How to find what people search for on your website

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One of the best ways to find potential content topics is to find out what your website users are wanting to read.

You can do this a few different ways, but in this post I’m going to share a nifty little tip for finding out what your users are searching for when they come to your website.

Prefer to watch a video tutorial? Here’s one I created showing you step by step how to find the search data:

Have you used the search function on a website to find content you want to read?

Using the search function makes it easier for you to find content. If what you’re looking for can’t be found on the website, you can leave without having wasted time. Or if it’s somewhere on the website, you can easily find it.

As a website owner, you can use Google Analytics to find out which words or phrases users have searched for on your website.

Why would you want to find this out?

Finding out what users are searching for on your website can give you ideas for future website content. It shows you what your users are interested in, and if you haven’t already covered it, you could in future.

If users are searching for content already on your website, maybe they’re having trouble finding it. This could be a hint that you need to work on your website’s user experience.

Where can you find this information?

You may have already seen this information before when you’ve been looking at your Google Analytics data, but didn’t know what it was.

If you’ve ever looked up how many page views your content has had, you would have come across the search queries too.

In the new version of Google Search Console, in the lefthand side menu, select “Behaviour”, then “Overview”.

This will show you the top 10 URLs that have had the most page views on your site.

On the bottom right hand corner, select “view full report”. This will now show you the page views for all of the URLs.

how to find search data for your website

I like to sort the pages alphabetically so that I can easily find the search queries. Click the “pages” heading twice- this will show you the search queries towards the top of the list.

Anything that shows “/?s=” is the search query used. For example:


Someone has visited your website and typed “best winter coat” in the search bar.

Have a look through the list to see the different search queries. Are there any queries that your website doesn’t currently answer? Is there potential for new content from this list of search queries?

Have you had multiple users search for the same query?

how to find onsite search data

What can I do with this information?

Now that you’ve found the search queries used on your website, you can add these topics to your list of future content to create. Check this information regularly to see if there are other queries showing up, or if there are other users searching for similar content.

One final word

Finding out search queries is one way to generate future content ideas- I have written a list of other ways to generate future content ideas.

Starting with what your readers are wanting is the best way to decide what content to create. You want your website to help your users.

By creating content based on what they want, your website is relevant and helpful.


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Nat Alleblas- SEO Sleuth: helping copywriters, marketers and web developers with their SEO needs. When she's not slaying SEO, Nat can be found with her head buried in a book or is smashing out a spin class. But not at the same time. Loves eggplant lasagna.

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