October 1, 2020

Website Search Analytics

If you have a bunch of content, products, etc on your website, you might also have a search function on your website where your visitors can search for the specific content and products that they want.

Your visitor’s search terms are valuable data points that you can use to improve the usability of your site later on. Afterall, Google’s search ranking algorithm is more and more based on EAT nowadays.

Today I am going to show you how to activate search analytics for your website’s search function.

Activate Site Search On Google Analytics

  1. Install Google Analytics On Your Website
  2. In the Google Analytics dashboard, go to Admin > View Settings (in the “View” column)
  1. Scroll down until you see “Site Search Settings” and switch “Site search Tracking” from Off to On, if it isn’t already.
  2. Under “Query parameter” type in what your query parameter is
    1. You can find your Query parameter by going to your site and conducting a site in your site’s search function
    2. After you do, look at the URL of your website
    3. Find the text inbetween the ? and =
      1. For “https://insidecarguys.com/lease-deals?_sf_s=audi&_sfm_due_at_signing=0+7000&_sfm_monthly_payment=0+1700&_sfm_msrp=14095+495095”, the text inbetween the ? and = is “_sf_s”
    4. So, type in _sf_s in the Query parameter field
  3. Under “Site search categories,” you can type in any categories that may appear in your search
    1. You can find your Site search categories by going to yoru site and conducintg a site search with a category involved
    2. After you do, look at the URL of your website
    3. Find the text inbetween the ? and = of the category
      1. For “https://insidecarguys.com/lease-deals?_sf_s=audi&_sfm_due_at_signing=0+7000&_sfm_monthly_payment=0+1700&_sfm_msrp=14095+495095”, the text inbetween the ? and the = can be:
        1. _sfm_due_at_signing
        2. _sfm_monthly_payment
        3. _sfm_msrp
      2. Then you can have data on all of these categories that people search for.
    4. So, type in any or all of these categories separated by commas like: _sfm_due_at_signing,_sfm_monthly_payment,_sfm_msrp if you want to include them all

Click on save at the bottom and try to conduct a search on your site.

Here’s a screenshot of what your settings should look like:

Then, go back to Google Analytics and see if your search was recorded. Go to the left sidebar menu and go to Behavior > Site Search > Overview.

If you see some data populate, then you set it up correctly!

If you had any issues following along, it may be because my instructions and screenshots are from an old version of Google Analytics. To make sure you have the most updated instructions, you can refer to Google’s official documentation on setting up site search.

Now you can see all the searches that happen on your website. Now, how can you use this data to improve your website’s usability?

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Wilson Muh


Wilson Muh

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