The Importance of Search on your Website

Having a search box on your site helps visitors find what they are looking for. But that’s not all. Having a search box on your site also tells you what visitors are looking for on your site. This is very powerful to know because it can help you with your planning.

If you have an online store this helps you identify products that you don’t have in your product portfolio yet. It also shows you the demand for specific products if you are able to tie the search terms back to the products you carry.

If you have a blog the information helps you identify the topics that you might want to write about next. I.e. if you have a website about baby advise and you see many queries related to stroller types you might want to write a blog post that helps your readers pick a stroller.

Where can I get search functionality for my website?

Search comes as a feature with may web frameworks already. Magento or WordPress have search as an option to enable on the site. This can be found in the backend settings of the software.

Another option is to use Google. There are pros and cons of doing that:

The pros are:

  • It works! Google are the search experts. Their custom search engine will provide you the same quality results that you are used to from the Google search engine.
  • It is free. As long as you don’t mind the branding of Google in your search box Google allows you to use their custom search functionality for free.
  • It is easy to implement. You can literally implement this within minutes or hours on your site.
  • It is integrated into Google Analytics.
  • You can earn add revenues if you wish.

The cons:

  • The search box has the Google branding inside
  • Not only you but also Google will know what people are searching for on your website. If you use Google analytics as your tracking tool then this does not matter since Google knows anyways.

How to implement Google Custom Search on your site?

In order to use Google Custom Search simply go to Google Custom Search

Ideally use the same Google account that you are using for Google Analytics. That way you will be able to see all the statics of your search within Google Analytics.

Click on New searchengine and fill out the form.

google custom search

google custom search

Click the create button and follow the instructions to embed the code on your site.

How to link Google Analytics with Google Custom Search?

In order to link your Google Custom Search to your Google Analytics account click on Statistics and Logs and choose the Google Analytics tab.

link google analytics and google custom search

link google analytics and google custom search

How to access your Google Custom Search results within Google Analytics?

In order to view your results got into your Google Analytics account and select Behavior -> Site Search

google custom search in analytics

google custom search in analytics

Happy Analyzing!


Roland Oberdorfer is a Managing Director and Co-Founder at SiteOlytics Inc. Prior to his current role Roland was the CTO of HP’s consumer direct organization and the General Manager for Web and eCommerce at NIVIDIA. You can find him on Google+ and on Facebook.



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