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Your site search analytics dashboard is a secret treasure trove of information. From website redesigns to high-level business decisions, don’t forget to turn to site search when seeking to understand your users.

Below are four exciting things you may have never known you could learn from your site search analytics – as well as how to use your newfound information.

1. What do your users find interesting?

This is the million-dollar question: what do your users care about on your site? We invest so much time into trying to guess what they want to see most in the navigation, or which aspect of your organization they want to read about on a given page. Take a journey into our site search analytics and cut out the guesswork.

Notice what topics and words are getting the most searches. Use this information to guide your web decisions. Write blogs that combine multiple topics, or add popular search terms to your important pages.

It can be tempting to create content around what you think your users should find interesting. But successful web managers let their users drive their message. You’ll see your website success soar if you incorporate user searches into your website strategy.

2. What interesting content is difficult to find?

Maybe you already have the right content on your site. Maybe you’ve written buckets on your customers favorite topics. But what good is it if your users can’t find it anywhere?

One of the most common areas for improvement we see is that our customers have the right content on their site, but they underestimate how difficult it is to find. You use your website everyday, but your users probably don’t. If you have your most popular page buried in a sub-directory under three layers of navigation, you run the risk of your users becoming frustrated and leaving your website.

Use your site search analytics to find these potential exit points. If you have extremely popular search terms that all lead to the same page, that implies that users are unable to find those pages easily.

Check your search origination pages to see where the searches are stemming from – maybe it’s as easy as adding an inline link to a related page. Or maybe it’s time for a full navigation edit. You’ll never know until you investigate!

3. What products/services do you need to invest more in?

Here’s the magical thing about site search: it can help more than just your content. Site search analytics can even help you make business decisions.

Look into your ineffective searches (also known as searches that did result in a link clicked.) If there are common trends, brainstorm ways to address them. Ineffective searches are often the result of a misunderstanding between what the users want and what the organization offers.

When you’re trying to decide what product or service to invest in, your site search can be an unexpected but productive place to start.  Take a cue from your users – what are they searching for that you can’t currently fulfill?

4. What words do your users rely on?

One of the most obvious pieces of information you can find in search analytics is the words people are using on your site. But instead of just mentally correcting them (“The right word is “commencement” not “graduation”), why not embrace their point of view?

It can be tempting to insist that our language is right. But in the end, you can create the bones of a spectacular organization, but your users are the ones who fill in the colors. If you allow yourself to use the same words they do, you find your customers are so much more willing to connect to you.

Take some time to find incongruities between your words and your users. Maybe you use a more formal or updated version of a term, whereas your users search something more self-explanatory. Then find some opportunities to compromise.