Setting Up Site-Search Tracking In Your Analytics System
In order to achieve 'Net success, enterprises must understand how the on-site search experience they provide influences users along the conversion path, and further, how those journeys which include a search differ from those that don’t. It could make a world of difference if your enterprises is not already engaged in this practice.
Generally, merchants and information publishers that actively encourage users and visitors to search realize the importance of the capability and the strength of the corresponding feature and how it has a very positive influence on conversion rate and other performance metrics (like engagement), as users are able to find their desired product or the information they are seeking much faster/easier. It makes a great deal of sense to track, but is often low on the to-do list of 'Net professionals.
Tracking site search activity is often quite straightforward, however. While there are numerous solutions on the market catering to those looking to outsource (and vastly improve) their site search capabilities (including, Klevu, SearchSpring, Unbxd, Nextopia, Hawksearch, and SLI-Systems to name but a few), those currently using popular website analytics systems also have the ability to measure activity occuring from the search feature on their e-commerce and information-based websites.
Google Analytics users, for example, can simply turn on Site Search Tracking feature from the Admin/View Setting menu and enter the search identifier(s). Each analytics solution, of course, will have their own process for tracking site search (e.g. Google Analytics, Adobe, Piwik etc. all provide detailed information on setting up the capability on those specific platforms) as will each different CMS or e-commerce solution (e.g. Magento), so it is important to read through the available materials specific to the platform in use at your enterprise.
Indicating to the analytics system what needs to be tracked is really the only step involved, but it is what comes after that is so important - the measurement.
Tracking site search will show how people are using a website's internal search engine, and can reveal not only what keywords those visitors are using, but which keywords resulted in no results at all, the pages visitors did receive and what categories are most common (if those are available). Enterprises that track site search will be able to identify the highest volume search queries, the difference in volume between information and product searches, how site search impacts conversion or engagement metrics, the performance (CTR) of search queries and much more. And really, these data points are only the beginning
Regularly examining site search data will give you a much better understanding of how users are interacting with a website and whether search is being used as optimally as it could. Getting an overview of the type of searches that are regularly carried out on an e-commerce store or information-based website can often be quite enlightening and the sorts of queries which you might expect to have been common might not be so and, conversely, you might discover that people are searching for products or information that you don’t have or offer - which can be used to inform future strategy.
Site search is important to the success of 'Net enterprises so start tracking this core elements today.