Analyzing user search patterns is where search really begins to shine. Unlike any other form of website analysis, search allows you to see a free expression from yours visitors. You can then use this expression to help fine-tune your results so that people find just what they are seeking.
First, some definitions:
- Query: A query occurs when one types something into your search bar, then hits enter. A query will either return results, or not return results. It will generate a click, or it will not generate a click.
- Click: When a person makes a successful query, receives results, and clicks upon one, they register a click.
- Autocomplete: An autocomplete fills in the blanks as a searcher is looking for the right words. When a searcher finds their result before their search concludes, the partial search term is captured.
Within the Dashboard, click on Analytics under the Metrics grouping.
You can change the date range by clicking on the current date range, in the top corner of the analytics views.
You can view or export up to 90 days of data at once.
Notice above the Last 7 Days, Last 30 Days, This Month, Last Month links, there is a Live option?
Once clicked, it will bring up rich, real-time data visualizations. See queries arrive from around the world, counted over the last 24 hours, and the most popular queries of the day, ranked.
Analytics data can be exported into CSV format.
Within the Analytics view, click on Export.
You can select whether to Export All or Export Clicks.
After selection, you will be emailed a .zip file containing multiple CSVs.
Multiple files are delivered to make it easier to parse the data you would like to see.
Within each file, you can see search terms, and their respective value: clicks, queries, no clicks, and so on.
Use a spreadsheet viewer like Excel or Sheets to view and collate the data.
When you have generated enough search data, patterns begin to emerge.
Insights help you analyze and improve upon common patterns, improving the experience of the searcher.
You can view them by clicking on Insights under the Metrics grouping.
There are several different insights.
Each one that appears will provide supporting text explaining the pattern, and what you can do to improve upon it.
In the above example, there is ranked list of search terms that returned no results...
The first one is "jorb". This makes little sense! Nothing in our documentation matches the term jorb... Maybe they meant job? Either way, that does not seem to fit.
But the second and third options are intriguing: "chara" and "charac" -- it seems several people were looking for "character".
That makes more sense. Some of our materials talk about character limits. To address this, one may think of adding "chara" and "charac" as synonyms for "character".
Or, maybe the content for "character" is buried in a field that is not weighted highly. Perhaps the right idea is to create new content, titled "Character Limit", to better serve these searchers.
Each insight will provide you with the needed context, and recommended steps, so that you can apply productive solutions.
For example, if you are running a campaign to get people to donate, you have one page of utmost importance: the donation page.
You could consider tracking a conversion called donation.
Analytic data relating to the conversion will be kept in a separate view, making it easy to organize and interpret.
You will also receive insights that relate specifically to that conversion page -- which searches led people to donations, which clicks led people to donations. In this way, you can optimize for search patterns that lead to more people landing on our donations page.