There are a lot of ways to find out what people have been searching for on your website or blog. It’s always a good idea to know what people have been searching for.
- General information to give you an idea of your reader’s interests
- Specific data on particular searches so that you can write posts of pages that answer those queries directly (so-called "long-tail’ searches, writing, marketing.
- Overall health and accuracy of your site setup … this can actually be laughable
A month or so back I accidentally put the Google Analytics code for a very high-traffic cooking blog into the template of a brand new, very low-traffic blog. My first reaction was, "Wow, those traffic building techniques I have been reading about sure do work’> Then I started looking directly at searches …. hmmm, wonder why this little niche blog that was in the GPS area of business suddenly had all these searches for cupcake recipes. Ooops.
Some tools require access to your server logs, others depend on adding code into the web page itself to record visits and the search string, if any, that was sent along with the users request for a page. All these are good, but I have come across one that works a little differently and one that is much easier to set up.
It’s a standard WordPress plug-in called Psychic Search. If you’d like to give it a try, just start the Psychic search plug-in download process here (note, there is a One Time Offer sales page, but that’s the only cost involved, you aren’t obligated to buy anything) and simply download and install the plug-in as you would any other WordPress add-on.
Psychic search is very simple to set up … the only option is to include the record of your own searches or not … and in seconds you’ll be recording the text of every search a visitor makes. A feature I found very powerful … in the lists of ‘successful searches", that is searches which returned one or more blog posts to the visitor that matched the search, you can just click on the return list and you’ll automatically see all those posts in your standard WordPress "Manage Posts" window. This can be really handy if you are seeing searches succeed for phrases you didn’t know were on your site … why do I get all those search hits for Katie Couric’s legs, for example, or did I really find all my "Sponsored Posts" and add a "no follow" attribute before I asked Google for re-inclusion?
Anyway, there’s a sales page but the outcome is a very worthwhile tool, I recommend it. Psychic Search.
Originally posted 2008-02-20 15:42:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter