WordPress: Track Site Search Terms with Google

Most of us know we can use Google Analytics to see what search terms are bringing people into our site. But once they’ve arrived, how do we know what searches they perform while on our site? Google has a nifty tool called Google Site Search that can help you read your visitor’s minds track site searches by showing you exactly what visitors are entering via your WordPress search widget.

Knowing those keywords and search phrases is golden information! Over time you can use these search insights to change your site’s organization and help connect visitors to the content they want.

In 5 minutes, I’ll show you how to track your WordPress site searches with Google Site Search.

The rest of this post assumes you have a Google Analytics account set up and running on your site.

Go to your Google Analytics Account

Log into Google Analytics and select your site profile. From there, click on the Admin tab.

Google Analytics - Admin Tab

You’ll see a sub-tab for Profile Settings. Click on that to bring up the Edit Web Profile Information screen.

You’re Almost Done

These instructions are so easy I couldn’t draw them out if I wanted! Scroll down to the bottom the Edit screen to the Site Search Settings. For Pete’s sake, click the radio button to track Site Search!

Next you need to enter a query parameter. On a typical WordPress site, the query parameter is simply the letter “s”.

Track Site Search - Google

How can I be sure that’s the query parameter for my WordPress site??

If you go to your WordPress site and do a search via the search widget, you’ll notice the URL of the results page will look something like http://www.yourdomain.com/?s=search-phrase. Whatever’s happening between the ? and the = is your query parameter!

Wait for the results to come rolling in

It can take up to 48 hours for Google to starting tracking your site search, so be patient, grasshoppa. Of course, the more traffic your site gets, the more (and better) results you’ll have to go on.

To check the results, go back to your Google Analytics account. Go  to Content > Site Search to get the scoop on search terms people use on your site!

Google Analytics Site Search Overview

Now you’re ready to track searches on your WordPress site! If you need any additional info, here’s the official article from Google on how to Set Up and Configure Site Search.

 

Comments

  1. says

    This is a pretty cool trick, and a good indicator not only of stuff you have that might be hard to find but also of stuff you don’t have that you need to have.