Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been a hot topic for many years and will stay that way. It’s a big, wide ranging topic. One area that gets too little attention but can pay off HUGE is your on-site search. Think of this as internal SEO.

As a business owner, you should be thinking about your site visitors. What do they want? Can they find it easily? How can I make it easier for them to buy from me?

Google Analytics, when properly configured, will track on-site search. You’ll find several pieces of very helpful and actionable data in the Google Analytics reports.

Let’s start with maybe the most important, conversion rate. You have a website to sell. The more people that buy, the more revenue you generate. The conversion rate is a measurement of how many visitors buy. Technically, it is the number of visitors who buy divided by the number of visitors.

On-site search converts visitors into buyers at 5-10 times the rate of non-search visitors.

on-site search conversion rate

For this client, visitors who do not search convert at 1.49%. This is a pretty normal average conversion rate. Visitors who do search convert at 11.56%. An increase of 7.7 times.

These visitors are already on your site. Whatever marketing you’ve done, dollars you’ve spent, etc has done its job and that expense has been spent. Now is the time to convert this traffic. Time to get your ROI up.

Why do on-site search visitors convert so much better?

  • On-site search gets them to what they wanted quick and simple so they could purchase.
    (navigating categories takes longer and can be confusing)
  • They are more engaged with your business and your website.
  • They already know what they want to buy and just need to find it.

For these reasons, these visitors are different than regular site traffic. They are highly motivated to buy. On-site search makes it easier for them to find and buy what they already know they want to buy from you.

What do you do with this information?

Make site search highly visible. These are highly valuable visitors. Don’t lose them just because they cannot find your search option.

The other actionable data you get from on-site search is you’ll get to see the search terms visitors are using.

on-site search keyword report

This is not how people found your site but what they are searching for when already on your site. This gives you the clear intend of what visitors want. With this data, you can improve the performance of your website. How?

  1. Add items that fit what people are looking for.
    They are already on your site, so you do not need to do anything different from a marketing perspective. Just provide them what they want.
  2. Reduce search exit rates
    In the image above, those searching for “stoves flue pipes” exited the site 83.87% of the time after searching. This indicates they did not find what they wanted. If you have products that should match this search, maybe you have not used these words in your products and descriptions, so they are not showing up in the results. Tweak your products so they do show up in a search. Then monitor this search term over time to see if that exit percentage drops.
  3. Run revenue report to find opportunities.
    on-site search revenue
    A custom report showing revenue and percent search exists can be a gold mine of opportunity. Searches with 100% exit is an opportunity to provide a solution to your site visitor. Check your on-site search results. Do you have a product that should show up but doesn’t? Find out why and fix it. You could turn these visitors who current exit your site into happy customers.
    Look at your top revenue generating keywords. Is there an opportunity to improve? Can you offer up-sells on these products? Can you offer a higher priced option?

Using on-site search reports in Google Analytics will improve your website performance. You just need to know where to look to find the valuable and actionable data. Then make changes and measure the results. Repeat this over and over throughout the year and you just might be amazed at the results.

Contact us to learn how we can help you to be more successful.