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In Google Analytics Essential Training, Corey Koberg shows how to use the Google web analytics platform to generate and evaluate information about the visitors to a web site, including data on site traffic, user behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This course covers the out-of-the-box functionality, from account creation to reporting fundamentals, and explains how to glean insights from the vast array of data available.
When analyzing site search, the most important thing is, well, the actual terms that were searched on. But the search term report offers much more than just a list. We see several other metrics here that offer insight. Total Unique Searches, which is the number of visits that included search terms, Results Pageviews/Search, which is the average number of search results pages that were viewed. We see the percentage of search exits. This is the percentage of searches that resulted in a site exit immediately after the search. In other words, people did the search, they didn't find what they wanted, and they left the site altogether. Not a good thing.
Percentage of search refinements, in other words, a percentage of searches that resulted in an additional search beyond that initial term. Time after Search, the time spent on the site after they did the search. And Search Depth, which is the number of pages they viewed after searching. Now when we set up site search, which we cover in another movie in this chapter, we have the option to set up categories as well. For example, on the Google Store site, next to their search box they have a dropdown that allows you to choose which category of items you want to see results for. So here a user could search for YouTube accessories rather than all of the YouTube items, including apparel, apps, kid's items, et cetera.
Now, when we go back to the report, if we select Site Search Categories, we will see a list of the categories of people searched within and the same metrics as we saw before. Now in the case of the Google Store the All category includes any searches users made within the store in All Products categories selected. Now the not set one here, that includes all searches made from the front page of Google Store where there isn't a category dropdown. So in the category field in that case is not set. And then the rest of these are categories that are available on the dropdown.
So see Wearables here. We see wearables there. We have got offers here. We have got offers there. These all match up with the appropriate category inside the report, that is, in the dropdown on the search box. In this viewing report, we can compare groups or products based on these categories offered by our internal search engine. Now if we drill into this Wearables category, it will show us the list of search terms within that category. And then if we drill into a search term from here, like Android, we will see a list of the destination pages that the searcher selected from the search results page for that term.
We can check this list to make sure the right pages are showing up for a given term. If we are seeing pages that shouldn't be there or pages missing that definitely should be there, we can use this to inform us when we need to adjust that site search tool. Or we can select Refined Keyword to see a list of search terms that these searchers entered after their first search failed to produce the results they were looking for. Here we can see a little more of that list zoomed in. Now at first that may seem like a very narrow thing to track, but it's actually becoming increasingly important, due to the trends and search behavior, as recent studies have shown that our search behavior is changing.
When the web first started we would do a search and then we'd page though results looking for what we want. However, search engines have gotten so good at figuring out exactly what we are searching for when we type a given phrase that we come to trust them so heavily, we expect the right results to be there right at the top of the page. What we are seeing is that if a searcher doesn't find the results at the top of the results page, rather than clicking onto the second, third, fourth pages of results hoping to find it, people actually assume that they didn't properly type in their search, so to be clearer in their request, they will search again and refine that search.
So understanding the relationship of the first search along with the subsequent refine search can give us great insight into our patterns and the intents of our users. In this example we can see the users who initially search for android within the Wearables category refine their search to things like hat, shirt, pillow, et cetera. This is a fantastic source of that user intent. Here people are basically telling us outright what kind of android apparel they want to see. We can also see that other users refine their search to include things like Linux or Google, so if we have products related to those terms, we might want to include these types of products and "you might also like these products" section on our android pages.
This is fantastic information for us to use when we update our pages, change the way we present the user the information, or maybe even change what items we stock in our store entirely. As we have seen here, the Search Term and Refinement reports are the foundation of the internal site search reports.
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