About the Author
Vitaly Gonkov is the Chief Marketing Officer of Mageworx. Mageworx is a Magento solutions provider that crafts better experiences for Magento users. Mageworx helps Magento store owners acquire, convert and retain more customers.
These days, ecommerce sites are getting more and more complex—they may have up to several thousands of products and hundreds of categories. Site owners are struggling to introduce advanced, flexible and even self-learning onsite search mechanisms to help shoppers quickly find what they want.
But store owners may not realize that, besides its main function of delivering results, onsite search can also be a goldmine of valuable analytical data. According to the SLI Systems report, only four out of ten ecommerce brands are trying to leverage internal search data for their online marketing campaigns.
Meanwhile, this data can significantly magnify your marketing efforts and increase site sales performance. By looking at onsite search reports you can:
- Gain a clearer picture of customers’ purchasing behavior
- Get onsite ranking data and use it to improve your landing pages and fine-tune merchandising
- Find new ways to enhance communications with customers
- Discover new approaches to email marketing
- Learn how to adjust your SEO and PPC campaigns for a better effect
All that can contribute to a better overall user experience and lay the foundation for higher sales volume.
Read on to learn how to better utilize onsite search data when planning your online marketing campaigns.
Analyze Customers’ Behavior
By analyzing the queries visitors enter in the search box, you can get a general pattern of customers’ purchasing intentions.
The pattern will let you figure out which products people are mostly interested in, find products that have the call with your audiences, check the current popularity of every item in your store, and more.
With this data, you can adjust your site architecture and navigation to better meet your customers’ needs.
For example, say that you have an electronics website and that most of your searches are about smartphones and tablets. This suggests that visitors may prefer to find these types of devices over the others. Hence, by placing the smart device section at the top of your homepage, you will let your visitors immediately find want theу want. Also, you can save customers time by putting this section at the top of your site navigation menu, highlighting it to attract more attention.
Adjust Your Site Content
User experience could be further enhanced by improving and adjusting pages that receive the most of onsite search queries.
Just like in SEO, when optimizing internal site search, we should help visitors land on the most relevant and effective pages. Hence, by creating pages specially tailored for popular search queries, you increase your chances to retain customers and decrease site bounce rate.
Note that you can also direct shoppers to these pages. Display those popular products on the home page or category page and manage search priority for every product’s attribute.
On top of that, you can define products’ search ‘weight’. For example, you may assign an adjustment weighting of +1 to a particular product, so that it appears before others in onsite search results. Thus, you will help your customers land on the right pages.
Use Onsite Search as a Communication Channel
Treat search queries as a message your customers send you, and never ignore what your customers say.
For instance, you may look at terms that are receiving big search volume, but result in a high percentage of people leaving your site. That gives you a clear indication that customers can’t find the desired product, the searched term is out of stock, or it doesn’t have the necessary configuration. So you must act quickly to provide customers with what they want to get.
Even if you can’t satisfy the current customers’ demands, don’t just throw an indifferent “no results found” message. Think long-term:
- Offer a special deal on the most-searched products as soon as it appears in your store
- Add a wish list and email notification options for products that are currently out-of-stock or not yet available
If that’s impossible, tweak your merchandising to suggest similar or alternative products.
Use Onsite Search Data to Adjust your Email Marketing
Site search data can help you maximize the relevancy of your emails. These emails should offer your customers the exact products they want, and increase your sales in the process.
To merchandise products for your email marketing, you need to start with site search keyword data. By analyzing this information, you will find your best and worst-performing products. Through this valuable insight, you can compose a beautiful landing page with the most-searched products and send an email that will guide your customers to it.
If your most popular queries are the general keywords (e.g. smartphones, tv sets, cameras) you can create a category landing page, like ‘The best of mobile’ or ‘Best deals on SLR cameras’ and send a link to it to the customers who shared an email with you.
Use Onsite Search Data to Adjust your Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click Campaigns
And last but not least, once you have completed the analysis of onsite search queries, you can apply this knowledge to your SEO and PPC strategies.
Onsite search data is perhaps the best way to identify what your potential customers are really interested in. If your visitors keep entering the same terms in the onsite search box, consider adding these words to your SEO and PPC target keyword lists.
Therefore, you can shift emphasis to whatever that search is for a period of time, which will let your prospective customers easily find the desired products right from Google search results or PPC ads.
Onsite search data reflects all major shoppers’ concerns and interests, as well as trends of their purchasing behavior. So this essential data can make a huge contribution into the success of your campaigns for:
- Product management
- Managing online customer behavior
- Improving customer retention
- Search engine optimization and paid search ads
Have you ever experimented with onsite search data in your marketing campaigns? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.