Tracking internal searches can lead to a goldmine of data that can help you convert more, plus it also heightens the customer experience if you act upon your findings.
Internal search tracking is easy to implement in Google Analytics and will reveal real search queries entered by users while on your site – this can help you decide what popular content to bring to the forefront, make key products more visible and give you an idea of what your customers are really looking for – and more importantly, how they look for it!
In a world where Google is hiding search engine keyword data in Analytics behind [not provided], this internal search query information is critical to understanding what your customers are looking for, and how you can give it to them.
OK so how do you find this data?
- Log in to your Analytics account and click into the site with which you wish to track internal searches (for obvious reasons, you can only track internal searches on sites that have internal search functionality!)
- Click into the ‘Behaviour’ tab and then into ‘Site Search’ and then ‘Search Terms’
- Here you will find a list of searches that were conducted on your site and some interesting information about behaviour following a search.
How do I implement this then?
1. Conduct a search on your site to find the query parameter which you will need in a moment.
e.g. In the following example where I have searched for “apple” the search query parameter is the letter “s“. (see it for yourself: http://www.footasylum.com/search-results/?s=apple)
The query parameter follows “…?” (the question mark) and precedes the “=…” (equals sign).
(Note: sometimes these parameter will be a single letter such as “q” or “s” as above, or a word such as “search“).
2. In Google Analytics go to Admin (at the top of the screen) > View > View Settings.
3. Under “Site Search Settings” (towards the bottom of the screen) click turn the OFF button to ON and add the query parameter in the text field (e.g. s) and “Save” the change.
If you have any problems or questions with regards to implementing this please contact me via Google+ and I’ll help out!