Site search performance is all in the reporting

By Marcus Law

Do you monitor your website’s site search reports on a regular basis to see how well your search is performing? If you aren’t, you’re missing out on valuable data that can be instrumental in ensuring that you’re delivering relevant results to your visitors

For example, perhaps there’s a keyword term that is used by lots of visitors but has a low click-through rate – meaning it generates poor results. Terms that deliver poor results are revealed in your site search reports, and once you identify them you can decide how to improve the results – either by incorporating the language of your visitors into product descriptions, or by configuring your search to account for synonyms, or perhaps adding additional items to your inventory.

Below are a few tips related to leveraging site search reports to improve your search performance, and ways to put the information you receive into action to enhance the overall experience.

1. Review search quality metrics – It’s important to review your site search quality metrics to ensure your search relevancy is improving over time. Some metrics you should track include average rank, click through rate, and revenue generated per person that searches. A good site search solution “learns” by tracking visitors’ search queries and click-throughs to deliver results based on criteria such as popularity. This means that searchers on your site are presented with the most relevant search results and can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Improved searches result in more satisfied customers and greater sales.

2. Review site search terms for SEO and PPC campaigns — Another best practice is to regularly review site search terms to improve your SEO and PPC campaigns. This is a great source for keyword research because the language your visitors use on your site search will be very similar to the language they use when searching the web for the same products or content.

3. Watch the keywords that are gaining popularity — Watch the keywords that are quickly gaining popularity so you’re able to continually meet increasing product demand. Again, it’s important to understand the language of your customers. Like any trend, nothing lasts forever, including the search terms used most frequently on your site. Trends around popular terms may shift with the seasons, or with popular songs and movies, or with the latest look sported by Justin Bieber. The point is, as terms gain popularity, they signal to you that the products that go along with those terms will likely also gain popularity. Be prepared for these shifts.

About the author

Marcus Law is Marketing Manager at EMEA SLI Systems.

Marcus completed a BA in Business Management and Marketing at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in 2007. He began his career in New Zealand as a Marketing Assistant for SLI Systems in 2008. After travelling the world, Marcus reconnected with SLI in 2011 employed as a Customer Success Manager in the London office. He worked in this role for over a year and in 2012 he was promoted to his current position as SLI System’s UK Marketing Manager. His specialties include E-Marketing, Digital Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, Planning and Tactics, B2B Marketing, Lead Generation, Product Marketing, Partner Marketing, Copy, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), E-Commerce, Search, Email Marketing, Account Management, Social Media and Event Management.

About the company

SLI Systems provides full-service site search, navigation, merchandising, and user-generated SEO. Our learning-based technology improves the user experience for ecommerce and publishing sites. SLI empowers businesses to enhance customer satisfaction and help site visitors find the products and information they seek quickly and efficiently.

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