Why You Should Turn On Google Analytics Site Search Today

Google Analytics ThumbnailGoogle Analytics recently introduced an internal site search feature to its already kick-ass free stats program — aptly named “Site Search.”

This tool works with your existing site search and is invaluable to ecommerce marketers as it gives you so much insight into customer intent and your website’s success at delivering results. For example, you can use search log data to discover:

  • What keywords people search for – what’s hot and what do they want that you don’t carry
  • What search refinements are made, indicating possible “Results Not Found” messages or unsatisfactory results
  • What pages the searches were made from, and where users clicked to

The next 30 days is when this information will be crucial. Customers can’t buy what they can’t find. Maybe you only use the term “notebook computer case” and your customers search for “laptop bags.” You can tweak your product pages and search engine for the various ways customers describe your product until the right pages show up when you test your site.

You can also decide which products to feature on your home page, your ecommerce blog and email campaigns based on customer demand.

Product searches for brands, models and colors that you don’t carry can also give you an idea of what to add to your store in the future.

Site Search is disabled by default, but Google Help has a great explanation of how to enable Site Search.

It takes a few hours to start seeing data but once you’re up and running, you’ll be able to navigate through the new features from the left hand menu:

Site Search Menu

Your Site Search Overview will show you important metrics like % of visits that use site search, % search exits, % search refinements and # of unique searches and more:

Site Search Overview

You can also play around with Site Usage, Goal Conversion and Ecommerce Revenue reporting:

Site Search Usage

Site Search Ecommerce

Site Search works with whatever internal search engine you’re using. If you don’t have internal site search (I’m assuming all ecommerce sites do and if you don’t, what are you thinking?!) Google also offers a free or paid Custom Search Engine product.

Related Articles

18 Responses to “Why You Should Turn On Google Analytics Site Search Today”

  1. eCopt says:


    It’s funny you posted this, I activated a bunch of my Analytics Site Searches this past weekend. I am plowing through some of the data now, pretty interesting. i specifically like the search refinement, search depth and search exit statistics.

    The time after search is really cool, finally we can see how many of our searchers get up to use the bathroom during their visit!!

    Great post!!


  2. Thanks Matt, I bet the stats are a lot more interesting when there’s data to view, LOL.

  3. Great suggestion, thank you. I’m wondering how long this feature has been on there – feels daft to have found out from you not the Google borg!

  4. Hi Richard,

    Apparently it’s been available since October 5. I just found out this weekend myself. Guess I should subscribe to the Google Analytics Blog!

  5. eCopt says:

    At least the Analytics blog keeps up with post frequency, Base blog, and some of the others, aren’t as good at posting regularly in my opinion.

    It’s kind of hard to see down in the Analytics Content tab, you have to have an eagle eye, there’s tons of tools and data within Analytics, sometimes it’s easy to miss things!

  6. Laura says:


    Thank you for posting this information. I just went in and enabled my sites. I had no idea that Site Search was available. I am looking forward to seeing the additional data.

    I have just started reading your blog and am finding your articles very helpful.


  7. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for the comment and welcome to Get Elastic!


  8. why is the font so small??!!!

  9. Hi technology, I assume you’re referring to the screenshots at the bottom that I scaled down to fit the page. They’re much larger in real life.

  10. eCopt says:

    @ Linda – Looks like the last comment is an attempt to get a link (you nofollow right?), if so it’s not as big of a deal. On my blog, I dofollow, and generally remove the author name link and leave the comments for ones less than so many words or that have commented for the first time, just a thought.

    @ technology – It could also be that you have manually changed your browser/screen font size by holding down ctrl and scrolling your mouse wheel (unless you are talking about the screenshots, then it is most likely what Linda said).

    To change it back, hold down ctrl and scroll the wheel up or down on your mouse to see the font change. It’s a very common thing to accidentally do.

  11. @ eCopt

    Yeah I hear ya, but I’m giving the benefit of the doubt on this one. The screenshots are a bit unreadable, but your advice for “technology” is great too as that could also be the case.

  12. Megan says:

    Thanks for the information. I am going to go do this one now.


  13. Nevis1 says:

    What a great tip! I wonder how come this was not mentioned in the Google Analytics 2.0 book? I have been fooling around with a analytics tool called Woopra, but the last thing I need is another service running in the background.

    Thanks again!

  14. That’s a really cool feature. I like that it works with your own built in search tool and not just with the Google Custom Search tool. Nice find!

  15. [...] Why You Should Turn On Google Site Search Today Optimizing Site Search for Non-Product Information Crazy Ecommerce Video: Zero Results Found See all site-search articles [...]

  16. Great information, I could not live without Analytics Site Searches. I’ve used this Google tool since it was made available by Google. Another great tool is the Igoogle

  17. Great suggestion, thanks a lot.

  18. Bookmarked, I love your blog!

Leave a Reply

© 2014 Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog. All rights reserved. Site Admin · Entries RSS · Comments RSS