Visitor Intent With Internal Site Search
Want to know what your users are looking for once they get onto your site? Want to know if they actually find what they are looking for? The Site Search reports in Google Analytics are a good place to look to help answer these questions.
You can find these reports in the Content reports section on the right of your GA interface:
These reports will show you a range of useful metrics specific to the Site Search reports, such as:
- Number of people using your site search facility vs those who didn’t
- The interaction, visitor type and conversion rates of people who searched vs those who didn’t
- The keywords and search categories they used to search on your site (make sure these are incorporated into your search engine strategy)
- The number of times they refined their search query in a session (which helps show if they found what they were looking for first time)
- The length of time they spent on the time after they searched
- The percentage of ‘searchers’ which exited the site just after searching, indicating they didn’t find what they were looking for.
Apart from the Site Search metrics in these reports, by applying custom segments to other reports in your Analytics account you can gain even more perspectives and comparisons of your web data. Below are two links to copy some basic Site Search related custom segments into your account, which will help you segment your analytics data based on whether visitors used your site search facility or not:
Setting Up Site Search Reports
If you open your Site Search reports and there is no data there, you would most likely need to still set up your Site Search (if Site Search is set up in your account and still not tracking you can always contact us for some expert assistance). This can be quite simple if your site uses parameters in the search results URL like below:
www.mysite.com/searchresults?keyword=new iphone&search_category=apple products
What you would need to do to set up the internal search features for your profile is to go to the profile settings in your Admin panel:
Scroll down to the site search settings and enter the relevant parameter names, which using the above URL example would be:
If your site search results don’t have the search details in the URL with parameters, there is a workaround for this using virtual page views to artificially insert the parameters in the page URL which is sent to Google Analytics (see below the code using our example). This would mean that while the displayed URL of the search results doesn’t hold any information of the search made, the data sent to your analytics profile does. This is however trickier to setup so if you need some expert help contact us and we will be glad to assist.
var _gaq = _gaq || ;
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/searchresults?keyword=new iphone&search_category=apple products' ]);