How to Access the Google Analytics Site Search Report in GA4

Dark orange GA4 site search data report featured image.
By Racquel ConradNov 23, 2022

In Universal Analytics (UA), the site search report showed:

  • Whether users take advantage of your site’s search function
  • Which terms they’re searching for
  • How the search results encourage engagement with your site

However, to view this report in UA, you had to first enable its functionality.

Just like UA, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) requires you to enable certain settings before you can view the GA4 site search report. Follow this step-by-step guide to enable and view your Google Analytics site search report.

Enabling Site Search Tracking in Google Analytics 4

To enable the site search tracking functionality in GA4, navigate to your GA4 property and go to Admin. In the Admin settings, click on Data Streams and select your web stream.

Red boxes highlighting visual steps of how to navigate to data streams in GA4.

Here, you can make sure that Enhanced measurement is enabled. Once enabled, click on the gear icon to edit the enhanced measurement settings.

Where to find the enhanced measurement settings in GA4.

In the enhanced measurement settings, scroll down to ensure Site search is enabled. Once enabled, click on Show advanced settings.

How to enable site search settings in GA4.

Here, you will see five default query parameters that GA4 recognizes: q, s, keyword, search, and query. If your website uses a different query parameter in the URL to store the search keyword, enter that parameter. You can have up to 10 parameters total (separated by a comma).

Red boxes highlighting where to click to create a search term query parameter.

Finally, be sure to save your settings. You now have enabled the site search tracking functionality in GA4. However, we’re not done setting up all the required settings in GA4 to see the site search report yet.

Locating the 5 search query parameters in GA4.

Please Note: If you do not complete the following steps, you will only be able to view site search terms in your real-time report for the past 30 minutes.

Once you enable and save the site search functionality, you’ll need to configure a Custom definition in the Admin panel.

Red boxes highlighting how to navigate to custom definitions in the GA4 Admin.

Here, we will create a new Custom dimension.

Red box highlighting where to click to create a custom dimension in GA4.

Enter search_term as the dimension name. Leave the scope set as event. Then, select search_term in the event parameter drop-down menu and save.

Creating a custom dimension in GA4 for site search tracking.

Congratulations, you are now tracking site search data!

Once you have set up site search tracking, you must wait at least 24 hours before you can find site search terms data in your GA4 property. Continue reading to find out how to navigate to the site search report.

Navigating to the GA4 Site Search Report

Once 24 hours have passed and site search data has begun to collect, navigate to your GA4 property, and then Reports. Go to Engagement and view the Events report.

Red boxes highlighting how to navigate to the events report in GA4.

In the search box, type in search, then click on view_search_results.

Search box showing search to find view search results.

Scroll down to find the search_term box. Here, you can review all the search terms your users are searching on your site.

Search term results report in GA4.

More Google Analytics Guides and GA4 Training

Find more step-by-step guides in our blog: How to Find Basic Data from UA in GA4.

Or sign up for some hands-on GA4 training. Our team at Evolve Marketing offers live, in-depth one on one training sessions so you can navigate GA4 like a pro. Contact us today for more information.

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