are you tracking site search with google analytics?

by Steve LaLonde – PPC Manager at DragonSearch          

By now you’re already aware that Google Analytics is an extremely powerful web analytics platform. Today, I’d like to point out one of its more under-utilized features; site search tracking, and why you should definitely be using it.  

analytics site search

So Google Analytics gives us the option of tracking site search.  In other words, you can track the search queries users type into your websites search box (provided your website has a search box).   Best of all, site search tracking is usually pretty easy to setup.  If your site has a search function, you’ll certainly want to enable the site search tracking function in Analytics. 

But why track site search -?  you may ask.  Well, the answer is simple!  In essense, by using your site search, your visitors are telling you, in their own words, exactly what they’re looking for, after they reach your site!   This info is literally priceless to PPC folks, Website Optimizing folks, and pretty much everyone else who has a vested interest in a particular site.  

Imagine all that you’ll learn about your site visitors and their intentions, by tracking and analyzing this data.   

So how do you set it up?  We’ve provided the basic steps here. 

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Basic Instructions:

1). First, you’ll need determine whether or not your site has a search function.  If you see a search box on your website, move on to step two.  :)

2). Next, you’ll want to login to your GA profiles’ settings, and click “Do track Site Search”.  Finally, you’ll need to enter a category parameter in the blank field. These are the letters that designate an internal query category.  You may be able to find these by searching for something on your site, and analyzing the URL this search returns.  

3). You’ll then have the option of stripping out these category parameters.   

4). Click ‘Save Changes’ and you’re all set.  

You should start seeing some site search data in GA, under the Content Tab in your analytics profile!   

Let the mining of precious data begin!   


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