Welcome to the SiteCatalyst Finance Fundamentals blog series.  In this series we will discuss the implementation basics and example analysis of each fundamental solution that Financial Services customers should consider leveraging.  Stay tuned and please feel free to contribute your thoughts/experience as we discuss each solution.

In our previous post, we walked through the technical implementation of capturing onsite search terms in SiteCatalyst. The basic reporting outlined there was valuable and actionable, but most clients don’t realize that internal search reporting can be so much more complex and valuable than just most popular search term.

SAINT Classifications to Group Search Terms

You’re probably already aware that SAINT can be used to classify external campaign tracking codes, but did you know that SAINT can be used on nearly any variable in SiteCatalyst? Yes, including internal search terms!

You can use SAINT to group your internal search terms by topic, content owner, audience, language, anything. For our example client, Adobe Bank, we can use SAINT to group our internal search terms into topic groups. I won’t get into the mechanics of how SAINT works (you can read more about that here), but you will end up with a report like this:


All of the long-tail, granular, misspelled, and ugly looking search terms have been rolled up into just six simple line items. Additional analysis can be performed to see which groupings have the highest conversion rate, or which ones have searches with no results.

What’s that you say? Maintaining the SAINT file and classifying new terms takes a long time? Classification Rule Builder to the rescue! Using the Rule Builder, you can enter match criteria or regular expressions to automatically apply a classification to a value. Here’s what a sample rule set might look like:


Rule #1 will match several search terms, like “live chat, “chat with a rep,” or “chat online.” All of those will automatically be put in the Customer Service category, no further intervention needed. Of course there will still be long tail keywords that need manual classification, but the burden of maintaining those will be greatly reduced.

Search Term Pathing

By copying the onsite search term into a prop, you can see how users are refining their searches over the course of a visit or what other terms users are searching for in the same visit. For example, for users that search for the term “ira” on our hypothetical Adobe Bank site:


You can see that 42.32% of users leave the site without performing another search (blue line). This could mean that they found the IRA landing page and successfully opened an account, so an exit wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. However, 33.66% of users refined their search to be “ira distribution” (yellow line) which indicates they didn’t find their desired distribution form the first time. As an analyst, you could suggest that the content group add a link to the distribution form on the IRA landing page for easier access.

Search Term Origination Page

If your SiteCatalyst account is configured to capture the previous page’s name in an eVar, you can very easily report on the number of times users initiate searches from a particular page. This is a good indicator of what content your users are looking for on a page but are having difficulty finding.

Using our Adobe Bank client as an example, you can see that from the IRA landing page users are searching for the following things:


You can see that the first several items concern removing money from an IRA account. As with our search term pathing example, it looks like Adobe Bank’s customers want to withdraw money from their IRA but can’t find the form. You the analyst have further evidence to back up your assertion that a link to their distribution form should be placed on the landing page!

We’ve explored several ways of getting value out of your internal search terms reports beyond reporting on the most popular search terms. How are you getting value out of your onsite search reports? Leave a note in the comments!

Have a question about anything related to SiteCatalyst for the Financial Services industry?  Do you have any tips or best practices to share?  If so, please leave a comment here or send me an email at svertree (at) adobe.com and I will do my best to answer it on this blog so everyone can learn! (Don’t worry – I’ll keep your name and company name confidential).