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March 30, 2008

Quick Analytics Tip - Enable Site Search Tracking

By Alex Cohen

Hey, this is Alex from Digital Alex.  I'm writing some quick analytics tips for Search Marketing Gurus.  This simple and actionable advice help you get the most out of your analysis.

Chances are that your website has a search box.  That box is a gold mine of data.  It helps you learn what people are looking for and the actual words they use.  With this information you can:

  • Find new words for your paid search campaigns
  • Get ideas for SEO keywords
  • Learn what your visitors want and where your navigation falls short

If you use Google Analytics, setting this up is pretty simple. 

  1. Login and find the profile you want. 
  2. On the Analytics Setting screen, click "Edit" under the Settings column.
  3. Click "Edit" on the right side of the Main Website Profile Information


  • Now, scroll down to the Site Search section and enable it "Do Track..."
  • Enter the query parameter your site uses to note the search term in the URL.

    For example, when you search for "multivariate" on my blog, the URL looks like this:


    Thus, I use "s". 

Now you'll be able to learn which terms people use when searching on your site.  Google Analytics provides a whole host of other stats too.  Don't be afraid to ask your analytics provider how you can get this data.

For Search Marketing Gurus, Alex Cohen of Digital Alex.


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