After a tremendous response from my last post about on site search (5 comments, that's what I'm talkin' about!) I felt compelled to write you another post, going into how your on site search can be CRITICAL to your website.
For the purpose of this blog post, I'm going to assume you have a Wordpress blog or site. If not, the principles still apply.
Did you know that every Wordpress installation comes standard with an on site search function? It does. You may have changed the theme, but you can add a search function widget to your sidebar or where ever you want (the typical location is the top right of your pages by the way).
Why is it important to have a search function on your site?
1. Users who haven't been to your site before may not understand how to find the content they are looking for, and they expect to be able to find it through your on site search function.
2. Using analytics, you can track and measure what keywords people are using in your on site search box.
3. After analyzing your on site search keywords in analytics, you can make important decisions on what content should go on your home page, as well as your other main pages, so that your users will convert
How do you implement site search in Google analytics?
1. Go to Analytics Settings>Edit
2. Under Main Website Profile Information, click on 'edit'
3. Click on the radio button that says: 'Do Track Site Search'
At this point you are asked for your 'query paramter'. For Wordpress, this is usually '?s=' or '?q=', (if you do a search on our blog, our query parameter is '?s=') so you would just copy the query parameter into the box, leave the default radio button checked on for "No, do not strip query parameters out of the URL" and hit Save.
There. You have set up your on site search, and you're on your way to the next installment of On Site Search. Stay tuned for On Site Search Seo tip #3: Finding Meaningful data from your on site search analytics.