Understanding Google Analytics – Site Search

There are a number of sections (groups of reports and metrics) in Google Analytics that webmasters often overlook. Perhaps it is due to not fully understanding how the reports are actionable, or simply due to the fact the reports are difficult to understand. Regardless, one set of reports, site search, can provide you some fantastic insight into how people are discovering content on your site, what they are looking for, and how well your content is tagged/organized. Addressing all of these topics is a challenging feat, but doing so can pay great dividends. If you can improve your conversion rate on your website by just a few points without spending any more money driving traffic to your site, why wouldn’t you want to get started as soon as possible.

The first place you may want to start is with Google Analytics of course.

  1. Start by logging into your account and viewing some of the reports in site search. See what data returns. If you don’t have many visits, then you might not have much to gain here after all.
    Google Analytics Site Search
  2. Learn more about these reports in GA’s help center:
    1. Five Questions to Ask about your Site Search Data
    2. Site Search Setup & Configuration
    3. In-Depth Video of Site Search
  3. Another fantastic way to learn about site search is to comb the web for great articles. One I recently came across which is a wonderful article introducing you to the benefits of site search reports was written by Rachel Anderson for the Search Engine Journal. You should definitely bookmark it!

2 responses to “Understanding Google Analytics – Site Search”

  1. Tim Leighton-Boyce Avatar

    I wish I could learn to write such short and to-the-point articles. I think you make the key point right there when you say that Site Search Reports show “how people are discovering content on your site, what they are looking for, and how well your content is tagged/organized”. Addressing those topics is indeed a challenge. I’ve made some suggestions in post on the same theme here, if you’ll permit the link dropping:



    1. Dan Soschin Avatar

      Thanks for note Tim! Since I REALLY value brevity when it comes to research/analysis. I have tried to adhere to the mission of “keeping it short and simple”. Even when it comes to dissecting complex topics.

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