What you can learn from your own site search


If your website has a search facility – and it should – are you able to see what people are looking for? It can be quite illuminating. Most site search systems can be linked to Google Analytics, although you’ll need to do some setting up there first.

Be careful you don’t misinterpret the results, however. There are some people who visit a site and immediately hit the search box, but the vast majority of visitors just start clicking around. Therefore we can assume that people using the search are those who eventually do so because they can’t find what they’re looking for. And it’s quite possible that they can’t find it because the stuff isn’t actually on the site, as you don’t sell it. More people than you think end up on your site in error.

Where we can learn is when something we do sell appears in the site search. This suggests that people are finding it difficult to track down by clicking around, and maybe it needs better signposting, perhaps even a home page link. For this reason alone, it’s worth ensuring you can see what people are searching for within your site.

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