Does your website have a search bar or box?

If not did you know that 30% of users will use the search box on an e-commerce website? (source: Beacon Technologies)

Site search bars have plenty of benefits including making your site more “searcher-friendly” with instant gratification and a better user experience. But have you stopped to think about how you could use the data from site searchers to make more intelligent decisions and further fine tune your marketing and advertising?

A recent study by LSI Systems found that 60% of companies do not use the search data collected from their search bar for marketing programs (Source: MarketingCharts):

  • 56.9% – I currently don’t use site search data for marketing programs
  • 26.8% – I create SEO landing pages populated with site search results/ custom banners
  • 24.8% – I integrate site search data into our email marketing campaigns
  • 13.1% – I use our regular site search to power our mobile search
  • 11.1% – I integrate site search results/ banners into retargeting ads
  • 11.1% – I integrate site search with various social media channels
  • 10.5% – I integrate site search results/ banners into display ads

 

Key Takeaways on How to Use Your Site Search Data
(because chances are your competitors are not!)

The statements used in the survey give us a lot of insight in how you can use the data.

Create SEO pages based on what people search for.

If people arrive on your site and are doing common types of searches then there are plenty more people doing these same searches in Google and Bing. Make sure your website is optimized for these terms and create landing pages based on popular search terms to ensure these visitors land on the most relevant page first rather than having to use the Search bar on your site. This will drastically improve your user experience and help reduce your bounce rate. Best of all these new SEO pages can attract additional searchers from Google and Bing!

Integrate search data into your email campaigns.

It is always hard work sitting down to create your next weekly or monthly newsletter. Thinking of what to write and more importantly trying to develop content that your readers will find interesting can be tough. Use the previous month’s most popular searches to help you think of new ideas, reinforce the content you develop for your newsletter or even offer special discounts or coupons for popular items.

Power your mobile user experience.

If you know what your users search for the most on your desktop website you can assume that your mobile visitors are also looking for the some of the same things. Make sure these items are visible and optimized on your mobile site. Because mobile websites are often stripped down versions of your website that make sure all the important information is available for the visitor and displayed properly on their phone’s smaller screen size.

Bring search and social together.

Only 10% of e-commerce professionals are using search data to influence their social media channels. Why not take the most commonly searched for products or product categories and promote them across your social platforms?

More Ideas on How to Use Site Search Data

Here are some more ideas of how to use your site search data for growing your business and SEO campaign:

  • Develop  new product ideas – are your visitors often searching for something you don’t offer or are searching for a product you have discontinued?
  • Learn new keywords that your visitors may be using to find your products and services.
  • Get a better idea of website usability issues. For example if your visitors are always searching for certain product categories there could be an issue with your navigation or products could be “too deep” in your website. If your visitors are always searching for your address or phone number perhaps these aren’t prominently displayed on your website.
  • Analyze what pages are triggering a Site Search which could indicate your visitors are getting lost, confused or unable to find what they are looking for.
  • Measure the quality of your internal site search bar by analyzing the percentage of search exits for popular terms. Are your visitors finding what they need with their site search or do they get frustrated and just leave the website?
  • Consider how visitors who search compare to visitors who don’t search. Are you searching visitors staying on the site longer and buying more? If so you can develop a strategy to attract more of these “searching type” visitors or make your site search bar more visible to get more ‘non-searchers’ searching.

Google Analytics can provide a wide spectrum of insight into how your visitors are using your site search – have you activated this area of your analytics? Contact our Google Analytics experts today if you need to do so!