Search-Log AnalysisFind out how users think about your website.
With the help of search engines, valuable statistics about a website can be obtained and analyzed, such as how visitors search for it, or how advertising strategies are working. The data from Search-Log Analyses can be used to optimize the user experience of products or services. The advantage of this method is that it happens unobtrusively in the background, without the visitors' knowledge, and produces a large amount of search data.
- Some companies already maintain search engine logs. These logs, when related to specific websites, contain data about the traffic on this specific website only, not data from search engines, such as Google, etc. However, if your company does not include a search-log engine, there is a diverse selection of tools for this, such as Splunk. Depending on whether data has already been collected in advance by a search engine, or whether data must first be collected by a tool, the analysis can start immediately, or after about 3 – 6 months of data collection.
- Of particular interest to researchers are the query terms in the Search-Log Analysis. These are search terms that users enter in search bars to pull up results. The most searched 200 – 300 terms should be looked at more closely. Which terms have a similar meaning (or are synonyms)? Which ones raise questions and why? How do search terms change over time? Record all striking results to be able to compare them in future Search-Log Analyses and draw conclusions.
- The log files can contain data of the users, such as their IP addresses or locations. This helps to further cluster search data. For example, it can be detected that a person has started several search queries in succession and whether these entries were target-oriented. Keep a record of search terms that did not lead to any results. Think about which keywords can be added to the website so that users can reach their destination more quickly. What do users want to find but can't.
- Develop options for action that round off the analysis. How can the website be optimized? How can the search be made easier for users, or even relieved? What can be learned from the analysis in the long term?
- To keep track of their website and successful or failed user visits, they plan the next Search-Log Analysis. Inform your team about your findings and design the next steps together.