Find out what your visitors are searching for on your blog

written by Marie Last updated on October 1, 2018

Published on October 9, 2017

Find out what your visitors are searching for on your blog! Track internal site search. This tutorial only takes 5 minutes to do, and everything you need to do is add a filter in Google Analytics! Blog search

Hello, everyone! Did you know that you can spy on your visitors and save everything they write in the search bar of your blog? All you need to do is enable the option in Google Analytics! In this article, I will guide you step by step to show you how to find the searches that are made on your blog!

 

What you will get after this tutorial

Every time someone does a search on your blog, such as:

The search will be tracked, so the word “Facebook” in our case will be saved and displayed in your dashboard on Google Analytics.

Here’s what you’ll get on Google Analytics (GA) once you’ve completed this tutorial:

site-search-google-analytics

I took this screenshot in Behavior > Site Search > Overview. As you can see, people have done some research on my blog!

 

Why analyze what people are looking for?

By knowing this data, you will know a bit more what people have in mind when they visit your blog. Also, you will see what they use as keywords in the search bar and if they managed to find what they wanted.

You can do this tutorial without changing anything on your blog. All the work we need to do is on Google Analytics.

 

How to analyze research

Structure of your blog searches

This feature of saving searches is not enabled per default on Google Analytics. Why ? Because websites have different ways of performing searches. GA, therefore, doesn’t know how the search works on your blog, you have to tell him! We will figure it out together.

Find your structure

  1. Go to your blog and do a search that will return a blog post. For example, I used “Facebook.”
    blog search - Facebook Search
  2. Then look at the URL your blog gets after a search. I got:
    girlknowstech.com/?s=Facebook

    The two most common options on blogs are:

    Query Parameters

    This is a parameter, a letter, or a word, passed as a result of a question mark, like this:

    girlknowstech.com/?s=Facebook

    In my case, it’s the letter “s” that interests us here! That’s the word/letter we will need in Google Analytics. The one after the question mark (?), but before the equal (=)!

    Path Parameters

    It looks like this:

    girlknowstech.com/search/Facebook

    Depending on the behavior of your blog, you will have to do different manipulations. This tutorial already explains how to do when his blog uses the search with “paths parameters”, so you can read it here.

Enable Google Analytics Search Analysis

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account
  2. Make sure you select the correct view where you want to change the configuration, like this:
    blog search - view google analytics
  3. In the left bar, click on “Administration”
  4. Then, in the “View” menu click “View Settings” (you could also change the view directly here)
    blog search - admin google analytics
  5. In the “Site Search Settings” section, activate the “Site Search Tracker” as shown in the screenshot below:
    blog search - site search settings
  6. In the “query parameter” field, enter the letter or word we found in step 2 on the search structure on your blog. For me, it was s.
  7. I advise you to check the box “Strip query parameters out of the URL”.
    What this option does is classify the various searches to avoid having hundreds of lines in your statistics that give the same search results.
  8. Click on save, and that’s it!

On-Site Search Categories: You can enable this option if your blog makes it possible to search by category. A bit like an advanced search, the visitor can choose the category of his choice and then enter a keyword to search in the category in question.

This is not the case for most blogs, so I will not talk about it in this article!

Conclusion

It will take up to 24 hours before your visitors’ searches are displayed in your dashboard on Google Analytics. Don’t lose hope; it will come!

Are you looking forward to knowing what your visitors are searching for on your blog?

 

Find out what your visitors are searching for on your blog! Use Google Analytics to know what they write in the search bar #googleanalytics

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6 comments

Christina Beauchamp October 10, 2017 - 2:58 pm

I’m need to learn more about the tech side of blogging so this is super helpful! I love your site!! Thank you for the stellar tips!

hugs,
Christina

Christina | Fashion & Frills

Reply
Marie October 13, 2017 - 8:33 pm

Hi Christina! You definitely are on the right blog if you want to learn more about the tech side of blogging!!
Marie

Reply
JOHN MULINDI October 12, 2017 - 12:50 am

Learned some new tips from this post. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
Élana Camille October 13, 2017 - 3:55 am

Thanks Marie! This post was really helpful! I had no idea that this could be done. I tried it right away for my own blog!

Reply
Marie October 13, 2017 - 8:31 pm

Hi Élana, always happy to help!
Marie

Reply
Health blogging checklist December 22, 2017 - 9:30 pm

[…] how to set this up with Google Analytics in your WordPress site, via my friend Marie, the girl who knows […]

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