A few months ago, I went to a friend's blog to search for a great post he had written and I had previously left a comment on. I wanted to add a link to his article in a new blog post I was working on because I knew that the information in his post would be valuable to my blog readers. It's also a great idea, in terms of SEO, to link out to high quality content in each one of your blog posts.
Well, a funny thing happened.
I tried to find the search box on his blog so I could look for the article.
But I didn't see one.
He removed the search box on his blog.
Can you imagine that?
How Will They Find It?
Personally, I don't think it's such a great idea to remove the search box from your blog. I mean after all the time and effort you put in to providing great content and helping people navigate your blog to find answers and solutions for their problems, why in Heaven's Name would you take down the search box??
It's vital to the success of your blog for you to display a search box and it's also important that you enable Site Search in Google Analytics so that you will learn what people search for on your site.
Recommended Reading: Quick and Dirty Guide to Using a Google Analytics Custom Dashboard
I also recommend that you use a Google Custom Search simply because the default WordPress search is pretty lame.
Got any questions about setting up Google Site Search on your blog? Let me know in the comments and here's more info and a blow-by-blow transcript of the video tutorial.
Hi, I'm Ileane from Basic Blog Tips
And this video you'll learn how to set up Site Search in Google Analytics so that you can have insights into what people are searching for on your blog.
Now before we go into our Google Analytics settings the first thing you're going to need is the search parameter on your blog. So go to the search box type in a query. In this case I typed in Google Analytics and up at the top of your browser in this case we’re on Google Chrome so this is considered the Omni box.
You're going to look for “q =” and that search term.
Now this might say s= or it could say “search=”
but whatever is in front of that equal sign that is your query parameter so write that down in this case it's “q” I think I can remember that.
Now we're in the Admin area of Google Analytics and you're going to go all the way down into the profile area so here's the Account – here's the Property but in this case we're going to change the settings in our Profile.
In your Profile area you're going to scroll down to the box that says Site Search Settings you're gonna click on “Do track Site Search” and you'll put whatever your search query parameter is in that box and then don't forget to save your settings.
Now this is all going to make some sense because you're going to come over into the reporting area of Google Analytics. You go to the Content Reports then you're gonna go into Site Search and reports I think are really important that you'll find some insightful information are the Search Terms. So here's a list of the things that people have come to my blog and they search for.
So of course I am totally surprised by this you know my blog focuses on blogging tips, social media and YouTube but people are searching for Android. That could be because I have some popular posts that talk about iPhones and how to blog on your iPhone so I guess people are saying “well she's got some iPhone posts maybe she's got Android information”.
And that's reinforced because I also see that they're searching for Android apps. In any event, there's one more thing that I want you to do so you can get a little bit more insight out of that report. You want to know where this traffic is coming from so you're gonna turn on a Secondary Dimension > Traffic sources and then > Source.
That's gonna really tell you something because you're gonna know if these people were already on your blog, if they came from – in this case someone came from Google they got on my blog and they searched for YouTube or it could have been direct traffic meaning that the person was already on my blog and then they did the search.
Some came from my other blog some came from YouTube, Facebook Google+ – Okay so now you're starting to get an idea of what people are searching for. Now how can this help you?
Number one it can help you with content ideas.
Like I said I know I have posts on my blog about iPhone so maybe I should start writing some posts about Android.
As long as it's related to blogging and social media it's a perfect fit for my blog the same way with the Digg Digg plugin I already have a post on that topic. So I know that the content that I'm creating these people are coming to the blog they're finding what they're looking for and, hence building more targeted traffic on the blog.
So that's how you set up Site Search in Google Analytics.
And please do me a favor, make sure that you don't listen to people that say “don't put a search box on your blog because people will get disappointed when they don't find what they're looking for.” Guess what— People are going to be disappointed when you don't have a search box on your blog! At least if you have a search box you might just have what they're looking for and then they won't be disappointed but if you don't have a search box we'll never know…
Thanks for joining me today and while you're on YouTube subscribe to my channel connect with me on my blog which is BasicBlogtips.com and you can also follow my podcast and that's the Ms. Ileane Speaks Podcast.
I'll talk to you soon thanks so much for joining me and have a great day. Peace!