Google is great for finding information. It gives accurate results in a fraction of a second. But what if you want really specific information, like results from your own website or a competitor’s website? Yes, Google can do that too.
This guide will show you an easy and quick way to search any website for keywords.
What Is a Website Search?
A website search, known as a site search, is a way to search a website for specific content or topics. There are a few ways in which you can do a site search to find relevant content, but which way you choose will probably depend on why you are searching.
Why Perform a Website Search?
For digital marketers, a website search can be helpful in gathering information and data not just on your website, but also on the websites of competitors. It can help you to:
- Find specific quotes and data — search for specific statistics or quotes that you read weeks, months, or years ago
- Discover new ideas — find topics and keywords you haven’t covered yet
- Monitor performance — check which pages are ranking for specific keywords
- Find backlink opportunities — search for relevant sites to include in your outreach strategy
- Analyze competitors — research your competitors’ ranking and content strategy
You could even use a website search to find where things are mentioned on your website, which could be helpful if you need to update or remove them. For example, you can research seasonal offers, one-off promotions, brand changes, or location updates to discover content ideas or new keywords.
How to Search a Website for Keywords
Depending on why you are performing a site search, there are several different ways of doing a website search for keywords, including:
- Using Ctrl+F in the HTML
- Using Google search operators
- Using the website’s search function
- Using specific keyword tools
1. Find Words in the HTML
If you are a marketing expert, you will probably gravitate toward the traditional Ctrl+F (Command+F on Mac) in the HTML of a website.
To do this type of site search, you need to:
- Install or open Chrome
- Visit the website
- Right-click your selected page
- Choose “View page source”
- Hold Ctrl+F
- Type in your keyword and press enter
Any appearances of your keyword on the page will then be highlighted.
However, bear in mind that this type of search will only search the current page you are on. It will not search the entire website.
2. Google Search Operator
A website search can be easier and more reliable than this more traditional Ctrl+F method. A site search involves Google and can be done quickly in just three steps.
- Open Google
- Type site: and then the domain of the website you’re searching, e.g. site:www.yourdomain.com (Note: There is not a space between the colon and the domain)
- Type the search term after your domain, e.g. “site:www.yourdomain.com pickles” and press search
This site search method works because of what’s known as a search operator. In this case, the search operator is the “site:” part of the search query. This restricts your search results to those that are only from the specified website.
You can find a full list of search operators in our ultimate guide to Google search commands.
3. Website’s Search Function
If you visit the website you want to search, you will often find that it may have its own search bar. You will be able to use this to search the site for a particular keyword. All you’ll need to do is:
- Find the search bar
- Type your keyword
- Click search/pressing enter
Although this method is by far the simplest, not all websites offer this function. If they do, they may not have their search bar configured in the most optimal way. For example, their search function may only retrieve matches in the page title or URL, so you will end up with a reduced list of relevant results.
4. Keyword Tools
Sometimes you might not be sure what keyword or topics you are searching for, but you know what site you are searching in. This is often the case if you are scoping out competitors or researching new content ideas. In these cases, a keyword tool is what you will need.
Our Organic Research tool will give you a list of the organic keywords that a particular site is ranking for. All you need to do is:
- Create a free account
- Open Semrush
- Navigate to the Organic Research tool
- Enter the domain and go to Positions report
- Press enter
This will give you a full website report, including organic keywords and other similar websites you can check out too. You will also have the option to only search for keywords ranking for specific sections, pages, and subdomains of the website by altering the drop-down box in the search bar.
Understanding which websites are ranking for which keywords can be very helpful to you in your digital marketing campaigns. It can help you to monitor your own performance in terms of your content and SEO, as well as give you insights and tips on what your competitors are doing. It’s a quick and easy way to support your website’s growth.
And don’t forget that you can use these methods as a consumer too! If you’re searching for a particular type of product from a specific brand, then try using the Google search operator ‘site:’ to find it.