Internet luminary John Battelle is famous for describing Google as a “database of intentions.” Back in 2003, it was a critical insight, that Google searches were actually a way of understanding what people wanted, what they were interested in, what they wanted to do.
But did you know that you probably have your own database of intentions? One that you own? One that you don’t need Google’s permission to consult? It’s your site search engine.
Every day, people type things into your search box. They enter keywords that describe content that they think you have on your site. Content that they want to find from you. You can think of those keywords as a list of items that are important to your customers and prospects. And it is a ranked list–you actually can see how many people have searched for each item. The more that search for it, the more important that keyword is.
The question is whether you are doing anything to mine this data. Do you look at your site search keyword list? Do you check to see if those keywords find any content? Is it the right content? Are your customers finding what they are looking for?
Most companies are ignoring this data. Are you? If you are, you are missing a critical source of data–your own database of intentions. This is a treasure trove of market research that helps you identify gaps in your content and errors in your content optimization. Don’t miss your chance to improve your content around your very own database of intentions.