This is the second post in our site search series. If you missed the first part, read it here. It will help you get a good understanding of what kind of sites should implement site search and some reasons it might be worth your while.
Here, I introduce a step by step guide to set up site search in Google Analytics and what data to look at once it’s in place. After you get site search set up in your analytics account, you can start mining insights for from your data. Before you start tracking your search box, you will have to install one on your site.
Installing Site Search Tracking:
This is very simple and virtually a 4 step process to gain valuable information from your visitors. If you cannot see the images, click on them to get a better look.
Step 1: Log In to Google Analytics
If you do not yet have Google Analytics, then you will need to create an account.
Step 2: Edit Profile
Once logged in to the account you wish to install tracking for, you will then click “Edit” next to the profile in question.
Once again you will then click “Edit” on the Profile Settings page.
Step 3: “Do Track Site Search”
On the “Profile Information” page click to select Do Track Site Search.
As soon as this is selected the Query Parameter form will show up.
This part can be a little bit difficult if you are not familiar with query parameters.
Step 5: Entering the Query Parameter
You will need to figure out what type of query parameter your website uses:
In this particular search the query parameter is “q” everything else is irrelevant.
Enter “q” into the Site Search forum:
What Data Should I Look For?
Now GA is tracking your site search data! Depending on the amount of traffic to your website, it might take as much as 2 weeks before you can draw any conclusions from the new data.
Now for the fun stuff. Gather insights!!! You can start by asking yourself a series of questions like this:
Is my site search traffic converting better than my non-site search traffic?
How many people are using the site search box?
What keywords are people typing in the search box?
On what pages are people most commonly using site search?
Where is traffic coming from that uses site search?
One or all of the answers to these questions can highlight changes you can be making to your site to help improve your conversion rate. Stay tuned for site search part 3, which will give a real example of how site search data and some insight increased a client’s ROI.
What kind of insights has your site search data given you? Do you know of a better site search platform than Google Site Search? We love converting visitors based on site search data, and we are here if you want us to look at your data too.