90% of all purchases will be online in the next nine years, meaning over 80% of users will be shopping online (Source: Oberlo). As the magnitude of the eCommerce site sales will exponentially increase in the coming years, it seems reasonable to have a site search option on your website. Site search helps customers navigate easily and find what they are looking for and shows them similar products.


Image Credits: Add Search

Once you know how to tap into the user search preference, you can better understand what your audiences want. Today, we will discuss an important question from Google Analytics Individual Qualification Exam 2021 i.e.:


What Feature Is Required to Track Customer Search Terms on A Website?


  1. Data Import
  2. Enhanced Ecommerce
  3. Search filters
  4. Site Search



Site Search allows you to understand the users on your website by analyzing to what extent users take advantage of the search function on your website. You will learn which search terms users enter, what search results are shown, and how effectively the search results improve engagement with your website. Therefore, having a search box on your website and tracking how visitors use it provides important insights into user intent.

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Now, let’s take a closer look at site search and why it is essential to track.

What is Site Search?

The site search feature on Google Analytics allows you to understand the search intent of your website visitors. It tells you exactly what they are looking for by analyzing the search terms they enter in the search bar. Thus, the site search feature is essential to enhance the overall user experience of your website and tells you how to optimize website content and structure to satisfy the users. 

When people search on your website, the search terms are available in query parameters appended to the website URL. So, by analyzing the report, you can easily understand what terms are being searched for. 


What Can You Track Using Site Search?

In Google Analytics, you can track the following important data using the “site search” feature:

  • Start Page – Web page(s) where the user started a search on your website
  • Search Terms – Terms used by the website visitors to find what they are looking for
  • Result Page – The web page(s) users see after clicking on the search results on the search destination page
  • Search categoriesavailable on the website to the visitors
  • Effectiveness of the search results in driving sales, conversions, and user engagement

All of this information tells you what to add to your website, i.e., the missing content that many users searched for but is not present or accessible on your website. Plus, with the help of a site search report, you can improve the search results based on the important key phrases. You can also identify new keywords for your upcoming marketing campaigns.


Why Has Site Search Become So Important?

Site search has become very important for website owners today. It is a simple yet effective way to decode and understand the visitor’s behavior and search intent. It also gives valuable insights to differentiate among different types of site users. Moreover, with the help of site search analysis, you can attract more visitors and lead to your products and services. According to statistics, site search is 1.8x more effective at increasing conversion rates. So, if you show the user exactly what they are looking for, there is a high chance of a conversion.


How Can Site Search Retain Customers?

Did you know: As many as 68% of shoppers would not return to a site that provided a poor search experience (Source: Add Search). Online shoppers are impulsive and frivolous. They buy what they can find easily and quickly. If your website starts acting up or does not show them what they want, the end-user will leave disappointed. This is where site search can help you.

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You should optimize the site search on your website to recognize the users’ search intent. Even when the user enters a synonym, your search tool should present the user with the desired search results. Therefore, it is crucial to identify and record all the colloquial terms and include autosuggest. This will hasten the purchase cycle and keep the customer coming back!


How To Set Up Site Search?

Here is how you can enable site search feature on Google Analytics:

1.To set up site search, you should have administrator rights. Go to the Admin section and under the view column, click on View Settings.

2.Scroll down to Site Search Settings and switch the Site Search Tracking toggle to ON.

3.Now, enter the query parameter field. It is the parameter that your website uses in the URL when users search on your website. This is usually designated by a “?” followed by a letter or a word and then “=” sign before the search term. You can also remove this parameter from the report by checking the Strip query parameters out of URL to eliminate any duplicate data in the reports.

4.If you have search categories on your website, you can also enable the Site Search Categories option.

5.Finally, click Save.

Now, Google Analytics will generate your site search report. You can view and track the new metrics of site search report under Behavior. The Overview report shows how many visitors viewed your site and used site search within the reported time period.


One of the primary purposes of website search analytics is to track what the users on your website are. This is in backbone information helps you build a better website and reach your digital marketing goals. Today site search has evolved exponentially. Understanding user search preferences will help you learn what your audience wants from you. Thus, site search can have a huge impact on the success of your online store. It can push your website to attract more leads and improve conversion rates. Tap on the site search feature in Google Analytics and get ready to optimize your site!

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