What is a Natural Search?
Natural search means that the online search for a certain service or a product was conducted by the user alone, without any encouragement, such as ads (paid search).
It's important to analyze natural search reports, as they provide the most reliable and accurate data about your users and their behavior.
You can use data from the Natural Search report to refine your paid search marketing strategy. For example, you can seek out untapped keyword marketing opportunities or examine keywords with high traffic, low conversion, and high bounce rates.
- Seek out untapped keyword marketing opportunities
- The list of top 100 natural-search and on-site search terms give insight into how users think about your website offerings and how they search for your products. Consider any terms that are not already purchased from this list as candidates for your paid search campaigns. Use natural search conversion rates to estimate bid levels.
- Examine keywords with high traffic, low conversion, and high bounce rate
- Investigate ad and landing-page materials to ensure that you are obtaining qualified traffic and that you are presenting visitors with the right products. Create Segments to find out which pages are the primary entry points of Natural Search traffic. Compare conversion and bounce rates to identify pages to focus optimization efforts.
Get intraday reporting on Natural Search reports
You can enable intraday reporting on your Natural Search report by opening a support ticket. Make sure to specify how often you want the report generated. The default is every 4 hours.
Here's what you can do with intraday:
- See when your report was last updated. Simply open the report, click the Calendar icon, and click today’s date. A timestamp tells you when your report was lasted generated. The timestamp uses a "Current as of <date><time>" format, where <date> and <time> are set to the time zone and date format for your client id.
- Get updates on metrics by opening the report and looking at the Tiny-icon on the metric.
Note: Intraday is not supported on segmented or filtered reports and does not support Week-to-date, Month-to-date, Quarter-to-date, Year-to-date, and Custom Date Range reports (rollup functionality). It is also not supported for click attribution metrics, such as New Visitors 14 days - backward - last click or Page Views 14 days - backward - average click.
Natural Search report use case
The following use case shows how to use Natural Search report data to improve natural search performance.
The Marketing team is about to start a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) project, intending to increase traffic and revenue through Natural Search. To monitor any potential uplift, you must analyze current natural search performance and create a set of KPIs. Focus areas include the relative importance of brand versus long-tail keywords and key entry pages for natural search traffic, with a particular focus on product detail pages.
Using data from the Natural Search report, you create a pivot table in Excel that groups search strings by the number of words, and whether they include brand-related terms.
The resulting table indicates that most brand searches use just a single keyword, with a sharp drop off as the number of keywords increases. In contrast, non-brand searches tend to be more descriptive and these sessions enter two and four search keywords.
You are also able to make similar comparisons between the Bounce Rate and Conversion Rate for the brand and non-brand keywords. Non-brand terms tend to have a much higher Bounce Rate because visitors are likely to be more goal-oriented and link directly to the pages for particular products or content of interest. Conversion Rates in this instance are also higher for long-tail non-brand search terms.
To understand the landing pages for Natural Search, you create segments for the major page groupings on the site. The website page naming conventions enable you to create segments for Home Page, Product, Category, Store Locator, and Other.
Each segment specifies matches against a particular landing page, for example, Entry Page starts with Product to group all product pages together into one segment or Entry Page starts with Category to group all category pages into one segment (Entry Page start can also be applied to Home, Store Locator, and Other). Each of these segments can then be applied to the Natural Search report to derive the following metrics.
|Segment||Entry Page Views||One Page Sessions||Bounce Rate||Conversion Rate||Traffic|
The percentage of Entry Page Views can be calculated for each segment to show the volume of traffic landing on each page type. In this instance, the Home Page receives most of the traffic at 62%, with product pages receiving 15%. The conversion rates show that visitors who land on product pages are not likely to convert, largely because 60% of them bounce immediately, having reviewed the product they were interested in. Removing one-page sessions from the equation shows that visitors who land on product pages and continue to browse the website are actually the most likely to convert, at a rate of 5%.
With these metrics available for trending, you can track a set of SEO performance KPIs, and monitor the impact of ongoing optimization efforts.
Key performance indicators for the Natural Search report
Focus on the following key performance indicators when you are analyzing Natural Search report data.
The Natural Search report provides the following metrics in the default view.
Note: The following list of metrics references the retail vertical. The finance vertical might refer to some metrics differently. For example, in the finance vertical, the Unique Visitors metric is called Unique Applicants.
- Bounce Rate
The percentage of sessions that were single-page sessions during the selected time period attributed to this search. A high percentage shows that visitors are bouncing off their arrival page without visiting another page on your website.
- Unique Visitors
The number of unique visitors as determined by a count of distinct persistent cookies.
- Unique Buyers / Visitors
The ratio of visitors who purchased a product to all visitors who visited your site: Unique Buyers divided by Unique Visitors.
- New Visitor %
The percentage of sessions that were single-page sessions during the selected time period attributed to this search. A high percentage shows that visitors are bouncing off their arrival page without visiting another page on your website. The percentage of new visitors during the selected time period attributed to the search.
- Online: Sales
Total sales of purchased items calculated for orders completed via online channels.
Additionally, if you edit the Natural Search report, you can add these metrics.
- Average Session Length
The average session length during the selected time period attributed to this search. This metric can be used to determine the stickiness of a website and the level of user engagement.
- Buying Sessions / Total Sessions
Buying sessions divided by total sessions.
- Event Points
The total number of event points. Event data is collected by the Conversion Event tag. Action Type = 1 reflects an initiation. Action Type = 2 reflects a completion. Passing Event Point values is optional.
- Event Points / Session
The average number of event points per session: Event Points divided by Sessions. Event data is collected by the Conversion Event tag. Action Type = 1 reflects an initiation. Action Type = 2 reflects a completion. Passing Event Point values is optional.
- Event Sessions
The total number of sessions that consist of at least one completed event. Event data is collected by the Conversion Event tag. Action Type = 1 reflects an initiation. Action Type = 2 reflects a completion. Passing Event Point values is optional.
- Events Completed
The number of events that were completed during the selected time period attributed to this search within the attribution window.
- Events Completed / Session
The number of events completed divided by session.
- New Visitors
The total number of new visitors (persistent cookie values that were not seen previously).
- One Page Sessions
The total number of sessions that consisted of a single page.
- Online: Average Order Value
Average order value during the selected time period attributed to the search within the attribution window.
- Online: Average Shipping & Handling
The average shipping and handling fees for transactions completed via online channels.
- Online: Buying Sessions
The number of sessions in which an order was placed via online channels.
- Online: Orders
The total number of orders placed in online channels. A count of the Order tag.
- Online: Total Shipping & Handling
The total shipping and handling value for orders completed via online channels.
- Online: Unique Buyers
The total number of visitors who purchased one or more products via online channels.
- Orders / Session
The average number of orders per session: Orders divided by Sessions.
- Orders / Visitor
The average number of orders per visitor: Orders divided by Unique Visitors.
- Page Views
The total number of times the page (or category that contains the page) was viewed. A count of the collected Page View tags.
- Page Views / Session
The average number of page views per session.
The total number of sessions. A session is defined by a sequence of records collected by a common session cookie with no more than 30 minutes (default) of inactivity between collected records.