Your website’s ‘Site Search’ is a valuable way of getting insight into your potential customers’ search enquiries, so that you can adjust your AdWords campaign accordingly. But before you even begin, make sure you’ve implemented an excellent site search feature and checked that it works.

For those of you that aren’t certain what we mean by site search, here’s what John Lewis’ looks like:


There’s plenty you can do with your Site Search results, but I’m going to focus on three ways you can use the results to improve the performance of your AdWords campaigns.

1. Understand What Your Customers Are Looking for

Google Analytics allows you to monitor and analyse how your website visitors use Site Search – what they type into the search box, what page they’re on, when they use it and what they do next.

It’s very simple to set up Site Search tracking within Analytics. Inside your Analytics account, click on Admin/View Settings, scroll down to Site Search Tracking and click the button to turn it on. Click on the question mark for more help on setting up query parameters.

Now you can monitor your Site Search results.

In Analytics, under the ‘Behaviour’ tab, you will find Site Search and the Search Terms view.Site_Search_Analytics_Screen_ShotThis will give you a list of the search phrases which have been typed into your search box. Additionally, you can look at the following:

  • Number of searches for a particular phrase
  • How many more pages the searcher viewed after searching
  • How long they stayed on your site after searching
  • The number and value of sales generated by a particular search phrase
  • Your Ecommerce conversation rate for each search term

You can also apply secondary dimensions and custom segments to this view as you can with any other Analytics view.

For example, you might want to look at site searches done on mobiles versus desktops, on weekdays versus weekends or by geographic location. This will then influence how you set up your AdWords campaign.

This may give you some ideas for improved targeting in your AdWords campaign.

2. Add Keywords to Your AdWords Campaign

If your Site Search results indicate that a valuable phrase is searched a lot, it would be reasonable to assume that it will also be used to search in Google, and therefore it will be worth bidding on in AdWords.

Select the most valuable search phrases from the list based on your analysis. That may be those with the highest volume of searches, or it may be those with the best conversion rate, the highest average order value, etc.

If any of these phrases are not in your AdWords campaign, then add them. You may want to add them to already existing, relevant Ad groups. Alternatively, you may need to set up a new Ad group containing variations on a completely new phrase you have identified from your Site Search data.

3. Create AdWords Landing Pages

If you have identified a completely new way that someone searches for one of your products, then consider creating a custom landing page, optimised for that phrase.

If it’s obvious there are several very different searches being done for effectively the same product, then why not create a landing page for each different phrase?

Only one of these (optimised for the most popular phrase) needs to appear in your menu structure, but the extra pages may generate extra sales.

If your keywords and Ad copy match the search your potential customer does on Google, and you send your visitor to a highly relevant page, you will get good results. Your quality score will be high, which will drive down your cost per click and you will get a higher conversion rate.

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