t remove the query parameters from site search, you will see the following URL’s in your pages report:
For example, if someone do a search on Google, the following page url will be recorded:
Pretty useless right? You have the site search report for that.
Review your Site Search Report
Login Google Analytics and navigate to “Reporting”:
and then to “Behaviour” and “Site Search”:
and review your data: (make sure you select today’s date if you want to review the report right away).
Tracking your internal Site Search keywords, will give you invaluable information of what your users are searching for on your site, what is important for them. It will also give you ideas for new posts or pages based on what they search but did not find.
It only takes a few minutes to configure, make sure you do it TODAY!