Many people don’t realize they are overlooking a key subset of valuable information: the search data contained within their own website. Once you figure out how to pull such reports and really dive into the data, it will feel like a new world is open to you! Analyzing web traffic is critical for so many reasons, but one area that sometimes gets overlooked is what visitors are searching for. Applying those insights to your online and content efforts can yield great rewards – if you pay attention!
First, how do you find the data? Your site search might be provided and managed by your own web platform, in which case you can probably pull reports from your CMS reporting tool. You can also always use Google Analytics. Here are some simple instructions for going that route. You’ll first need to ensure site search is enabled within the “View Settings” portion of GA. Another option is a third party site search vendor. There are plenty of them to decide amongst, from Amazon Cloudsearch to Nextopia. Some are better suited to ecommerce sites, and won’t perform as well for the legal industry. Others are geared toward B2B marketing and might be a better fit. If you haven’t yet installed a site search provider, we can help you choose one that will provide the most beneficial results for your firm. If you’re already leveraging a third-party solution, there will be a reporting function where you can pull vast amounts of data on the searches performed.
So, you’ve pulled the reports. Now, how can you use site search to improve content strategy?
- Ramp up your home page. Find the top searches and make sure those terms are incorporated into home page content. You can assume top-searched words and terms are at the forefront of your prospects’ or clients’ minds, so get the information front and center and make these items stand out. Consider adding a homepage slider, or content block featuring a video.
- Create valuable content. Again, anything that is showing a trend in search is likely to be important information to your website visitors. These insights are valuable in terms of additional content that can be created to market your services. For example, if you see people consistently searching a legal ruling, perhaps consider writing a white paper on it and featuring it prominently on the site.
- Makeover your navigation. Site search can give us great clues about what people are not finding. If it looks like people are searching some items that you know are a few clicks into the site, maybe that’s a sign that they need to be easier to find. Anything related to popular searches should not be buried – that might mean moving some things around. Making the content that your visitors are looking for more accessible will encourage them to stay on your site longer, improving your SEO.
- Keep improving results. Once in a while, you should pull the report for most searched terms or phrases, and then see what is showing under the results. You might be surprised. If something is showing that shouldn’t be, fix that. Likewise, if there are things that should be showing and aren’t, add them. Lastly, take the time to optimize any of the content for online (not site) search. You can assume the most searched items are popular for a reason, so adding key terms so that they can be found by search engines will help your overall ranking.
There are even more cool things you can do with site search insights – and we’d love to share them with you! Reach out to one of our experts if you are considering a third-party site search vendor, or if you need some help in-house making the most of your data. There is a wealth of information at your fingertips with site search – mine it!