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by Stone Reuning



Today's
websites are more complex than ever before. Many contain a wealth of
information visitors can use to answer their questions and learn what they need
to know before contacting a company or making a purchase online.

But
with all the information and features packed into many of today's websites, it
can also be more difficult for site visitors to first of all determine whether
or not a website will contain the information they need and then find it on the
website. Installing a site search box can offer several advantages to help your
site visitors--and also benefit your marketing function in the process.

Site search satisfies the customer's
"I want it now" attitude


Installing
an internal site search box can help visitors find what they need more quickly.
With web users still looking to find what they need as fast as possible, confusing
navigation and cluttered design are more likely than ever to prompt an "on-to-the-next-site"
response.

Site search is undoubtedly the
quickest way for someone to find what they're looking for on a large and
complex site. An internal site search helps visitors get around navigational
structures that may be confusing to them. This is especially important for
sites that are constantly adding new content. As the site continues to grow,
many users will find the site search function to be a valuable tool in helping
them find what they need.

Site search makes a website more customer
centric


Installing
an internal site search also means you can transform your website from a static
"one size fits all" style to a more "customer-centric" approach. More and more,
websites need to simultaneously cater to different types of website users -
knowledge seekers, prospects, buyers and long-term customers. Internal site
search helps you do this, as it helps those seeking knowledge find and assess
your resources more easily.

Site search appeals to the
"searcher" type of site visitor


Different
people prefer different types of navigation tools. For example, if someone uses
a search engine like Google to arrive at your website, they are more likely to
prefer the same search method for finding information within your website. It's
not uncommon for site visitors to look immediately for the site search box when
they arrive at a website.

Site
search arms marketers with data


Marketers can benefit tremendously from installing an
internal site search function. With the right analytic tool, internal site
search can provide a wealth of information about who visits your site and how
they navigate around it.

Site search data can provide insight into customer desires, intent,
and behavior. While a customer might tell a different story if asked for
feedback in a focus group or online survey, for example, site search data can
reveal exactly which pages they looked for and found, which searches intrigued
them to continue reading as well as those that prompted them to leave the site.
This will contribute to the conversation when analyzing conversion rate
performance across content and site sections.

Site
search provides insight into personas and usability issues


Site search can provide usability data without the expense
of setting up testing facilities. When the usage data and click path from real
users is saved and available for viewing and analysis anytime, a marketer can see
where searchers encountered difficulty. Looking at this data across multiple
users can give clues to areas of the site that require updating and expansion,
for example.

Adding typical searched on phrases to flesh out descriptions
of the various personas using your site can also help enrich the entire web
team's understanding of the types of people using the site. This information
will be particularly helpful to any copywriters who are preparing content for
selling pages and product descriptions, etc.

Site
search brings ideas for new products


Users' searches can even inspire new product offerings. If
you see that many visitors are searching your site for a particular type of
product or service that you don't yet offer, it may be time to consider
developing an offering to fit that underserved need. Especially if your site is
already bringing traffic for those particular searches, your company may do
well to act on this informal market research.

Site
search reveals new keywords


You may end up finding new keywords you were never aware of,
allowing you the opportunity to tweak your content so more users will find the
information they need on your site. Perhaps some of your pages that you feel
are relevant to a specific topic are missing a few of the terms people are
actually searching on. In that case, you'll have the opportunity to add them as
appropriate and further refine your content, making it even more targeted to
your users.

In addition, those keywords can be added to your search
marketing campaigns, perhaps offering a chance to reach a wider audience on the
Internet than originally anticipated.

In
summary, for your company to remain competitive online, you need to be open to the
new ways people are finding and disseminating information. Site search is an
exciting utility for websites looking to evolve their websites according to
user demands. We recommend beginning with an offering such as Google custom search, which can be
readily adapted to your needs.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.



Comments

  1. 0
    samwiseasa

    samwiseasa 3293 days ago Permalink

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