Site Search Tracking: See What Users Search For on Your Site

Google has encrypted the search data of your website which gives birth to the “not provided” term. You can see this on your Google Analytics account if you are using one. Statistics for this term actually rise for the past years, which become a question for marketers and online businesses. So what really is it?

It's one more feature of advertising in Google. Not provided term is actually an organic traffic in your site. Google chose to make it private to protect the identity of online users, though some says that it’s their way to drive more users to AdWords. Either way, marketers would still pursue to search for the keywords behind this so-popular, “not provided” term. In order to unveil the hidden keywords, you can use the site search tracking tool.

What Is Site Search Tracking?

Site search tracking is one of the Search engine optimization basics that enable you to see and track your visitor’s activity in your site. Using this helps you track the following activities:

  1. The search categories used by your visitors.

  2. The pages visited by your visitors.

  3. The keyword searched by visitors but provides no results.

  4. The keywords used by visitors to search topics within the site.

In order for you to get above information, enabling the site search setting is necessary.

How to Enable Site Search Tracking Setting?

Enabling your site search tracking is easy. Login to your User Panel and go to Administration. Choose Websites. You have the option to enable and disable your website’s search tracking. The admin UI looks like this:

site search tracking

How to Track Site Search Keywords?

Search site tracking provides you three ways to show your keywords. Learn about each below:

  1. Using URL Parameters

This is the default and easiest way to discover internal search keywords. Specify the URL parameter name that contains the search keyword. The default setting allows Piwik to read and look for parameters with the “k” keyword, “q” query, and “s” search.

You can also set the parameter through the Super User. Go to Administration. Click websites. At the bottom you will see the Site Search Configuration.

site search settings

You can also use below Javascript codes to track the number of the page’s search results.

  1. Using the JavaScript TrackSiteSearch() function

If using the URL parameters doesn’t work for you, Javascript could be your second option. Embed this function to your website:

piwikTracker.trackSiteSearch(keyword, category, searchCount)

It enables you to search for category and keywords. Moreover, count the search results on the page.

  1. Using Tracking API

The Tracking API is possible for advanced users only. Through the Piwik Tracking API, users can record site Search requests. There are specific parameters to use that are supported by the Tracking API.

Using the Site search tracking as part of your search engine optimization basics, you are guaranteed to get the “not provided” keywords being protected by Google. Additionally you can improve your SEO keyword strategy. Having this enables you to improve your SEO and marketing strategy that would target the right audiences that would possibly turn to leads.

Utilize the right keywords and write effective content by identifying the “no provided” term through site search tracking. Start now!


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