Site search reports are incredibly important and this is proven by Brian Clifton as he refers to them as a “form of market research”, as every time a user conducts a site search they are telling us exactly what they want from our website. Site search reports can be utilised to identify areas of innovation in our business with new products offerings, they can improve marketing efficiency by highlighting keywords for more targeted campaigns and lastly they can identify website flaws by improving page titles and descriptions.
Now that we know how important site search is we should starting tracking!
Step 1: Identify your Query Parameter
- Go to your website and conduct a search, for example I searched test.
- After you’ve entered your search look at your url and the term you searched for.
- Before your search term there will be an equals sign, then a word or character and then a question mark or ampersand.
The character or word between the questions mark and equals sign is your query parameter. Mine is keys.
Step 2: Open up GA and go to the Admin Section
- Then select the view you wish to enable site search tracking, mine is All Website Data.
Step 3 : Enable site search tracking.
- Scroll down to Site Search Settings
- Then set Site Search Tracking to on.
Step 4: Enter query parameter.
- Some websites can have more than one query parameter, lucky for us GA allows you to enter multiple query parameters (up to 5) that are separated by commas.
- For example the Data Runs Deep website has two query parameters which are keys and s
- In the query parameter section enter your query parameter or parameters (make sense).
- If you have multiple query parameters separate them by a comma like I have done below.
Step 5: Strip out query parameters out of URL.
- Now lets tick the box and ‘Strip query parameters out of URL’ (shown in the image above).
- This will prevent your search from showing up in your contents reports.
- If this box is left unselected you will see rows in your content report for each unique search term.
Congratulations you’ve enabled site search tracking! Welcome to the wonderful world of site search reports, from now on site search data will be tracked and this data can be utilised to grow your company or business!