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Searching for Better On-Site Search Usability

This is part of the┬áTotal Usability Series┬áthat was originally published in 2007. A decade later, usability is more important than ever, so we are revisiting this series and updating all […]

Analyzing Customer Search Sessions to Learn What They’re Thinking

So far, we’ve looked at pattern analysis and failure analysis as ways in which you can use your internal site search data to improve your website (which you should be doing!). But, there’s more than just search queries to look at. There are also search sessions that you may be able to look into for more insights. A search session occurs when a searcher executes multiple queries in one session while trying to address a single information need. As they interact with your search results and content, it should tell you a lot about how your site is servicing them.

Site Search Analytics: Engines Don't Play Matchmaker, But You Should

We’re currently talking about how to use internal site search data to improve your website performance. The first type of analysis we looked at was pattern analysis, finding what popular queries have in common or what’s odd about them to gain insights into the content your visitors want and need. Next, we’ll take a look at failure analysis to find where your site searches are going wrong so you can find what to fix first.

Site Search Analytics – Pattern Analysis to Improve Your Site

Your site search data, the phrases your website users type into your internal site search engine, is data that is swimming with insights into helping to make satisfied customers with your web site. If you are someone that is responsible for the performance of a site, this is most likely information that you’ve never looked at and may have not even known existed. But, you’re going to want to become familiar with it because it’s about the best place you can go online to learn what your users want. Read the first post in this series for why.

Site Search Analytics: What Your Customers Want…In Their Own Words

When people come to your site, it can be really hard to know why they are there. The truth is the average conversion rate on e-commerce sites is only around 2-3%…and that’s on sites that are specifically built to sell stuff. So, what happens to the other 97%? Why were they there? Did they find what they were looking for? If not, why not? Is the content they are looking for even on your site? If so, are they able to find it easily?