How to Gain Customer Insights from Internal Site Search Analytics

By Laura Taylor • Last updated: Monday Apr 29th, 2024

an eye inside an magnifying glass

It’s a given that an optimised on-site search drives revenue and conversions. But did you know your site search data offers invaluable insights into your customers?

When shoppers interact with your on-site search, they are engaging in a conversation. Each search produces masses of useful data, collected automatically and without the need for timely and expensive surveys or questionnaires.

If you analyse search queries and interactions, you can discover a whole host of information about your customers’ habits and behaviour, as well as how your site is performing.

Don’t let these data-rich insights go to waste. Let’s take a look at some simple ways you can analyse your site search data and how you can use these insights to inform your long term eCommerce strategy and website improvements.

Discover the fundamentals of site search: what it is, why it matters, how it benefits eCommerce sites and how to choose a search solution.

How to use your internal site search data to optimise your eCommerce site

Identify popular and trending items

When buying or producing products for your site, it helps to have some guidance on the quantities you’ll need.

Making uninformed guesses about which items your customers will like is risky and could cost you greatly.

To use your site search analytics to make an informed decision, filter your searches by frequency to view the most popular queries. This will give you an idea of what people are looking for on your site and offer a measure of the demand for your items.

With this information, you can then adjust your stock accordingly to cater for developing trends. This may involve increasing the quantity of a particular item, or holding back on a product that doesn’t receive much search attention.

Viewing popular search terms helps you to cater to current product demand, and recognise and prepare for upcoming trends to put you one step ahead of your competitors.

Discover gaps in your product range

Just as popular search terms can help you identify products that are in high demand, they can also help you determine the gaps in your stock.

By identifying common searches that don’t convert and have a low click through rate, you can see where your search results aren’t matching what a shopper is looking for.

This may be because you simply don’t stock the product they’re looking for, in which case it could be something you consider adding to your range.

If a number of visitors have thought to search your site for a product which you do not stock, this could be an indication that you are either not clearly marketing your site in line with what you have to offer, or you need to consider diversifying your range.

Inform your content

But site search analytics aren’t only about popular searches and click through rates. Site search data allows you to see the exact terms shoppers are using when searching for your products.

Matching your customers’ search terms with the language you use is crucial for your search engine optimisation strategy.

In basic terms, SEO involves growing your organic site traffic by improving your position in search engine rankings. To achieve a higher ranking, you need to be using the same language as your customers.

Customers will use the same search terms on your site as they do in a search engine. This means you can match your content to the exact search terms your visitors are using to improve the visibility of your site in search engine rankings.

You can embed these words into your content, including product descriptions, titles, blogs and other marketing materials, to make your site more discoverable and searchable.

Monitor unsuccessful searches

When looking for a specific product, searchers may each use different synonyms or spellings of a word to try and find the same item.

Misspellings, slang and colloquialisms can prevent your users from finding and purchasing your products.

Let’s look at how this impacts your site navigation. If a shopper enters a search term and receives no results, they’ll assume you do not stock the product they’re looking for and take their search elsewhere. But what might actually be the case is that you use a different term to refer to the item they’re searching for.

By matching the search terms your customers use to your site’s pages and product descriptions, you can be sure that shoppers will be connected to the item they want to purchase.

Some on-site search tools account for this to a certain extent. Site Search interprets queries to match customers with products even when they’re unsure of the proper name or are using the plural form. With machine learning intelligently determining what a customer is looking for, you can erase the chance of a search on your site returning an error message due to misspellings and synonyms.

On-site search tools are a pivotal part of the eCommerce experience.

With high interaction levels, your site search collects a whole host of data without you having to do any work. Don’t let these insights go to waste and use them to optimise your site and sculpt your strategies.

For more information on site search, see the webinar below:

See how Salesfire can help you optimise your product discovery experience, email one of our experts at [email protected] or book a free demo of our personalisation tools.