The Power of Site Search Analysis

There are two main pillars to growing your business on the web: (1) acquiring more potential customers and (2) converting them into actual customers. For the sake of this post, we’ll assume that you’re already working on the first half of that equation. Today we’re focusing on the second half, making your site friendlier for converting your visitors into customers.

At first I considered calling this post “The Power of Site Search.” But we love analyzing things so much! That’s where the real fun is. Hopefully this post will give you some insights on how site search can impact your web business. And if your website doesn’t have a site search function, maybe I can present you with some solid reasons for why it should.

The Basics

“Ryan, what are you talking about? I search for sites all the time…that’s what Google is for.” You are correct! Site search, however, is the function of searching once you’re already on a website. You do it all the time. Amazon and eBay taught us that when we can’t find what we want on a site, we should abandon our navigational behavior and head to the search bar.

Do you capture that data on your own site? And if so, what do you do with it?


If you have a site search bar on your website, it’s likely that you can easily collect that data through Google Analytics. It’s a relatively easy function to set up (under Admin and Settings), but if you’re not sure how, here’s a helpful article, and you’re welcome to email us for a quick check-in helper. Once that’s set up, you should start seeing queries in your Google Analytics reports under the Behavior > Site Search > Overview menu.  It may look something like this:

site search analysis data - Pryor Consultation

Site Search Analysis (SSA)

Alright! You’ve got some data! Excellent! Exclamation Point.

But what can it tell you? Here are a few quick things to consider:

  • Do the terms appearing in your list indicate that people are often looking for something that should be easy to find?

  • Are there terms that relate to products/services you don’t have? It may be an indication of where you could expand your offerings, or you may need to be clearer about what you don’t offer to avoid buyer confusion.

  • Are the behavior metrics indicating that people are searching over and over again, unable to find the results they want? It may be time to re-examine your site search engine...they are not all created equal.

  • Are people searching and then leaving the site? Again, maybe the engine isn’t helpful. Or worse, maybe something is broken that you don’t know about!

These are just some simple suggestions to get you going. Depending on the size of your site and your users’ behavior, site search analysis can prove to be essential as you craft the user experience of your website. At Pryor Consultation, it’s just one of the tools that we use with our clients as we help them turn their web presence into a growing asset for their business. To learn more about how we can help you improve customer acquisition and conversion through your website, contact us today. We’d be glad to chat through the unique challenges and solutions of your situation!