It is easy to get Site Search Terms added to your Google Analytics 4 reports — just add a custom dimension for the existing event parameter! The data doesn’t start collecting until you do this, so do it now!
Add A Custom Dimension
For unknown reasons, Google didn’t provide built-in dimensions for many of the existing event parameters that are automatically tracked in Google Analytics 4. If there isn’t a dimension defined, then you can’t include it in a report. Site Search Term is one of those dimensions — if you create a new Custom Dimension to expose the existing ‘search_term’ event parameter, you will be able to start reporting on your visitor’s site searches.
The data starts collecting after you define the custom dimension, so don’t put this step off!
View The Reports
After a day or two, you will be able to click on the ‘view_search_results’ entry in the Events report, and you will be taken to a detailed report.
In that detailed report, a new panel will appear with the Site Search Terms custom dimension defined earlier.
Site Search With The Google Analytics Pro Connector
For Analytics Edge users, you can also create Site Search reports using the new custom dimension — just click the Update button on the Fields tab of the GA 4 Reporting wizard. All your custom dimensions are now available.
Add the new Site Search Term dimension along with the Event count, and Filter for the Event name of ‘view_search_results’. You can optionally include the Page that the search started on as well as any other dimensions or metrics (Users?).