Are you optimizing your website search?

I can’t tell you how often I hear the same thing: “Our website search facility is managed by the IT team.” They say it matter-of-factly, as though that makes perfect sense. I ask them if their IT team manages their website. “Well, yeah, the technology part, but we do the content.” Oh. Then I ask if the IT team decides what the messages are for their email marketing, “What? No! Of course not. That would be nuts. They just manage the email servers.” But they are nonplussed at the prospect of the IT managing their website search.

They’re wrong.

Sure, website search has a technology component, but so does your website and so does your email marketing. Why is it OK for the marketing department to pay no attention to your website search facility?

You might tell yourself that website search technology should just work. But your web server doesn’t just work. You need this little detail called content. Your email server doesn’t just work. Yeah, that little content thing again.

What do you think website search needs? Uh huh. Content.

Now, sometimes the website search engine will find the right content–I am not saying it never happens. But it doesn’t happen enough. And every time a searcher types a keyword into your website search engine, it is a marketing moment. They are telling you that they think you have this information on your site–that’s why they are searching for it.

Now, you might not know how to improve your website search engine. That’s fair, but it’s still your job.

Once upon a time, you didn’t know how to write web content or email copy either, but that didn’t cause you to leave those jobs to the IT people. You can’t leave your website search results to your IT people either.

Yes, you need to let them install the technology and make sure that it stays up and performs well. But you need to know the list of most popular keywords. You need to know which pages should show up when they are searched for. You need to know how to optimize the titles and other metadata.

You need to manage your website search facility, not your IT team. So, what are you waiting for?

Mike Moran

Mike Moran is a Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also served as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He was a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research and is now a Senior Fellow of The Conference Board. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mike regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide

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