Skip to main content

How to Setup Google Analytics Site Search and Better Understand Your Audience

How to Setup Google Analytics Site Search and Better Understand Your Audience
21 Aug 2018

To market products or services, a marketing team must understand what makes customers tick. Google Analytics Site Search can help teams better understand users, user behavior, seasonality, and traffic, and adjust strategies to fit. Setting up Google Analytics Site Search properly can be a serious business boom. User task accomplishment is also a great tool for directing content marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at both. 

Understanding User Behavior 

Websites should always have a search box to understand user behavior and help develop data-driven content strategies. Let’s go through the Google Analytics Site Search setup process step-by-step.

Step One: Open Google Analytics and sign in 


Step Two: Choose a site to track  


Step Three: Click on “Admin”  


Step Four: Click “View Settings”  


Step Five: Scroll down to “Site Search Settings” and turn on tracking  

Step Six: Enter query parameters

A query parameter is the letter that appears in the website URL before the search terms. Find this letter by checking the URL. The parameter is the first letter after the question mark, for example:

Step 7: Check “Strip Query Parameters” 

This step ensures Google Analytics does not split tracking results for each page; internal searches will still show up in site search data.

Step 8: Click the “Save” button.

All done!

Where Can I Find Google Analytics Site Search? 

Google Analytics Site Search is located under “Behavior” in the menu. 


Site Search tracks customer search queries, allowing marketing teams to know what customers are looking for. If they find it, there’s no reason for them to look anywhere else. Once query parameters have been set, the team can clearly see how visitors search on the website.

Understanding Seasonality’s & Traffic 

User seasonality’s are user traffic changes during certain times of year; for instance, a business that sells unicorn floaties might have a traffic dip from Canadian users during the winter. Being aware of user seasonality’s allows teams to target certain users at certain times.  

Adjusting Marketing Strategies to Fit 

Google Analytics Site Search allows teams to adjust strategies to better serve customers, helping them understand: 

  • How users’ shop 
  • When to message users 
  • How to define customer-business interaction

What is User Task Accomplishment? 

User task accomplishment is how well a website allows users to complete tasks. In a perfect world, websites are optimized to pop up first in any user search and allow users to purchase what they want quickly. In reality, this can be a daunting quest for marketing teams. Google handles search criteria — for instance, an update that focuses on mobile sites and mobile-friendly content. Google search wants relevant content, not just SEO content, so user task accomplishment is critical to good marketing strategies.  

User Task Accomplishment Issues and How to Fix Them 

User task accomplishment wants to know the whys of website visits and navigating away, but that’s the only thing it can’t track. A team should ask if the website: 

  • Helps users accomplish tasks 
  • Finds additional user needs and fixes them 
  • Leads to further engagement and actions 

If the answer to any of these questions is no, the marketing content needs work.

User Task Accomplishment Options

The user task accomplishment path is: 

  • Expression of need (typing in a Google search query) 
  • Underlying goals 
  • Evaluation of results 
  • Selection 
  • Evaluation of task completion 
  • Discovery of additional needs 

User Task Accomplishment Benefits 

Users must find a site and accomplish a task, and possibly find another need to accomplish at the same time. Long-form content with embedded YouTube videos, a series of related posts, and directly answering user queries is the best way to keep a user on a website, period. If they stay, they may buy, and if they read, they may buy more — and that’s what marketing strategy is all about. 


For help with site search or Google Analytics, contact Zero Gravity Marketing today!