How to Set Up Site Search Tracking in WordPress (Step by Step)

Do you want to learn what your visitors are looking for on your site? Then, you need to enable site search tracking in Google Analytics.

It gives you insights about how people use your website, which content they look for, and what search terms they enter in the search bar.

In this article, we’ll show you how to set up site search tracking in WordPress. Let’s start…

Why Should You Enable Site Search Tracking?

If you’ve got a WordPress site with lots of valuable content, you might want to provide a search box on your site. It helps your visitors to find the content they want easily and improves user experience.

MonsterInsights is the best WordPress Analytics plugin. Get it for free!

You can use the built-in search feature that WordPress provides or use a WordPress search plugin to get started.

But why is it important to track site searches?

To get insights into what your website visitors are looking for, you need to enable site search tracking in Google Analytics.

A few benefits of enabling site search tracking in Google Analytics are:

  • Identify exactly what your visitors are looking for on your site.
  • Find new topic ideas for your blog.
  • Find the relevant keywords your visitors used on your site. You can use them in your marketing campaigns for better ROI.
  • Optimize the user experience of your website by restructuring your content on your site.

With that, are you ready to learn how to set up site search tracking?

How to Track Site Search in WordPress

You can easily track your WordPress site search in Google Analytics. It’s a powerful analytics tool that helps you see how people use your website.

Just follow these steps, and within a few minutes, you’ll be able to see what your visitors search for on your website.

Step 1: Install MonsterInsights & Connect Google Analytics

The first thing you need to do is set up Google Analytics on your WordPress site. This can be tricky for beginners because you’ll have to edit code when adding the tracking code.

An easier way of setting up Google Analytics is through MonsterInsights. It’s the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and makes it effortless to track your visitors.

Using its setup wizard, you can easily add Google Analytics to WordPress and don’t have to touch a single line of code.

monsterinsights best wordpress plugin

MonsterInsights also offers advanced tracking features like event tracking right out of the box. For instance, you can automatically track outbound links, affiliate links, telephone, and mailto link clicks.

And using its addons, you get more options to insights about your visitors. That’s not all, it also lets you see reports insides your WordPress admin area. This way, you get to see important data to grow your website without learning how to use Google Analytics.

Step 2: View Settings in Google Analytics

Once you’ve successfully added Google Analytics to your WordPress site, the next step is to view its settings.

To start, sign in to your Google Analytics account and choose the site in which you’d like to enable search tracking.

click on google analytics view to set up site search tracking

Then, click the Admin option.

click admin to track site searches

Then, click View Settings under the View column.

view settings

Step 3: Enable Site Search Tracking

Now scroll down to the Site Search Settings heading. Click the slider to turn the Site search Tracking on. Then, just below the slider, you’ll see a field to enter a Query parameter.

enable site search tracking in WordPress

The query parameter is the letter that appears in your site’s URL before the search terms. For most WordPress sites, the query parameter is the letter “s.” You can test this by searching on your site and checking the URL.

query parameter

In the example above, you can see the URL is https://www.monsterinsights.com/?s=google+analytics&blog=1 meaning ‘s’ is the query parameter. The letter that comes after the question mark and before the equals sign is your query parameter in your URL.

Step 4: Check “Strip Query Parameters”

Be sure to check the box that says Strip query parameters out of URL in Google Analytics.

If this option is not selected, Google Analytics will start splitting up tracking for each visited page. For example, you might start to see separate listings for mysite.com/page?s=1, mysite.com/page?s=2, etc.

When you tell Google Analytics to strip the query parameters out of your URLs, it will just track all of those visits together as mysite.com/page. But, you’ll still be able to see your internal searches when viewing your site search data.

When you’re finished entering your settings, be sure to click the Save button.

How to Find Site Search Terms Data in Google Analytics

After enabling site search on your site, you might be wondering how to see the keywords people enter in the search box.

To see the report, go to Behavior » Site Search » Search Terms in your Google Analytics profile to view your site search terms data.

google analytics track website search

If no results are produced while searching on your site, those terms will be shown as no-results:keyword. Take a look at the screenshot below.

site search terms no results

That’s it!

You can now find out the search terms users use to find content on your website.

We hope this article helped you set up site search tracking on your WordPress site. If you want, you can also go through our guide on how to set up WooCommerce conversion tracking.

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more Google Analytics tutorials.

Want to Try MonsterInsights for Free?

Enter the URL of Your WordPress website to install MonsterInsights Lite.

Add a Comment

We're glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our privacy policy, and all links are nofollow. Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.