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Activating Google Analytics Site Search in 60 Seconds or Less


Setting up basic Site Search within Google Analytics to gather data on internal site searches on your website takes less than 1 minute to do. Google Analytics Site search allows you to easily find out what users are searching for within your site and their behavior after the search results are displayed for them.

The benefits of knowing and using the information that internal Site Search data provides I will be posting about in a near future post, but in the meantime I suggest setting this up so that you can start collecting the data in the meantime.


Setting up Site Search within Google Analytics

Note: The only thing you will need to know ahead of time is what your search query parameter is for searches on your website. To find out what your search query parameter is:

1) Go to your website and do a search in your site search box for any keyword
(for my site, I am doing a site search for the word “test”)

2) For 99% of you, you can look at the URL of the search in your browser that is returned
(on my site it shows http://blog.joshbaker.com/?s=test)

3) The search query parameter for my site is s
(if I was to do another search for the term “ecommerce”, the URL would show http://blog.joshbaker.com/?s=ecommerce. The query is ecommerce, but the query parameter is s)

If you are still confused, visit the Google Help Docs on uncovering your query parameter  

Turning on Site Search:

Of course you will need to be logged-in to your Google Analytics account.

1) To the right of the website profile you want to add internal site search tracking to, select Edit










2) On the page that appears, on the top right, select Edit 






3) Scroll down to the Site Search section

a) Select the radio button next to Do Track Site Search

b) Enter in the query parameter for your site that you found earlier

c) Choose if you want to strip query parameters out of URL or not (most likely you will want to select “yes” so that you just are seeing the actual keywords searched when viewing the data in Google Analytics)

d) Select Save Changes



Site search is now activated in Google Analytics for your website and in just a few hours your data will start appearing.

Categories : Analytics

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