Search Result Page Exit Rates
Recently, I was working with a client who was interested in seeing how often their internal search results page was the exit page. Their goal was to see how effective their search results were and which search terms were leading to high abandonment. Way back in 2010, I wrote a post about how to see which internal search terms get clicks and which do not, but this question is a bit different from that. So in this post, I will share some thoughts on how to quantify your internal search exit rates in Adobe Analytics.
Seeing the general exit rate of the search results page on your site is pretty easy to do simply with the Pages report. To start, simply open the pages report and add the Exits metric to the report and use the search box to isolate your search results page:
Next, you can trend this by changing to the trended view:
But to see the Exit Rate, you need to create a new calculated metric that divides these Exits by the Total # of Visits (keep in mind that you need to use the gear icon to change Visits to “Total”). The calculated metric would look like this:
Once you have this metric, you can change your previous trending view to use this calculated metric (still for the Search Results Page) to see this:
Now we have a trend of the Search Results page exit rate and this graph can be added to a dashboard as needed.
As you can see getting our site search results page exit rate is pretty easy. However, the Pages approach is a bit limiting because it is difficult to view these Search Result page exit rates by search term. For example, if I want to see the trend of Search Result Exit Rates for the term “Bench,” I can create a segment defined as “Hit where Internal Search term = Bench” and apply it to see this:
Here you can see that this search term has a much higher than average Search Result page Exit Rate. But if I want to do this for more search terms, I would have to create many keyword-based segments, which would be very time consuming.
Fortunately, there is another way. Instead of using the Pages report, you can create a new Search Result Page Exit Rate calculated metric that is unrelated to the Pages report. To do this, you would first build a segment that looks for Visits where the Exit Page was “Search Results” as shown here:
Next, you would use this new segment in a new “derived” calculated metric and use it to divide Search Page Exit Visits by all Visits like this:
This would produce a trend that is [almost] identical to the report shown above:
Just as before, this trend line can be added to a dashboard as needed. But additionally, this new calculated metric can be added to your Internal Search Term eVar report to see the different Search Result Page Exit Rates for each term:
This allows you to compare terms and look for ones that are doing well and/or poorly. Whereas before, if you wanted to see a trend for any particular phrase, you had to create a new segment, in this report, you can simply trend the Search Result Page Exit Rate and then pick the internal search terms you want to see trended. For example, here is a trend of “Bench” and “storage bench” seen together:
This means that you can see the Search Page Exit Rate for any term without having to build tons of segments (yay!). And, as you can see, the daily trend of Search Page Exit Rates for “Bench” here are the same as the ones shown above for the Pages version of the metric with the one-off “Bench” segment applied.
One More Thing!
As if this weren’t enough, there is one more thing! If you sort the Search Term Exit Rate (in descending order) in the Internal Search Term eVar report, you can find terms that have 100% (or really high) exit rates!
This can help you figure out where you need more content or might be missing product opportunities. Of course, many of these will be cases in which there are very few internal searches, so you should probably view this with the raw number of searches as shown above.