Google Whisperer’s Guide to Site Search in Google Analytics

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Google Whisperer’s Guide to Site Search in Google Analytics

People think all the time about measuring how people get to their website, but are you measuring what is happening on your website? Onsite search is a vital tool you should be measuring in the shopping journey. According to research, visitors that utilize a site search are 50% more likely to convert then those who do not. Moz found that conversion rates nearly doubled when users used site search. Despite all your customers using onsite search, that same Moz study found nearly 84% of companies don’t optimize or measure their onsite search. Google Analytics has a built-in tool to help everyone capture onsite searches. This week’s Google Whisperer’s Guide is a walk through setting up site search tracking.

Before making changes to your settings in Google Analytics, you need to perform a search on your site to find the correct search term for your site. Once you complete a site search, examine the ending URL. The information after the question mark will be the query parameter for your website. In the example here, you see that “searchQuery” is right after the question mark, and would be my query parameter.

search query in Google Analytics
site search settings in Google Analytics

Once you know what the query parameter is for your website, it’s time to head into Google Analytics settings. Log into Google Analytics, navigate to the admin section by clicking on the gear menu on the bottom left hand side of the Google Analytics screen. Once in there, click on “View Settings” and scroll to “Site Search Settings” towards the bottom. First make sure that site search Tracking is turned on. After that, paste in your query parameter in the query parameter space. Finally, click save and you will be recording data!

Now is the time to just wait and see what your users type in their onsite search. In an upcoming Google Whisperer Guide we’ll talk about how to use this onsite search data in your marketing plan. And don’t worry. If I lost you in the land of attribution, reach out and I am happy to help anytime!


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