Marketer looking at analytics

May 31, 2024

Allison Miriani


5 min. read

Site search data is an often overlooked goldmine of information for digital marketing teams. Site search data fills in the blanks with insights to help you better understand your audience, focus on the topics that resonate with them and refine your content strategy. Read on to learn seven lessons your site search data can teach you.

1. Visibility Check: Is Your Content Truly Discoverable?

Metric to Watch: Queries

Screenshot of site search dashboard showing the keywords searched for most often.
Every search query is a direct expression of user intent. The collected search terms data highlights the most popular topics, content or products related to your organization or website. 

Imagine the power of highlighting these popular results on your main page or search page, making valuable information easily accessible. You can also use query data to determine if there are any content gaps that need to be addressed.

For example, if there’s a high number of queries related to a specific service or topic that’s not adequately covered on your website, you’ve uncovered a content gap. Marketers can use this information to prioritize what content to produce to help meet their users’ needs, and ultimately, improve the user experience.

2. User Insights: Deciphering Needs Through Keywords

Metric to Watch: Keywords

Keywords can reveal the major topics that are important to your users. This helps provide insight into what users consider to be the most important.

 Keywords can also illustrate the different ways users may be searching for similar things, and it can be a clue to what users may be searching for in major search engines, such as Google. This can help you find new keywords to prioritize to optimize for SEO effectively. 

3. Conversions: Turning Searches into Success

Metric to Watch: Conversions

What defines a conversion will vary across websites and industries, but their significance remains universal. Whether it’s a new patient making an appointment on a health website, time spent reading a particular piece of content, or subscribing to a SaaS company newsletter, tracking conversions helps pinpoint the most valuable queries. 

If certain searches are successful and lead to conversions, try making that content more visible. You can do this by featuring that content in call-to-action buttons or links on important pages, or even by promoting it on the search results page. 

A solution like SearchStax Site Search also makes it easier to promote certain content pieces without needing to push code. Below, you can see how two pages have been “promoted” to show at the top of the results page when someone searched for “Solr Solution” on SearchStax’s website. 

Because our past data has shown that people are often searching for the cost of that solution, we share the pricing page first. Another article that visitors often find useful is the Managed Solr vs. Do-It-Yourself blog. By promoting it, we ensure that it is always one of the top results when someone searches for “Solr Solution.”

A screenshot showing a search for the query "solr solution" and the page results that were returned.

4. Clear Headlines: A Big Impact for Relevant Content

Metric to Watch: Click-Through-Rate

The click-through-rate refers to the percentage of clicks based on the number of times the result appeared in searches. A low CTR could indicate that the results are not useful or relevant to your users. It may indicate the need to refine content or relevancy gaps. 

In this case, marketers can think through search intent and what a user would be looking for when typing in specific queries. Marketers should make sure the website has relevant content that matches the user’s query and that the headline and summary of the content clearly explains what the user will find upon clicking. This relevance can significantly boost your CTR.

5. Validation Wins: When Users Click, You're on the Right Track

Metric to Watch: Results that were Most Clicked

The metrics don’t lie – when users consistently click on specific results, it’s a clear signal of content relevance. This user engagement offers a powerful feedback loop, confirming that your content strategy is on point. 

To capitalize on this, consider highlighting these popular items more prominently on your site, ensuring that your most valuable content continues to receive the visibility it deserves.

This is also an opportunity to think about your most-clicked content’s place and function in your conversion path. Are there tweaks you can make to the page to capture an email address or get a visitor to schedule a demo? Your Most Clicked site search data can lead you on a path to conversion rate optimization.

6. Identifying Content Gaps: Discover the Pages You Need to Create

Metric to Watch: No Result Searches

Screenshot of site search dashboard showing search terms people searched for that returned no results.

No result searches aren’t just dead ends; they’re opportunities to bridge content or relevance gaps. Your users are searching for something, and they will leave your site if you aren’t providing them that content. 

Analyze the no result searches, and consider enhancing your site’s search functionality with features like autocorrect, synonyms, and other relevant suggestions. 

Simultaneously, use these insights to guide new content creation, ensuring that your site evolves in sync with your users’ needs and that your number of no result searches begin to decline. This indicates that you’re effectively closing content gaps and that users are more efficiently discovering the content they need.

7. Watching Exit Rates: Transforming the Search Experience

Metric to Watch: Search Exit Rate

The search exit rate measures the percentage of sessions that ended from the search page –  often after performing an unsuccessful search. This metric can help show how satisfied or unsatisfied users are with their search experience. 

If users exit the page immediately after an unsuccessful search, it’s a red flag. The whole point of site search data informing your content strategy is to reduce user friction and to close the gap between visitors and the content they need. A high search exit rate means your strategy is missing the mark.

Enhance accuracy, provide related search suggestions, and elevate user engagement to prevent users from leaving the search page dissatisfied.

Where to Find Your Site Search Data

So, where do you actually find this trove of site search data? A dedicated site search function can give you valuable insights into your users’ needs and help to define your strategy. These analytics go beyond what traditional tools like Google Analytics can offer. 

Although Google Analytics provides essential metrics for marketers, these analytics tell only a portion of your audiences’ story. Use internal site search analytics to understand your audience and make sure your website and online presence can’t be ignored. 

Learn more about how easy it is to analyze your search data using SearchStax Site Search. 

By Allison Miriani

Director of Growth Marketing

"The metrics don't lie – when users consistently click on specific results, it's a clear signal of content relevance."

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