Mine your site search data for content ideas

In the past, you could see what search terms brought people to your site. You could comb through that data to discover how people found your site. Perhaps more importantly, you could discover what searched for and did not find. That data allowed you to identify ideas that were relevant to your existing content and served a need that wasn’t already being met on your site.

Unfortunately for you, the writer, that data is no longer easily available in Google Analytics. Google began obscuring search terms from referrer data because they wanted to protect their user’s privacy. Or, if you’re cynical, the data was too valuable to give away for free. (it’s totally available if you set up another product, Google Search Console.) All of the other major search engines followed suit, making it more challenging to mine this search data to improve your site.

Using your own site search

But activities on your own site are your own business, and Google Analytics’ Site Search makes it pretty easy for you to track what people are searching for on your site. Utilizing data about what people are searching for on your site, you can identify areas of strong interest where you aren’t writing enough, or haven’t written at all. And if you’ve set up Site Search tracking and aren’t seeing much search traffic, that may also be instructive. You might consider updating your site to make search a more prominent feature.