If you’re reading this post, you probably have the following question:
“What are my visitors searching for?”
Without installing a new plugin, there’s no way to know what your visitors are entering into your site’s search bar. And yet, this information is extremely valuable.
If you can discover what your visitors are searching for, you can find new ideas for content, pages that need to be more visible, and trends to capitalize on.
Even better is knowing which search terms don’t provide any results, so you can tweak your content (and search engine) to ensure visitors always find something relevant.
The search analytics plugins below can show you what visitors are searching for and even improve the UX of search on your site.
Keep reading to find out which plugins topped our list.
Best WordPress plugins with search analytics
Every plugin listed here can tell you what your visitors are searching for. Some have robust analytics, while others are simpler.
You’ll also find a few plugins that radically improve the WordPress search algorithm. Keep that in mind, as you might want to install multiple plugins from this collection.
Without further ado, here are our recommendations for getting search statistics in WordPress.
1. Independent Analytics
And, of course, it includes search analytics too!
In the analytics dashboard, you’ll find all the pages people have visited, including details like the title, URL, and page type (post, page, archive, etc.).
When visitors use your search bar, it takes them to a search results page, and these pages show up in the dashboard too. You can filter the report to only show search results pages like this:
Once filtered, you’ll see all the search queries performed on your site, including how many people searched for each one.
While the other plugins listed here can tell you how many times a term was searched for, Independent Analytics can tell you how many people searched for each term. It also filters out traffic from bots, which can spam your forms and mess up your analytics.
If you’re only looking for search analytics, then Independent Analytics might be more robust than what you’re looking for. However, if you need search analytics and want to move away from Google Analytics too, Independent Analytics will be a great choice.
2. WP Search Insights
WP Search Insights is a great plugin if you want to get analytics for searches on your site.
This lightweight plugin has a simple interface listing all your recent searches and your site’s most popular search terms, but there’s one other feature that sets it apart.
In the middle of the dashboard, there’s a stat telling you the percentage of searches that yielded at least one result.
This is very useful because you can find searches that didn’t return any results and update your content to ensure at least one good result is returned. For a large site, making this a daily task could quickly improve the search experience.
There’s something else you’ll learn as you find the searches that don’t yield results: WordPress search isn’t very good. You’ll frequently find searches that should uncover results but don’t, and this next plugin can help with that.
3. Ivory Search
Ivory Search completely revamps the WordPress search engine, making it much better at returning relevant results.
With Ivory Search, you can create new search forms, customize how they look, and place them anywhere on your site. On the back end, you can change how the search engine works. Most notably, you can choose specific post types to return and include content from meta data instead of only titles and content.
In regards to analytics, Ivory Search doesn’t include its own statistics dashboard, but it integrates with Google Analytics. You need to activate the Site Search feature in GA, and then you’ll see each search appear as an Event.
While Ivory Search doesn’t have a dedicated analytics dashboard, it does have a nice Google Analytics integration, and it makes huge improvements to search results in WordPress. You may want to use it with another plugin dedicated to providing search analytics.
4. WP Search Analytics
WP Search Analytics provides a straightforward solution for tracking the terms users search for on your site. It’s easy to install and begins tracking right away.
With this free plugin installed, you’ll get a new Search Statistics menu listing every search query and a graph showing the number of searches each day. It also includes how many results were returned for each query, which is great for finding failed searches.
If you’re worried about how much space this data will take up in your database, you can set the plugin to automatically delete data older than 90 days or any customer interval you’d like.
Overall, it’s a great plugin for discovering what people on your site are searching for.
Our last recommendation is SearchWP, a premium plugin that improves WordPress’ search functionality and provides robust search analytics.
What makes this plugin awesome is the ability to include custom fields in the search results. Normally, WordPress only considers the title and content of a page, but with SearchWP, you can modify the search to include the author, category, tags, and any other custom fields you create for your site.
SearchWP also includes special integration with eCommerce plugins for WooCommerce tracking and Easy Digital Downloads, and there are user-friendly controls for modifying the search algorithm.
Lastly, SearchWP has a nice Statistics menu where you can see all the search queries entered into your search bars and how many results each query yielded.
Which search analytics plugin is best for you?
As you saw, there are some excellent plugins available to improve search results and get more data out of WordPress.
Even better, all of these plugins besides SearchWP are completely free.
If you want to see the search terms visitors are using on your site, and you’d also like to replace Google Analytics, then Independent Analytics will be a great addition to your site.
You’ll discover the terms people search for and how many people searched for each query while ignoring spam submissions from bots.
If you don’t want to replace Google Analytics and want a clearer picture of your site searches, WP Search Insights is the best option.
I hope this collection of the best search analytics plugins for WordPress helped you find an awesome new solution for your site.
If you have any questions or feedback, post in the comments section below.