Using Mixpanel to track effectiveness of Search on your web site

Almost every web site and mobile app today has search functionality. It can be a great way for businesses to give their customers the ability to quickly find the content they need. But if a search does not deliver great results, you have a bad consumer experience. Recently we've seen a number of our customers start tracking each search on their site or app as an event in Mixpanel.

These companies are tagging each search event with a number of custom properties such as search term, the number of results returned and which filters were applied. This lets them learn what the most commonly used search terms are, segment searches to understand which ones produce the most and least results to ensure consumers are getting the content they want and optimize search functionality and reduce the weight of each search by determining which filters are most and least commonly used.

If you track search as an event, you can also use the search event as the first step in a funnel, and understand which search terms lead to desired behavior... or don't. When a specific search has a lower conversion rate than others, it often means the results aren't what users would expect.

Kiva.org, non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty, recently started tracking searches on their website using Mixpanel. They track each search as an event and have sent a number of custom properties including the search term(s), filters applied and number of results returned. This lets them see if they need to adjust the mix of microloans in their portfolio based on interest from consumers and figure out which filters that are useful and which ones they can remove.

We love this creative use of Mixpanel to solve a challenge.