On Site Search Analytics

by Gareth on February 5, 2010

After just doing some SEO consulting and setting up analytics for site search on 2 websites, I thought I would do quick guide as Google’s own document is very unclear.

-From your anaytics websites profiles, click ‘edit’ on the website you want to add site search analytics.
-Then click ‘edit’ again in the top right hand side
-Select ‘do track’ radio button

Parameters

To set the query parameters, do a quick search on your site search box and see what the query string urk is:

http://www.seo-doctor.co.uk/?s=seo

Here you can see the parameter is s, just add this into the box.

Do a test run and do some site searches, then wait 24hrs for the results to show.

Now what?

The data will give you information on what users are looking for in terms of content or products for ecommerce wesbites, this information is like gold dust.   It will also give you data on whether your users needs are being met by your website and allow you to discover new content ideas and long tail keyword phrases to target.  For ecommerce, you need to know what these top internal search terms are…these will be your biggest sellers.  Sites are also using Internal serach in some clever ways:

And some have gone beyond using SSA simply as a diagnostic tool. For example, the Financial Times monitors its site’s recent search activity for spikes in queries for personal and company names. They check to see if these suddenly popular queries correlate with their recent editorial coverage; if not, a spike might indicate a breaking story, and the paper’s editors are informed. So, in effect, the Financial Times is using SSA as a predictive tool

As people are using vertical search more, the imporatance of understang these analytics is vital.

To set up your interal search engine, see this Google video below:

Further Reading:

http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/2007/10/kick-butt-with-internal-site-search-analytics.html

http://econsultancy.com/blog/2805-q-a-lou-rosenfeld-on-site-search-analytics

http://yoast.com/wordpress-search/

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