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Google Analytics Essential Training (2010)

Configuring Site Search


From:

Google Analytics Essential Training (2010)

with Corey Koberg

Video: Configuring Site Search

After seeing the amount of information that can be pulled from the internal site search reports, you may assume there's a lot of work to integrate analytics within your own site. But actually configuring you internal site search couldn't be much easier. First step, you need to actually have a site search on your site. If you don't, Google will of course suggest their own, but it's not a requirement. Google Analytics site search reports work with all kinds of different site search engines from lots of different vendors, so don't think you have to have the Google one. Now with that said, if you need one, the Google one works very well and they offer a free version with ads or an ad- free one for just about 100 bucks, which is quite reasonable considering a full- blown custom search engine can run into the six figures or more per year, depending on volume and features.
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  1. 6m 2s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. How to get the most from this course
      3m 11s
    3. What's new in this update?
      1m 38s
  2. 5m 19s
    1. The pitfalls of hit counting and turning data into information
      3m 6s
    2. Web analytics: A tool and a process
      2m 13s
  3. 15m 30s
    1. Defining goals and conversions: Why do you have a web site?
      5m 40s
    2. Understanding data: Averages, segments, trends, and context
      1m 51s
    3. Introducing segments
      2m 38s
    4. Understanding trends and context
      5m 21s
  4. 11m 25s
    1. How does Google Analytics work?
      2m 18s
    2. Setting up an account
      2m 49s
    3. Installing tracking code on a site
      6m 18s
  5. 24m 20s
    1. Understanding accounts and profile administration
      6m 59s
    2. Navigating the reports and the Data Over Time chart
      4m 45s
    3. Selecting and comparing date ranges
      6m 50s
    4. Using annotations to make notes in data
      2m 30s
    5. Using the help tools
      3m 16s
  6. 24m 20s
    1. Viewing data in different formats (overview, tabular, pie, bar, compare to site)
      6m 10s
    2. Navigating data with site usage, goals, and e-commerce metrics
      9m 20s
    3. Sorting data with inline and advanced filters
      8m 50s
  7. 10m 26s
    1. Understanding the importance of segmentation in data analysis
      4m 40s
    2. Slicing data with dimensions
      5m 46s
  8. 7m 38s
    1. Why share data?
      1m 10s
    2. Managing user accounts and profiles
      4m 8s
    3. Emailing reports
      2m 20s
  9. 29m 12s
    1. Understanding who is visiting a site
      1m 20s
    2. Analyzing location data
      4m 52s
    3. Using language identification to segment users
      1m 35s
    4. Differentiating new users from returning users
      2m 1s
    5. Understanding visitor loyalty vs. recency
      4m 25s
    6. Comparing data according to visits, visitors, and page views
      2m 10s
    7. Sorting data by browser capabilities
      3m 56s
    8. Analyzing data from mobile browsers
      2m 34s
    9. Using flow visualization to see common paths
      6m 19s
  10. 23m 50s
    1. Linking an AdWords account to Google Analytics
      2m 46s
    2. Identifying campaigns and segmentation options
      5m 55s
    3. Using keyword reports
      1m 31s
    4. Fine-tuning your match type with the Matched Search Queries report
      3m 44s
    5. Optimizing traffic by time of day
      1m 37s
    6. Using the Destination URL report to identify landing pages
      1m 45s
    7. Identifying the best placement options for ads
      2m 0s
    8. Keyword positions
      4m 32s
  11. 40m 3s
    1. Understanding where site visitors come from
      2m 32s
    2. Analyzing the All Traffic Sources report
      2m 4s
    3. Identifying direct traffic
      2m 20s
    4. Identifying users who were referred to your site
      3m 9s
    5. Viewing search engine reports (overview, organic, and paid)
      4m 52s
    6. Introducing campaign tracking
      11m 17s
    7. Planning, creating, and logging a tracking strategy
      2m 58s
    8. Tracking offline campaigns
      7m 11s
    9. Finding data in a Campaign report
      3m 40s
  12. 36m 43s
    1. Analyzing top content by metrics and the navigation summary
      3m 29s
    2. Sorting top content according to page title
      3m 57s
    3. Understanding when to use content drilldown
      2m 25s
    4. Measuring the importance of top landing and top exit pages
      3m 41s
    5. Identifying slow-performing pages with the Site Speed report
      4m 6s
    6. Understanding the Site Search and Usage report
      3m 29s
    7. Analyzing the Search Terms and Search Term Refinement reports
      4m 12s
    8. Using the Site Search Pages report to understand how users search
      5m 19s
    9. Configuring Site Search
      6m 5s
  13. 33m 49s
    1. Understanding the Goal reports
      4m 24s
    2. Configuring goals
      9m 55s
    3. Understanding funnel visualization
      9m 48s
    4. Identifying value through E-commerce reports
      4m 35s
    5. Using goal flow to find detailed insights
      5m 7s
  14. 24m 25s
    1. Real-time data for time-sensitive analysis
      4m 21s
    2. Using intelligence alerts to flag important events
      8m 59s
    3. Creating custom intelligence alerts
      5m 48s
    4. Creating and customizing dashboards
      5m 17s
  15. 43s
    1. Goodbye
      43s

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Google Analytics Essential Training (2010)
4h 53m Beginner Oct 08, 2010 Updated Dec 20, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Setting up an account
  • Installing tracking code on a site
  • Reading the dashboard and understanding high-level metrics
  • Understanding how visitors use and navigate web site content
  • Analyzing visitor and traffic source reports
  • Tracking AdWords and other marketing campaigns
  • Planning and configuring goals
  • Utilizing segmentation for deeper analysis
  • Understanding the raw data and how it's collected
  • Selecting and comparing date ranges
  • Using flow visualization to see how visitors navigate through a site
  • Identifying slow-performing pages
  • Performing real-time analysis
  • Using annotations and other best practices
  • Configuring and analyzing internal site search
  • Determining the best report view to use
  • Navigating reports with tabs
  • Cleaning up data with inline filters
  • Sharing data and reports
Subjects:
Business Online Marketing Web Data Analysis Web Analytics SEO
Software:
Google Analytics
Author:
Corey Koberg

Configuring Site Search

After seeing the amount of information that can be pulled from the internal site search reports, you may assume there's a lot of work to integrate analytics within your own site. But actually configuring you internal site search couldn't be much easier. First step, you need to actually have a site search on your site. If you don't, Google will of course suggest their own, but it's not a requirement. Google Analytics site search reports work with all kinds of different site search engines from lots of different vendors, so don't think you have to have the Google one. Now with that said, if you need one, the Google one works very well and they offer a free version with ads or an ad- free one for just about 100 bucks, which is quite reasonable considering a full- blown custom search engine can run into the six figures or more per year, depending on volume and features.

So it's not a requirement, but they do offer a free and inexpensive version if you want to get up and started quickly, and it does work with Google Analytics. Okay, assuming you have one on your site, the next step is to simply go to your site and do a search. So let's do that. We're going to open our browser window here to the Google Store site, and we've got our internal search box up here. Now again, we're not talking about a google.com search. We're talking about the site search internal to your site. And what we're going to do is type in something here that's easily recognizable to you.

So in our case I'm just going to put my name in there. That's something I can look up. It shouldn't appear in the URL and it's going to jump out at me. Now what we're going to do is go up here to the URL and we're going to look through all this whole string here. And I'm trying to pick out my name there, and what I'm going to trying to do is grab the parameter right before my name that actually holds my name. So in this case q is the name of the variable the name, the name of the query string parameter that holds the variable that was searched on, the search term, which in this case was my name. What we want to do is tell Google Analytics that anytime you see this q here, the thing that's held there, the thing that's immediately after it, is the actual search term.

In this case, I would want Corey Koberg to be the thing that's recorded in my analytics, and so we need to tell analytics that's going to be held up here in this q variable. And the important thing here is it's not always going to be a q. It depends on what your search engine does. So this is why you need to go to your site and check out what your particular variable is. For example, if I went over here to CNN and I did a search here--I'm going to do the same thing, put my name in there--no results for my name, but when I look up into the URL here, I see that the word query. So in this case, it's not a q. It's the full written-out word query.

That's going to be the variable that holds our search term. If I went over here to Yahoo! and I am going to put not up here in the web search but the actual internal site search, if I put it here and we are on sports, I am big Illini fans, so I put in the word illini, and I see here that Yahoo! is going to use a p. p is going to be the variable name that we would have there. So if we're configuring the internal site search for this site, we would use p, as the variable that holds our search value. Now we've figured out what the name of that variable is. We need to go over to Analytics and tell it what that is.

Now I come here to the profile that I want to add site search to. I'm going to click on the little gear icon here. From here, I click on Profile Settings. I'm going to scroll down here to Site Search Settings, and I'd say that I do want to track site search. It's going to ask me what that query parameter is. In other words, what is that variable that holds our search value? For our case it was the q, so I just simply type in q. Now the next question here is whether or not we want to strip out query string parameters or not. What this means that it's going to look at the information it needs to pull out that query string, in other words, the search value that's there, and then it's going to strip it out of the URL for the reports, so that we don't have to see that cluttering those up.

This is mostly a matter of personal preference, whether or not you will see those search parameters in your reports or not. I'm going to go ahead and say yes, because at this point we've already grabbed the information we need to pull that into our reports, so we can just avoid some clutter there and reduce the overall number of URLs in our account. The next question is, do we use categories for site search? This is an optional one down here. I can also include a category parameter. A category parameter is going to be useful if you're the case like Barnes & Noble here, where you've actually have different categories of search. So it's not just a single box, but in this case I could actually select Music, and if were to go do a search such as this, I would see that my keyword is the actual query string parameter that holds the search term that I use.

Store though is the category parameter. In this case I did a search for vampire weekend, but I did a store category. So what I need to tell Google Analytics is that the word that comes after store, in other words what's held in the store variable, is what's going to be the category. So in that case, if I were doing it for Barnes & Noble, and I were doing that setup here in Analytics, I would say the category parameter is store, and it knows that anything comes after that denotes what the category was that was done in the search. Again, this is completely optional and many of you will not have a category, but if you do, it's easy to set that up.

Okay, we apply changes and we're done. That's it. That's all we need to set that up. If we come back here, looked in our reports, went down to Site Search, now when I go back here and actually view the results for this particular profile, I'm going to come down here to Content, to Site Search, click on Overview, and what I see is absolutely nothing. There's going to be no values here, because like almost everything in Google Analytics, it's only going to start from the time I select it moving forward. In other words, it's not going to go back in history and look at the overall different searches that took place before now; it's going to count from right now forward.

There is only one caveat here. In the rare case that you go to your site and you do a search and you look up in the URL and find that your search term is not there, this means that your search engine doesn't reflect that term back into the URL. To fix this, first talk with your system admin and see if it's possible to change that so that it does. If it's not possible, as an alternative, you can fire a virtual page view that contains the term. Now that virtual-page-view-based trick is an advanced JavaScript-based technique that's a bit outside of the scope of this class, but any of the Google Analytics certified professionals will be able to help you in a very short amount of time.

Configuring site search is a relatively easy task that opens up a world of reports, and there are some of the best insights we haven't actual customer intent. I highly recommend you take the time to do this for your profiles.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Google Analytics Essential Training (2010).


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Q: The course was updated on 12/19/11. Can you tell me what's changed?
A: Many movies were updated to reflect the changes in the Google Analytics user interface and new movies were added to the course as well, with topics including using flow visualization to see common paths, identifying slow-performing pages with the Site Speed Report, using goal flow to find detailed insights on funnels and conversion paths, analyzing real-time data for time-sensitive analysis, and fine-tuning match types with the Matched Search Queries report.
Q: Where can I learn more about internet marketing?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting internet marketing on lynda.com.
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