Analytics | October 23, 2014

How to Use Site Search to Grow Your Website

No matter how well your website works, there is almost always room for improvement. The battle isn’t over simply by getting visitors to your website, you need to find out how they are interacting with your website in order to make the most of their visit.
One of the best ways to learn about how your visitors are digging deeper is to utilise Google’s site search. This can give you a lot of direct information about what they are searching for which is extremely useful for helping to grow your website.

How site search helps

People who are using site search are no longer looking for a broad range of results from anywhere on the internet. They’ve narrowed down exactly what they want, picked your website as a trusted source and are now using your website’s search tool to dig deeper.
It is these on-site searches that can provide some vital data that can help you alter your website in order to maximise your company’s profits. Each time someone enters a keyword in your on-site search box, this data is stored in Google Analytics and can be interpreted to further understand your audience.

Ways to use this information

With a well-positioned and efficient search bar, you are likely to have many of your visitors utilising this feature. This will allow you to do many things, including:
• Spot common themes – if one item is commonly being searched for, it may mean that it isn’t easy to find on your website despite being in demand. By placing these items on the front page or higher in the navigation bar you can help to improve your sales.
• Find gaps in your product selection – are people regularly searching for items you don’t sell? Take note of this and include it in your inventory, after all there is proven demand.
• Determine issues with certain landing pages – do most of the search enquiries happen on a certain landing page? Figure out why that is, is the page over optimised? Are the products not easy to find through this page? Take a look and fix the problem.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be encouraging the use of the site search however, these are just some of the ways that you can maximise the impact of the search.

More conversions with site search

Just a quick look into Google Analytics will show you the vast difference between visitors using site search and those without. The difference is phenomenal, with a drastically increased conversion rate from all sessions using this function, which you can see produces a much higher revenue. While this is primarily because these users are much further down the buying funnel, it is also because they are quickly and easily able to find exactly what they are looking for on your website.
It is the data in the ‘Pages’ section that should be of the most interest to you, as it will help to highlight potential problems and the most in-demand items on your website.
For example here we can see that many of the searches come from the checkout page, suggesting that many people get all the way to this stage and remember they wanted something else as well. By adding features that combat these issues or rewriting poor landing pages, you are likely to see a positive impact on your sales.
By carefully managing your site search and making changes when they are necessary, you will be able to help grow your business at a much faster rate. These are extremely valuable insights and with a bit of understanding you can use them to make your business boom.

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