We’ve officially reached our final stop on our SharePoint analytics journey (although it’s not to say that there isn’t much more that can be learned from this point!). We’ve explored the possibilities with your portal visitors, navigated through your SharePoint ecosystem, and cruised along with various content reports.
Our final destination will show us how to dive deep into optimizing your SharePoint search facility by analyzing your visitors’ use of your search engine. An essential question you may want to ask yourself before assessing your SharePoint search status, is
“Do you know how well your search engine is performing within your intranet?”
If you can’t answer this question with actionable metrics, your efforts to improve SharePoint adoption may be futile. Analytics can provide you with this answer, and more. Search is one of the most important features in an intranet, as it’s often the default behavior of users (the first thing they do when they enter the portal).
Maximizing the effectiveness of your search engine is critical for enhancing the overall performance of your SharePoint portal.
Why Measure Search Trends in SharePoint?
A search engine is designed specifically so that your employees and partners can easily gather information from your company’s knowledge base, thus locating internal expertise with just a click of the mouse. Search engines have huge potential, but it’s necessary to monitor them properly. Making sure your search engine provides accurate and pertinent results is critical for optimizing search to its greatest potential. Most likely, you’ve already invested in FAST Search for SharePoint, which provides your website visitors and portal users with a dynamic search facility. Now you just need to make sure it fulfills that huge potential.
How can analytics assist you in making sure your portal search investment is living up to expectations? Put simply; advanced analytics solutions can assist you in analyzing how people are using your on-site search engine, whether it’s on SharePoint’s intranet or internet. An effective advanced analytics solution gives you a wide range of detailed reports on vital insights regarding your FAST search engine.
It’s vital to know whether your SharePoint search engine is doing its job as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Still not convinced?
Let the Words do the Work
Improving SharePoint adoption without knowing the on-site search phrases is a bit like shooting in the dark. On-Site Search Phrases Reports not only tell you the exact search phrases entered in the portal, but with ranked “top search phrases”, you can also gather deep insights into what your users are searching for, what they need help with, and what topics they’re interested in. Additionally, this report can also tell you what content users aren’t finding easily.
Understanding the most common search terms can help you determine what content people are usually looking for and how easily they’re able to find it.
You can leverage these data insights to create navigation paths and easy routes for users to access popular content. Linking popular content from the intranet home page can save your users lots of time!
Leverage Failure for Success
Now that you know what your users are searching for, it’s time to drill down to see what items are yielding 0 results. Failed Searches Reports uncovers search terms that retrieve either no results or so many results that people are wasting lots of time browsing. Once you can identify what searches are retrieving 0 results you can optimize the search for these phrases.
On the other hand, if too many results are being returned with specific search phrases you can use these reports to modify search terms based on the user’s clicks and selections making sure the popular ones appear on the first page of search results to help save your users’ time.
Track the Search Journey
Tracking the origin and destination pages of on-site search activities are two additional analytics initiatives that can greatly enhance your grasp on your SharePoint search management.
Onsite Search Origin pages helps you understand where your users are searching their content from. For example, perhaps a user is on a HR homepage site and while on that site searches for something like “Employee Handbook”. If you see that many users are searching for the same term from the main page, then it becomes obvious that a button needs to be created on the main page to assist users in navigating to the content that matters most to them.
The same method can be used alternatively, by tracking Onsite Search Destination pages. If you see that many people are searching and then landing on a specific destination page, you should make that make more accessible for your portal users.
Solidify and Optimize Search
Now that you’ve read a few examples of how you can implement an advanced analytics solution to enhance your search efforts, you can take this information straight to your portal. The beauty of these reports it that they’re fairly simple but offer a wealth of insights that can help you optimize your portal and users’ search experience. Giving them the right content, in the right places with the click of a mouse!