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how to track the most popular search keywords on your WordPress site

Would you like to know how to track the most popular search keywords on your WordPress site?

It’s an excellent opportunity to get new content ideas and better understand the needs of your audience.

In this article, we’ll show you 3 fast and easy ways to track the most popular search keywords on your site.

Here is the table of contents to help you navigate:

What is Keyword Tracking?

To begin with, let’s talk about what keywords are.

Keywords are search terms that people enter into a search form when they search for content or products.

Keyword tracking can be divided into 2 parts:

  • On-site tracking – lets you know what keywords visitors were using when searching on your site.
  • Off-site tracking – lets you find out what keywords visitors use to find your site in search engines.

Below we’ll show you how to perform both types of keyword tracking and explain in detail why keyword tracking is essential for everyone who wants to succeed online.

Why You Should Track Your Site’s Keywords

Due to off-site keyword tracking, you can get valuable insight into how your site performs in search engines.

It lets you find out what keywords people use to find your site and how much traffic specific keywords bring to it.

It’s important to regularly monitor the keywords your site ranks for to see points of potential traffic growth.

Using this information, you can figure out what articles on your site are the most successful and adjust your content marketing strategy as needed.

The case is a little different with on-site keyword tracking.

If a visitor uses the search form on your site, it usually means one of the following things:

They couldn’t find the right content right away, or they wanted to consume even more of your content.

Both are great opportunities to find out what’s missing from your site and to reach your audience’s needs.

Now that we’ve figured out the importance of keyword tracking, let’s take a look at how you can enable it on your site.

How to Track Keywords People Use to Find Your Site

There are 2 ways to track keywords people use to find your site. Let’s talk about both methods below.

Method 1: Using Google Search Console

The first way is to use Google Search Console. This free online tool allows you to measure your site’s search traffic and overall performance.

To start using it, you need to add your site to Google Search Console.

If you haven’t done it yet, simply follow the how to add your WordPress site to Google Search Console tutorial.

Once you’ve added your site to Google Search Console, go over to the Performance » Search Results tab.

go to the search results tab

Here you’ll find a report with your average site position in Google search results.

view the average position of your site

If you scroll down under Queries, you’ll see the list of keywords your website ranks for, along with their positions, impressions, and clicks.

the list of top queries

Note that if you have just added your site to the Google Search Console, collecting the data will take some time.

Google Search Console is a nice and powerful online tool. But its main job is to give you reports about your site’s health and performance.

That’s why using it, you can get only basic information on keywords your site ranks for.

If you’re looking for advanced analytics, you’re better off using the second method.

Method 2: Using MonsterInsights

The best way to get a comprehensive report on what keywords people use to find your site is to use a plugin like MonsterInsights.

MonsterInsights logo

As the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, MonsterInsights ensures seamless integration of your site with Google Analytics – even if you’re not tech-savvy.

Usually, when you’re adding your site to Google Analytics, you need to edit the code of your theme. It’s challenging for beginners and requires advanced WordPress knowledge.

Using MonsterInsights, you can connect your site with Google Analytics in just a few clicks, no coding needed.

Plus, MonsterInsights allows you to see the Google Analytics dashboard right inside WordPress. You don’t even need to leave your site to check your traffic report!

Here are other things you can do with this plugin:

  • Form conversion tracking. Would you like to know how many people use a newsletter or contact form on your site? With MonsterInsights, you can easily find out the number of form views and its conversion rate.
  • Enhanced WooCommerce analytics. Are you a WooCommerce store owner? View your sales numbers, conversion rate, and revenue in your WordPress dashboard with MonsterInsights.
  • Real-Time Reports. Wonder how many visitors are on your site right now? With MonsterInsights, you can see who is online and what they’re doing in real-time.

Now let’s look at how you can use MonsterInsights to track the keywords people use to find your site.

Step 1: Install and Activate MonsterInsights

The first step is to grab your copy of the MonsterInsights plugin.

Once done, navigate to your MonsterInsights account and open the Downloads tab.

go to the downloads tab

Then, click Download MonsterInsights and save the plugin’s ZIP file to your computer.

press the download MonsterInsights button

Copy your license key on the bottom left. You’ll need it to activate the plugin later.

copy your MonsterInsights license key

Once you’ve finished downloading, go to your WordPress site dashboard and upload the MonsterInsights plugin ZIP file.

Need any help on how to do that? Check out this step-by-step tutorial on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After you installed and activated MonsterInsights, the next step is to connect your site to Google Analytics.

Step 2: Connect Your Site with Google Analytics

To connect your site to Google Analytics, go to your WordPress site dashboard and click the Connect MonsterInsights and Setup Website Analytics button.

connect MonsterInsights with Google Analytics

After you click the button, simply follow the steps of the setup wizard to add Google Analytics to your site.

Step 3: Add Your Site to Google Search Console

Once you’ve connected Google Analytics to your site, the next step is to add it to Google Search Console.

If you need help with that, feel free to check out the how to add a WordPress site to Google Search Console step-by-step tutorial.

Step 4: See Your Site Search Terms Data in WordPress Dashboard

You need to wait for a minute or two while MonsterInsights collects data on your website.

To see your site search terms data, navigate to the Insights tab in your WordPress dashboard.

go to the Insights tab

Once there, go over to the Search Console tab.

go to the search console tab

Here you’ll find a list of the top 50 search terms for your site with the number of clicks, CTR, and average positions in the search results.

top 50 Google search terms

It’s very convenient to be able to check the most popular keywords for which your site ranks without even leaving the WordPress dashboard.

If you also want to see the keywords people use to find your site via Google Analytics, go to the next step below.

Step 5: See Your Site Search Terms Data in Google Analytics

Go to your Google Analytics account and navigate to the Acquisition » Search Console » Queries tab.

go over to the queries tab

Here you’ll find all the search queries that have been collected since you connected your site to Google Analytics.

the list of your site's search queries

As now you know how to track keywords people use to find your site, let’s take a look at how you can do on-site keyword tracking.

How to Find Out What People Are Searching For on Your Site

The easiest way to find out what people are searching for on your site is to use a plugin like SearchWP.

SearchWP logo

This is the best WordPress search plugin that brings tons of useful features to enhance your site’s search capabilities.

Over 30,000 site owners already use it to provide their visitors with relevant search results and increase content discoverability.

Beyond the ability to track keywords on your site, you can also use SearchWP to:

  • Display search results in live mode. Would you like to show search results on your site in a real-time mode? Turn it on in SearchWP settings to provide visitors with a better user experience.
  • Make custom post types searchable. Have you published a new custom post type, but it doesn’t appear in search results? Using SearchWP, you can make custom post types searchable in a few clicks.
  • Enable fuzzy search. Want your visitors to find the right content even if they make a typo? Enable fuzzy search with SearchWP and improve the discoverability of your content.

Now, let’s take a look at how you can find out what people are searching for on your site using SearchWP.

Step 1: Install and Activate the SearchWP Plugin

The first step is to grab your copy of the SearchWP plugin here.

Once done, go to your SearchWP plugin and navigate to the Downloads tab.

go to the SearchWP downloads tab

Then, press the Download SearchWP button and save the plugin’s ZIP file to your computer.

press download SearchWP

Copy the license key at the same tab. You’ll need it to activate your copy of SearchWP further on.

copy your SearchWP license key

Once you’ve downloaded the plugin, the next step is to upload it to your site.

Need a refresher on how to do that? Follow this detailed guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After you install the SearchWP plugin, you need to activate it. To do so, click the SearchWP button at the top panel of the WordPress dashboard.

go to the SearchWP settings

Then, navigate to the License tab.

go over to the license tab

Paste the license key that you copied earlier in your SearchWP account into the field and click Activate.

activate your license

Once you activate the plugin, the next step is to install and activate the Metrics extension.

Step 2: Install and Activate the Metrics Extension

This extension gives you a detailed report on your visitors’ on-site search activity.

You can use it to find out what people are looking for most often on your site, how much they click on search results, and much more.

To get the extension, go over to the Metrics extension download page. Once there, click the Download Extension button and save it to your computer.

download the metrics extension

After the download is finished, simply install and activate the extension in the same way as the SearchWP plugin.

Step 3: Check Out the Search Activity on Your Site

Once done, go to your WordPress dashboard and click Metrics under the SearchWP tab.

go over to the metrics tab

Here you’ll find data on all search queries that visitors have made on your site.

search statistic

That’s valuable information that can help you get to know your audience better.

Note that it’ll take some time to collect data on search queries made on your site after installing the extension.

In this article, you learned how to track keywords that visitors entered on your site and how to find out what keywords they used to find it in search engines.

If you’re ready to start tracking keywords that people use to find your site, you can grab your copy of MonsterInsights here.

If you’re ready to start tracking keywords that visitors search for on your site, you can grab your copy of SearchWP here.

Would you like to hide some specific pages from search results on your site? Feel free to check out the how to exclude pages from site search results in WordPress tutorial.

Have you encountered any problems with WordPress search? Take a look at the how to fix WordPress search not working comprehensive guide.

Want to make your search awesome right now?

More than 30,000 sites have chosen SearchWP!

You can utilize all of the content that’s gone unrecognized by native WordPress keyword search instantly with SearchWP.

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