Install Google Analytics Site Search In 5 Steps
Ian Lurie Nov 4 2007
On Friday, Google added Site Search to Google Analytics. Site search lets you track the phrases visitors use in your onsite search tool, as opposed to the search phrases they use on search engines.
This information is gold: If you know what folks are looking for on your site, you can make sure it’s available from your home page, increase conversion rates, and have happier visitors.
Setting it up is a cinch – far easier than the roundabout hack I created a few months ago. It takes only 5 very easy steps:
Step 1: Log In To Google Analytics
If you don’t already have a Google Analytics account, you’ll need to create one. You can follow my video tutorial here.
Step 2: Edit the Profile
Click ‘Edit’ next to the profile to which you’ll add site search:
Step 3: Click Edit Again
Yup, I know, it’s an extra step. But it’s an easy one. On the Profile Settings page, click ‘edit’:
Step 4: Add Site Search
On the Profile Information page, click ‘Do Track Site Search’.
As soon as you do that, the Query Parameter form will appear:
If you’re not familiar with the term ‘query parameter’, the next step is a bit tricky, but doable…
Step 5: Enter the Query Parameter
First, you’ll need to figure out what the query parameter is:
- Open a new browser window or tab.
- In that window, open your site.
- In the search box on your site, search for ‘klatuberada’. (Use whatever you want – I just like that phrase.)
- Cut and paste the URL of the search results page into a text editor.
- In the URL, find the phrase you searched. You’ll see something like this:http://www.conversationmarketing.com/searchresults.htm?cx=007596975322806826722%3Afgregcj2pqy&cof=FORID%3A11&q=klatuberada&sa.x=0&sa.y=0&sa=SearchIn this case, the query parameter is the letter ‘q’. Ignore everything else.
Enter the query parameter into the site search form:
Don’t worry about any of the other fields just yet.
That’s it – you’re done. Click ‘save’, and Google Analytics will start tracking site search phrases.
Tomorrow, I’ll talk a bit about what you can do with the site search data that Google Analytics provides.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint.He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More