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Are you using your website search as customer research?

Suppose I told you that for every web page you have on your website, I could run a survey that tells you what customers’ questions that page leaves unanswered. Sounds pretty cool, huh? I mean if you knew that, you’d know exactly what you want to update to make the page better, right?

Well, the name of that survey mechanism is your website search.

Most companies I work with don’t use any analytics from website search. Most don’t even know you can get any analytics. [Full disclosure: I work with SoloSegment who does exactly that kind of work for clients.] Some clients are more enlightened, and they at least check out the list of most popular search keywords and try to make sure that the right answers are coming up for those.

But there’s no reason to stop there.

If you have a search box on every page of your site (and you should), you can keep track of the most popular search keywords entered from your most important pages. When you do, you’ll learn exactly what questions your client wants answers for after reading that page. Using that information to plan improvements to the content on that page is one of the fastest ways for you to improve the page.

Instead of hoping that people will respond to a survey that asks them if they found what they are looking for, just check out how many people resort to searches. It tells you the same thing–and it also tells you what they found lacking through the words they search for.

Is your company using website search to read customers’ minds?



If you are interested in learning more about site search, check out the free first unit in my new Website Search eCourse. For information on all my online courses, click here.

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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