Harsh question, I know, but the search results for many website search engines appear almost random. The reason I am familiar with this situation is because clients often ask me for help. They usually start by telling me that their search engine stinks. Now, sometimes it does, but not usually. More frequently, they haven’t done anything except install a search engine. That works about as well as just installing a CRM system. If you just let your search engine lay there, don’t expect to like the results.
Ask yourself something. Who is responsible for your website search, marketing or IT? If the answer is the IT group, that is probably your first mistake. Don’t get me wrong–I am an old IT person and they do great work. But, they do great IT work, not great marketing work.
Your IT group has probably chosen a good search engine, installed it properly, and made sure that it is running fine. But that doesn’t mean that it is finding the right pages when people search.
Finding the right content for each customer’s search is not merely a technical exercise. Here are a few of the things that must go right for your client to find the right page and buy something from you:
- You must know the search keywords that your customers use
- You must know which content should come up for those keywords
- You must ensure that the proper content is created
- You must make sure that the content is stored in the search index
- You must make sure that the content is optimized to come up at the top of the results
- You must tweak the search engine’s ranking algorithm to find the right pages for the top results
- You must attract the searcher’s click on the search result
- You must entice the searcher to complete a purchase
Look back over the list. Yes, a few of these are IT tasks, but most of the require knowledge of the customer, bit technology. If you haven’t had your marketing team think through these steps as a team with IT, I bet you think your search engine stinks.
To learn more about improving your website search, join us on June 18 at 11 am ET for our next Biznology webinar, Making Money from Website Search. To go even deeper into the subject, contact us for a Biznology Jumpstart Workshop on Website Search with your team.
About Mike Moran
Mike Moran has a unique blend of marketing and technology skills that he applies to raise return on investment for large marketing programs. Mike is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and the Senior Strategist at Converseon, a leading social consultancy. Mike is the author of two books on digital marketing, an instructor at several leading universities, as well as a Senior Fellow at the Society of New Communications Research.