Setting up site search in Google Analytics only takes a few seconds to setup but can add tons of value in understanding your users needs, motivations, and behaviors. The site search functionality allows you to capture what users type into the search bar on your website.
Marketers spend a lot of time analyzing what users searched for to get to their site, but often ignore what users searched for once there. Internal site search can help you understand what people are looking for once on your site, and what information is valuable but difficult to find.
Once set up will you be able to track search terms, percent of users who exited your site after searching, time spent on site after searching, the number of sessions with search, and more.
1.) Choose the Correct View
The first thing you need to do is choose the view you wish to track site searches on.
2.) Edit View Settings
Once in the correct view go to the Admin tab and choose ‘View Settings.’
3.) Turn On Site Search
Towards the bottom of the page, you will see an optioned labeled ‘Site Search Tracking,’ you will want to toggle this on.
4.) Enter Your Query Parameter
Lastly, you will need to determine what your search query parameter is. A query parameter is the letter or phrase that appears after the question mark when a user does a search on your site. If you do a search on this site the url will look like this, but with your own search term.
So in Google Analytics we will enter ‘s’ in the query parameter box. Now you can start tracking what visitors on your site search for.
If you allow users to search on your site, it’s definitely worth the time to set up site search reporting. It only takes a few seconds to implement but the data and insights you can gain can help you improve the content on your site and improve the experience visitors have.
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