If you have a website, chances are it has a search box on it, and if you don’t have a search feature it is definitely time to install one. A search feature allows your audience members to search your website for the information that interests them. More importantly for the website owner however is that this also gives you valuable insights into visitor behavior and what they are really looking for on your website.
Ensure Your Website has Search
If you use WordPress as I do and you should, search comes straight out of the box and all you have to do is decide where you want the search box to be. One of the best location for your site search box is in the upper right-hand corner, because that’s where your visitors are used to it being located.
Ensure Google Analytics Are Installed
Google analytics are the industry standard, they are installed on millions of websites and the data they provide you with is extremely useful and can make a massive difference to your websites success. The free version of Google Analytics is typically installed and if you don’t have them installed on your website, head over to Google, register your website, grab and install the tracking code they give you and you’re done.
Track Site Search Terms with Google Analytics
Unfortunately, Google Analytics doesn’t track your websites search terms straight out of the box, you have to make a few small changes within your Google Analytics account, so head over to your Google Analytics Account and login.
- Once logged in, hit the admin button.
- Click View Settings
- Scroll down to Site Search Tracking and turn it on.
- Next you need to enter a Query parameter … what’s that you might ask. Go to your website and perform a search. If you look at the URL you will see something like https://website-designs.com/?s=something else here…. The query parameter is the letter or letters immediately after the question mark… for most WordPress uses this is simply “s”. Enter whatever yours is, in the query parameter and then click tick the box to Strip query parameters out of URL … you don’t have to do this, but you might be like me and prefer it.
That’s it your done… you have now enabled site search tracking.
Review Website Search Terms Visitors Used
Reviewing what your website visitors are searching for is an enlightening moment, you can see how your visitor looks for something, the terms they use, the format they may search for, and more. If visitors are searching for things you offer, you can make sure you’re using the right keywords within your content so they can find it. If they search for things you don’t offer but they are within your niche, you can create them. Site search gives you huge insights into what your audience want and need, and with this information you can tailor your whole website to meet the needs of your audience much better.
Review Where Visitors Performed the Website Search
It’s important to know what page they used the search function on. That will tell you a lot about the visitor and what they expected when they got to the page they searched from. You have to look at it from their perspective and re-examine the search terms that brought them to that page, as well as whether or not you need to update that page to enable your visitors to find the information they wish without the need to perform an additional search.
Review Where the Search Terms Took Them
Take the search terms your visitors used, and conduct the search yourself on your website. Where does the search send your visitor? Are you able to find something that they may have wanted that may have answered their question? If not, can you fix it so that every single search term they looked for leads to something relevant to them?
Can You Create New Products Based on Search Terms?
When you list the search terms that your visitors looked for on your website, take some time to brainstorm with your team, whether or not you can create products or services that fit in with those terms.
Do the Search Terms Fit with Your Niche?
Perhaps you need to redo your lead magnet if the search terms are irrelevant to your niche or strange in some way. Take a look again at what led your visitors to the site, and see if you can determine what they hoped to see. You may need to readjust your website and keywords to better fit your audience.
Do You Have Products and Services That Fit Those Terms?
Can you identify products and or services that fit the terms that your visitor searched for? If so, did they find them? If not, why not? How can you make it easier for your visitors to find what they came to find?
As you can appreciate once you start to carry out these tasks the conversion rates on your website will improve dramatically, you’ll not only attract more visitors, these visitors will come back again and again and eventually they’ll purchase from you. Isn’t it time you monitored your websites search data… oh and it also explains why Google stats are free in my opinion, just imagine the data mining opportunities.