Being able to see what your users are searching for is very useful, because it allows you to identify:
- Topics your readers are most interested in reading.
- Better internal linking opportunities between relevant articles.
- Topics that are partially discussed elsewhere but that readers want more information on.
These allow you to put a finger on the pulse of your readers and see areas where you’re not providing what they want to read.
If you’re using Google Analytics, which you probably are, monitoring these searches is really quite easy.
Configuring Google Analytics
Head over to Google Analytics and select your website’s profile. Now click on the Admin tab in the top right, and then go to Profile Settings.
If you scroll down to the bottom of that page, you’ll find a section entitled Site Search Settings. Because Google Analytics tracks every page loaded on your site, it can identify which pages are search pages, if you just tell it what query var your site uses to identify search terms. For WordPress, it’s simply “s”. So, you’ll notice that if you search for something on your site, such as multisite, the URL of the results page will look something like http://wwww.doitwithwp.com/?s=multisite.
So, in the Google Analytics settings, turn Site Search tracking on and enter s as the query parameter. That’s it.
Now, after a few days, once Analytics has started recording the data, you can go to Reporting > Content > Site Search > Overview to get a feel for how many people are using search on your site, and what people are searching for, to allow you to better tailor your content to their needs.