Site search
April 3, 2024

Site Search Report and Tracking with Google Analytics (GA4)

Author imaage
Tamilselvi Ramasamy
Associate Growth Manager
Site search report, Google analytics search

Have you ever wondered what questions linger in your website visitors' minds? Imagine if you could peek into their search bar and see exactly what they're looking for. Well, with Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you can! Site Search Reports unlock this valuable treasure trove of information, revealing the most common search terms used on your website.

This data is far more than just interesting – it's a goldmine for improving your website's user experience and boosting conversions. By understanding what people are actively searching for, you can tailor your content, navigation, and product offerings to better meet their needs. Think of it as a direct line of communication, helping you bridge the gap between what visitors seek and what you offer.

In this blog post, we'll guide you through harnessing the power of Site Search Report in GA4, using your google analytics account. We'll cover setting up tracking, exploring the reports in detail, and leveraging the insights to make data-driven decisions that transform your website strategy.

Search Report using Google Analytics 4

Why is Site Search Report valuable?

Site search report provides insights about the overall site's performance, the organic traffic on the website, old or new keywords in users search and the search result they are getting on it.

Below are the 4 main reasons which shows the value of site search tracking and reports.

  1. Enhancing User Experience.
  2. Identifying Trends and Patterns.
  3. Driving Conversion and Revenue.
  4. Enabling Continuous Improvement.

Let's look at them one by one.

1. Enhancing User Experience

With insights from Search reports, you can tailor your website's content, navigation, and offerings to better align with what users are searching for. This optimization leads to a more intuitive and satisfying user experience.

2. Identifying Trends and Patterns

Search reports allow you to identify trends and patterns in user behavior over time. By spotting recurring search queries or topics, you can understand what is popular among your audience and adapt your strategies accordingly.

3. Driving Conversion and Revenue

They play a crucial role in driving conversions and revenue. By understanding what users are searching for, you can optimize your website to better guide them towards desired actions, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form using target keywords. Integrating insights from Google Ads can further enhance your understanding of user intent and behavior, allowing you to tailor your website's content and offerings to maximize conversions and analyze analytics data.

4. Enabling Continuous Improvement

Search reports enable continuous improvement by providing ongoing feedback about user behavior and preferences. By regularly analyzing site search data and iterating on your website's design and content, you can ensure that it remains relevant and effective in meeting user needs.

Site search in Google analytics

Google analytics comes with a lot of features and one of its features is site search report. It provides data on what type of content people are looking for on your site, whether through traditional navigation or a post-based search engine. Having site search data is like reading the minds of a subset of your audience. To enable it in Google Analytics, there's no need to make any changes to your site settings.

The Search Reports

You'll find the Site Search report under Behavior in the left-hand menu of Google Analytics, not under Acquisition where you'd typically find data on organic and paid searches. This placement reflects that these reports specifically focus on searches performed within your site itself.

Unlike tracking pageviews, site search tracking isn't automatic. This is because different websites use various search engines, and not all sites have internal search functionalities, or they may choose not to track them. However, with Google Analytics 4, you can easily set up tracking to monitor and track keywords used in internal site searches. This allows you to gain insights into the specific target keyword your visitors are looking for, empowering you to optimize your content strategy accordingly.

How you set up your site's search analytics depends on your site type and behavior. It might involve a simple one-click setup, applying advanced view filters, or making adjustments with on-page code or Google Tag Manager.


The report in Google Analytics provides two sets of data, one for visits where users utilized the search function, and another for visits where the search function wasn't used. This setup allows you to compare the effectiveness of searches versus non-search visits. You can analyze if there's a difference in conversion rates, if new visitors tend to use the search feature more, or how much revenue is generated through searches.

You can access all the usual metrics in this report, and above the graph, you'll find tabs for Site Usage, Goals, and E-Commerce reports. These tabs make it easy to navigate to the most relevant data for your site.

Automatic Search Tracking

Here's a simplified and rephrased version:

To check if your website's search function can be tracked without using Google Tag Manager, try performing a search on your site. Type any word into the search bar and click the Search button.

After searching, see if the page reloads and if the URL changes. If it does, check if the search term appears after the question mark in the URL, like this: or

If the search term is displayed in the URL after the question mark (but not after the #), it means your search uses query parameters. For example, in, "search" is the query parameter for the search term.

Next, go to your Google Analytics 4 property, click Admin (the gear icon), then Data Stream, and select your web stream. Make sure Enhanced Measurement is enabled.

If it's enabled, click the gear icon again and choose Show Advanced Settings under the Site Search section. Here, you'll find default query parameters that GA4 recognizes, such as "q", "s", "keyword", "search", and "query". If your website uses a different query parameter in the URL for the search keyword, enter it here. You can add up to 10 parameters separated by commas. Additionally, you can integrate data from Google Search Console to gain further insights into the keywords users are using to find your website.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, harnessing the power of Site Search Reports with Google Analytics (GA4) can revolutionize your website strategy. By delving into the minds of your visitors and understanding their search behavior, you gain invaluable insights for enhancing user experience, identifying trends, driving conversions, and enabling continuous improvement.

By tailoring your website's content, navigation, and offerings to align with user searches, you create a more intuitive and satisfying experience for your audience. Identifying trends and patterns allows you to stay ahead of the curve and adapt your strategies accordingly, driving conversions and revenue.

Furthermore, the ability to continuously analyze site search data enables ongoing improvement, ensuring that your website remains relevant and effective in meeting user needs over time.

With Google Analytics' Site Search Reports, you have a powerful tool at your disposal to optimize your website's performance and maximize its potential. So, dive into your site search data, uncover hidden insights, and watch as your website transforms into a user-centric powerhouse of success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do I track Google organic search traffic on my website?

You can track Google organic search traffic using Google Analytics. By linking your website to a Google Analytics account, you can monitor the traffic coming from organic search results in the "Acquisition" section of your Analytics dashboard.

2. What is a Google Search Console account, and why is it important?

A Google Search Console account, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, allows website owners to monitor and manage their website's presence in search results. It provides valuable insights into how Google views your site, including indexing status, search queries, etc.

3. How can I optimize my site search settings for better tracking?

Optimizing site search settings involves configuring Google Analytics to accurately track search terms and user interactions. This include defining query parameters, setting up search categories, and enabling enhanced measurement features.

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