When people come to your site, it can be really hard to know why they are there.  The truth is the average conversion rate on e-commerce sites is only around 2-3%...and that's on sites that are specifically built to sell stuff.  So, what happens to the other 97%?  Why were they there?  Did they find what they were looking for?  If not, why not?  Is the content they are looking for even on your site?  If so, are they able to find it easily?

Keywords that bring users to the site via search engines can help, but visitors are prone to being vague when they use search engines.  But, there's one place to go for insights into why visitors are on your site that gets overlooked.  It's a place where your site visitors become much more precise about their browsing intent.  It's your site search data.  No, not the keywords they used in search engines to find your site.  It's the phrases they used to search ON your site after they arrived.

You don't have a site search box on your site?  That's a BIG no-no.  Around 80% of Web use starts with a search. Web users even type full URLs into search boxes instead of directly into the browser address bar.  The bottom line is that people are programmed to use search on the web whether it's a search engine or business website.  They don't want to look around.  They don't want to think about how to find what they're looking for.  They want it delivered to them.  That little box on your site is MUCH more important than you think it is, as it can be a very helpful tool for growing your business outcomes.  Why?  Because it's about the best place you can go online to learn what your users want in their own words.


Search Boxes.png

Most analytics vendors now provide a feature that collects and delivers your site search data to you in a report, making it easier than ever to get your hands on this golden data.  The sad thing is that most analytics profile owners are so unaware of site search analytics that they don't even have data collection turned on (Google Analytics).  But if you are undertaking any kind of site optimization from content development to information architecture to linking structure, site search analytics can help immensely in making your website a better customer service tool to improve your bottom line.

So, make sure you jump into your profile and keep reading along with future posts about how to take advantage of this valuable data.

August 26, 2011

Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.

Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

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Search Engine Guide > Mike Fleming > Site Search Analytics: What Your Customers Want...In Their Own Words