Internal search is a feature in many websites where users can type keywords to locate information within other parts of the site. With this feature, users can easily locate specific topics or items that they want, especially if it does not appear on drop-down menus and primary links. It is visible in everything from information sites to online stores.

What many website owners may miss is that internal search not only helps improve user experience. It can be an indispensable part of your digital marketing strategy, if you know where to look. Let’s read up on three reasons why, below.

Understanding Your Audience

As stated above, many website owners only include the internal search function for the convenience of site visitors. While a positive user experience does provide value to your marketing efforts, the way users utilize your search bar is of greater importance to you and your marketing team. After all, observing your internal search can you give an idea of:

  • where your top internal search queries are coming from
  • the frequency of certain search terms
  • related searches for particular items
  • topical searches (like holiday-related terms)

You can get a better understanding of what services or products your visitors frequently need if you can discern patterns from internal search data effectively.

Refining Your Site Architecture

Once you get a better understanding of how your audience utilizes your internal search system, you can readily improve how your site looks and operates. You can modify which categories get priority billing on your dropdown menus, move around pages to upper or lower layers, or cull links that most users find redundant. You can also determine how to handle event-driven link taxonomies, such as for local or national holidays.

However, it is advised not to go overboard, as attempting to cater to every feature that the internal search data suggests can lead to severe performance issues. Providing content for every source of traffic can lead to a glut in pages to index, which can potentially lead to site outages as search crawlers attempt to tally all your new pages at once. This type of combinatorial explosion would be more detrimental than ignoring the potential of internal search data.

Increasing Value

All in all, the purpose of understanding your internal search data is to help increase the actual value of your business. Ranking higher than your competition and being on the first page of SERPs do not mean much if you don’t turn a profit from them. You would gain more if you focus on understanding your site visitors’ search habits than chasing top ranks alone.

If you can capitalize on your internal search data by determining what items are most needed and where most of the search queries are coming from, you can easily leverage your resources to focus on these queries and improve the visibility of their target pages. This, in turn, can further drive views to related information within the site, and also attract more visits from new users. All in all, your site gains value naturally.


Internal search may seem like a no-brainer to some, but it holds a great deal of value in the context of understanding user interactions with your site. Take full advantage of the knowledge you can gain from internal search results to improve your services and gain a wider audience.