Tracking on-site search is really easy with Google Analytics and WordPress. See what terms people are searching when using your WordPress site search box.
What is On-Site Search?
By this we mean when someone is actually browsing your site and uses your site’s search bar to search within your website.
Setting up Google Analytics to track Search
First navigate to the Admin area of your Google Analytics account. Then click the View Settings item underneath VIEW.
You’ll see a section towards the bottom like so. Turn Site search Tracking to “ON”. Then make sure there is a Query parameter set of just “s”. This part hooks the WordPress search bar system in to be trackable by Google Analytics.
Where to See the New On-Site Search Data
It may be a couple days before you start to see the data trickling in. Do a couple test searches from other computers to give you some dummy data.
In the Reporting side of Google Analytics look under the Behavior menu item at Site Search >> Search Terms. You’ll see a list of the terms that users searched along with really great data about those visits.
What is fascinating about the above report is that for this client they discovered that about half of their search terms were for one specific term (an awkward term but it is a Swedish Running Method)
Let the Search Terms Guide You
For the above project we realized a huge quantity of their users were looking for content that wasn’t easily found on the site. This realization turned into action and we added several menu items to take people directly to the content, as well as creating an entire new specialized website.
Put a reminder on your calendar and keep an eye on what people are searching for when on your site. It could…
- Give you ideas for new content or posts to write
- Let you know that you have a navigational issue
- Aren’t really giving your visitors what they are looking for