Search analytics is used by website owners to help them understand how to garner the best search engine results positions. This is done by gathering and evaluating search engine statistics, keyword usage and placement, advertising history, competition analysis and multivariate testing. Website owners often use companies who specialize in search marketing and web analytics to help them interpret search analytics results and implement a course of action. These companies have search engine marketing and search engine optimization specialists who, through the use of specialized software, can gather and analyze specific data.
Search analytics helps a website owner define specific keywords used to define a site or offering based on frequently searched terms. Once defined, these terms are placed in strategic locations throughout the site. Keywords help search engines display the most relevant sites based on a users search terms.
An owner can also define his competition using search analytics. Through careful planning and strategy, analytics will aid an owner in having his website rank higher in search engine results then his competition. The target placement is the first page of results, preferably in what is called "above the fold" position, or the first five listings.
Analytics will define trending, or when specific products or services are being searched for the most. Shopping sites may see an upward spike during the holiday shopping season, for example, while services, like building and construction, may see a spike during the summer seasons. Analytics will show these trends and allow an owner to begin advertising and rank targeting early, so they perform well during the peak.
Search analytics can also help define what searchers find most useful. This allows the owner to design his site with a user's specific needs in mind and offer what the user is most interested in. When this is accomplished, owners are able to reach their target audience and stand a better chance of motivating that audience into action.
Search data is harvested from search engines through programs offered by the search engine itself, or through software that can collect and present the data in a ordered manner for evaluation. The accuracy of search engine analytics data can vary widely, depending on the method and software being used. Search engines share data so that website owners can aid engines with proper categorization and search results, but they must guard against abuse. The formulas that search engines use to define relevant search results also change frequently.