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How to measure the click rate of search result page

patng 05-21-16

How to measure the click rate of search result page

I am running a product search website, and I want to experiment with the design of the search result page (similar to a Google search result page).  


A search result page will display up to 15 items (dynamically generated from server), and when a user clicks on an item, she will open a new page (on the same browser tab) showing the item's detail info.  She can use the browser Back button to move back to the result page and click on other items.


The metric we want to measure is the item click rate, i.e. number of items clicked per search result page.


Using Optimizely I know how to measure the click rate of a specific button.  But in my scenario, how can I measure the item click rate of a search result list?



- Patrick

Level 2

JasonDahlin 05-23-16

Re: How to measure the click rate of search result page

Hi @patng,

A couple ways come to mind, but nothing that actually use the tool the way it is intended.


1- Set up a Dimension for "search_results_clicks".  Every time a user clicks on a result, set a value in a cookie or local Storage, set the value of the dimension to the latest total, and send that value to Optimizely.  When you view your experiment results, you could look to see how many users have each value.

something like this (pseudo-code):

    if (typeof window.localStorage.search_items == 'undefined') {
        window.localStorage.search_items = 1;
    } else {
        window.localStorage.search_items = parseInt(window.localStorage.search_items) + 1;

    optimizely.push(['addToSegment', 'search_items_clicked', segment]);
    window.optimizely.push(['trackEvent', "sendSegmentData"]);

2- Treat it like Revenue - every time someone clicks an item, increment the sale by "1".  I don't think you can have 2 Revenue goals, so this likely won't work if you are already recording revenue).

--Jason Dahlin
Analytics and Testing Guru Smiley Happy

Experimentation Hero
patng 05-23-16

Re: How to measure the click rate of search result page

Hi @JasonDahlin,


Thanks for the reply!


For your first option, I have a few followup questions.  I am a little bit confused by how Visitor Segment (or Dimension, which now replaces Segment according to the API doc) can help get the click rate (e.g. 1.2 product clicks per search result page)


In your pseudo code:

    optimizely.push(['addToSegment', 'search_items_clicked', segment]);

What is the last parameter "segment"?  Or did you mean "search_items" instead?  

I have never used segementation before, but from the doc I see that it's used to segment my visitors when I review the result of my goal.  In my case, what goal should I set?  A custom goal which got triggered whenever someone clicks on a product?  Once again, how can I get click-rate from that?  



Lastly, in your pseudo code, I assume I should reset the search_items to zero whenever the browser runs a new search, in that correct?


Thanks a lot again.


- Patrick

Level 2
patng 05-30-16

Re: How to measure the click rate of search result page

@JasonDahlin, any update on this?  Thanks.

Level 2

Re: How to measure the click rate of search result page

Hi Patrick,


Unfortunately I don't believe Optimizely can calculate this for you by default but you can easily get the metric you are looking for with a little manual math. As Jason mentioned there are a few more complex "hacks" to get what you are looking for but I think you can answer your question in a much easier way.


Now that Optimizely has the "uniques/total" toggle on the results page you can use that to measure the total engagement and compare it to your pageviews.


What I would recommend you do is set up "clicks to - Product tile" as a click goal and then visits to your PLPs as a page view goal. 


When analyzing the results you can just switch the "click to product tile" goal to "Total" which will give you the total amount of tiles people clicked and then divide it manually by the "Visits to PLP" goal. This will give you the amount of tiles clicked per visitor, which I beleive is what you are looking for (You could also switch the pageview goal to "total" and do clicks per page load, but this is less valuable in my opinion). 


This is not perfect of course, and you will have to keep in mind that someone could potentially be clicking the same product multiple times. Even if the total is off by a few percent the difference and lift between the two variations will be accurate enough to make a decision.


Let me know if you have any questions!

Mike St Laurent - Optimization Strategist, WiderFunnel

Mike St Laurent - Optimization Strategist, WiderFunnel
patng 06-02-16

Re: How to measure the click rate of search result page

@Mike_StLaurent, thanks a lot for your extra explanation.


I think I can get the statistics by some manual calculation (i.e. click-rate = Total clicks / Total PageView).  However, I think it also means I can't rely on Optimizely to tell me when I have reached the desired statistical significance level, since the statistics I need is not natively tracked by the system.  Is that right?

Level 2

Re: How to measure the click rate of search result page

Thats totally right! But there are plenty of tools that can help you do that calculation. Try this one for example. Or you can build one out in excel.

Mike St Laurent - Optimization Strategist, WiderFunnel