Analyze Internal Search Data with Google Analytics

By September 30, 2009SEO | Inbound Marketing

Many sites have internal site search functionality which allows visitors to search for content, products and more.  Google Analytics can track these site search terms.  Analyzing this data can be beneficial for your search engine marketing campaigns.

To set up site search for a Google Analytics profile, log in and select “Edit” website profile.  Select the “Do Track Site Search” button and then enter your query parameter in the provided field.  You can determine your query parameter by going to your website and performing an internal site search.  For example in http://www.domain.com/search/?q=site%20search%20query the query parameter is “q”.  For more information on setting up Google Analytics site search check out theGA help center.  Depending on the volume of your site, give Google Analytics a few days to collect data and then analyze the data.

Access the report in the content section of Google Analytics.  Identify high volume search termsand compare these to the content currently on your site.  If you don’t already have content dedicated to these topics, consider adding new content.  This will help improve visitor retention.  Strategize on how to generate more search engine traffic from these terms.  Is paid or organic search more appropriate?  In this example, we might add a new page dedicated to area hiking including safety tips and recommended trails for all levels of hikers.  In time we would expect to start ranking in the search engines for keywords relating to [Aspen hiking] and thus we would begin to drive search engine traffic for this keyword.

Check back next week for another Google Analytics’ reporting tip.

Lindsay Reither
Director of Search Engine Marketing & Web Analytics

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