how to search a website command find button mac

How to search a website for a word

Most of us are well acquainted with how to search for a word using a search engine like Google. However, you may find yourself wanting to search a specific website for a word, rather than just searching the internet at large.

Whether you are using Google Chrome, Safari, or another web browser, and whether you’re a Microsoft or Mac user, here are some tips if you want to search for a word on a specific website or on a specific web page.

Why You May Want to Search Within A Website 

You surely know how to search the web for a particular word using the Google search bar, but why would you want to look for a specific word or phrase within a web page? There are a number of good reasons to look for words or phrases within a specific website:

  • You are looking for something particular on a website but the built-in search bar doesn’t work well so you’d rather use a search engine to find the keyword or phrase you’re looking for.
  • You want to change every instance of a word on your own website. For instance, if a brand or location has changed.
  • You think that another website may be infringing on copyrighted material and you want to find that material using precise words.
  • You are looking for opportunities to link within your website by using relevant keywords.

How to Search for a Word Using Site Search

The vast majority of websites have a search box built into their site so you don’t even need to use Google. You can easily search within a given website by using their search box. Typically, there is a search bar at the top or right-hand side of the website.

Sometimes, you will need to dig into the menu options to find the search command. Using a keyboard shortcut like command F or CTRL F may bring up the website search bar. All you have to do is type in the word that you want to search for, press enter, or click the magnifying glass, and the search bar will return results for you.

The downside of this method is that not every website has a good built-in search tool to help you find a specific word. Oftentimes, the tool will only look for page titles and not body copy. It may only search blog posts but not pages, or pages but not posts.

Sometimes, the built-in search box seems to miss search results for no clear reason at all. And of course, not every website will have a search bar.

Site Search in the Google Search Bar

Perhaps the most effective way to search within a website and cover all of the pages is to search the website using the Google site search command. This advanced but also wonderfully simple Google search technique gives you an excellent chance of finding every instance of a search term that you want to search within a given website.

All you have to do is go into your web browser, pull up the Google search engine or address bar, and type:

Site:(website URL) Keyword

For instance, if you want to search for the word “search” within Google support, you would search for:

Site: search

You can also look for a specific phrase rather than just a word.

Putting quotes around a keyword will render more specific search results. If you find that the search seems ambiguous or you’re not getting the results you want, try putting quotation marks around the word or phrase:

Site:(website URL) “Keyword”

Note that there should be no space between “Site:” and the keyword or phrase. 

Search for a Word Using Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a website that gives you another way to uncover search results on a given web page. You need to pay for the full version of the software, but you can search as many as 500 web pages using the free version.

Just select configuration, then custom, and then search.

What’s nice about this tool over using a web browser is that you can set very specific search parameters. These search settings can help you find the specific keywords or phrases that you are looking for while weeding out any results that you don’t want.

Screaming Frog will also show you how many times a given page uses the specific word or phrase you’re looking for. This can be a great tool if you are looking for search terms within a page for SEO purposes. 

How to Search a Specific Web Page

Here is how to search a particular web page instead of conducting a search through the entire website. You can search using a keyboard shortcut like these:

PC: Press CTRL F 

Mac: Click Command + F

You can also go to the upper right corner at the top of the page of the web browser, click for more options, and click “find”. Exactly how to reveal more options differs depending on your web browser. Here’s how it looks in Google Chrome:

Searching for words or phrases in this way will reveal all instances in a standard page. You can scroll through the search result options with the up and down arrows at the right corner of the search bar.

However, if there are parts of the page that can be expanded, any keywords or phrases hidden within those expandable areas won’t be found by the search. To make sure you are looking for all of the keywords on a given webpage, you can right-click within the page and then click on “view page source.”

You can look for all of the keywords within the page, including within expandable portions, by searching within the page source. Like with the regular page, you can search within the website using “command F” or “CTRL F” or by finding the “find” command in the upper right corner

Take Advantage of Finding a Specific Search Term Within a Website

Finding a keyword or phrase within a specific website can be extremely advantageous whether you are just looking for specific information or you are using search terms as an SEO tool. Whether you use Google, the site search bar, or another tool, this is an advanced skill that is nonetheless quite easy. If you want to discover how to use search terms to improve your SEO, check out the Free Content & SEO Discovery Call.