When people interact with your website, knowing what people search for on your site is very illuminating, and important.

These visitors have already come to your site. Outside of pure web analytics (visitors, referrers, time on site, bounce rate, keywords, top landing pages, etc), they use keywords and onsite searches that explains even more “user intent” to you. Do you know what they want when visiting your site?

What can you do to track it?

If you use an existing search product (open source, Google Co-Op, Roll your own search engine), it’s straight forward to track search activity, if using Google Analytics.  Here are some instructions to set up your own site search in GA.

What you can reveal when looking at onsite user search:

  • People look for things that appear to be hard to find through the navigation structure
  • They look for things that aren’t on your website
  • They type in old product names and even your competitors’ product names
  • They don’t use the same words you do
  • People can’t spell very well… 😉


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.