// Commented out mbk Feb 2019 // //
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Enterprise Search Blog

Understanding Search Analytics

Search Analytics is a set of reports that shows the website owner what people have been looking for.  It does this by logging every search visitors do, along with other data, into a database.  Search Analytics gives more insight into visitors' thoughts because it actually captures what they typed in, vs. traditional "click stream analysis", which attempts to guess why people clicked on each link.  More advanced systems also spot trends over time, and allow the website owner to easily correct search related problems.

Key reports can include:

  • Most popular searches
  • Most popular search terms (individual words)
  • Searches that returned no results
  • Searches that returned too many results

Some analytics tools only offer one or two of these reports.  Surprisingly some tools do not offer the "no results" report, which is one of the most important ones.

More advanced reports and features include:

  • Results List Click-Through (which results did users click on the most)
  • Top searchers (who's doing lots of searches, and for what terms)
  • Trends and changes in top search terms
  • Amount of search traffic over time
  • Related Searches / Correlations (people who searched for A also searched for B)
  • Graphs

Integration Touch Points

In order for a search analytics to function, it needs to be integrated with a number of other systems:

  • The search engine, to capture search statistics (or imported from logs)
  • A relational database, to store the data and run reports
  • The overall site tracking system
  • Integration with a "suggestion engine" - to provide specific suggestions for certain search terms
  • Google analytics and in-bound web portal search traffic