How to analyze internal site search stats

Web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik outlines a five-step process to understand data about internal search engine usage on A List Apart.

Why is this important?

“Now when people show up at a website, many of them ignore our lovingly crafted navigational elements and jump to the site search box.…All the search and clickstream data you have (from Google Analytics, Omniture, WebTrends, etc.) is missing one key ingredient: Customer intent. You have all the clicks, the pages people viewed, and where they bailed, but not why people came to the site, except where your referral logs contain information from search engines. For example, you can look at the “top ten pages viewed” report in your web analytics tool and know what people saw, but how do you know what they wanted to see? Your internal site-search data contains that missing ingredient: intent. Internal search queries contain, in your customers’ own words, what they want and why they’re there. Once you understand intent, you can easily figure out whether your website has the content your users need, and, if it does, where they can actually find it.”

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One thought on “How to analyze internal site search stats

  1. Unfortunately we can’t get the nifty reports discussed in the A List Apart article for CTSI’s research services site, which uses Drupal search. About all I can tell from Google Analytics is that search results account for about 2.5% of pageviews – I’m surprised it’s that low.

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