Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools for your website. It’s widely regarded as the industry standard, and data from GA provides a wealth of statistics about your visitors, most notably: the pages visited on your site, referring sources, and interaction with the various sections of your website. We’ve previously talked about Advanced Segments and how to configure them. Today, we are going to enable a little feature that isn’t on by default: Site Search.
If you have a search form on your site, Site Search is for you. Google Analytics Site Search will track your users’ search terms, time on site after searching, number of pages visited after searching, and number of results found. To enable this optional feature, sign into Google Analytics and visit your property. Click on Admin. You will see your Account, Property, and View. Underneath View, click View Settings. Change the Site search Tracking to “On”. Add in your site’s query parameter (fancy jargon for the prefix to your searches). If you are using WordPress, this is normally just “s”. Save and voila – you will begin collecting data on your visitor’s searches!
To see your Site Search data in Google Analytics, navigate to: Behavior » Site Search » Overview.
I’ve found Site Search to be helpful in a few ways:
- The obvious: discover what your users are interested in finding (some of these will surprise you!)
- The ability to target specific search results pages with coding or ads
- Determining how users who search convert to a specific activity or goal
So go ahead, turn on Site Search and grab some extra data (because everyone loves data)!
I’m sure most if not all of you know about the awesome tool that is Google Analytics. It’s free, there are multiple wonderful plugins to integrate it with WordPress (I use Yoast’s plugin), and when used correctly, you can track all kinds of interactions with your website.
One of the easy features to implement is the Advanced Segment feature. Advanced Segments require no updates to the Analytics code on your site, only a little bit of configuration within Google Analytics. I use Advanced Segments for a variety of things, but one important use is to track how readers from a specific referring source interact with your website.
Creating an Advanced Segment
Let’s say I want to see how readers from Pinterest interact with my website. First, log in to Google Analytics and access your website profile. Click on Add Segment.
Click the red New Segment button and give your segment a name. We’ll call ours “Pinterest Visits”. Select Traffic Sources. In the Source field, leave the condition as “contains” and in the value field type pinterest.com. Click save.
Now, navigate back to your Google Analytics dashboard. Click on the Add Segment button again. Search for pinterest, find your recently added segment, and click apply.
Your Dashboard will now show you how “All Sessions” and “Pinterest Visits” stack up to each other!
Analyzing Data with Advanced Segments
Now to take it even further, let’s say you sell a product and have a checkout page on your site. If people successfully check out, they are taken to a “thank you” page. That thank you page represents your sales conversion page. With Advanced Segments you can now see how many visitors from Pinterest are converting into sales.
Navigate to Behavior » Site Content » All Pages. In the search field, type /thank-you/ (or the slug of your order success page) and click the magnifying glass. Voila! Data showing you how many sales conversations you received from Pinterest visitors.
Of course, this is also useful for other page views, such as how many visitors are viewing your contact page, and other referring sources, such as external advertising you might purchase. Coming soon, we will talk about Google Analytics Event Tracking and how to combine Event Tracking with Advanced Segments, which is where the real fun comes in!
So have I inspired you to try out Advanced Segments? How will you apply them to your site analytics?