While Jerome is busy posting about the in’s and out’s of implementing Search&Promote, I thought I’d wade in with a post on why businesses should consider their search as a missed opportunity.
I’ve previously posted on what I think is a hidden gold mine of information called internal search. It’s an area of the site that many companies, quite frankly, ignore.
“Not too sure how to do anything with it, we assume it’s working just fine serving up results to random queries, so we’ll leave it alone and focus on our core purpose, driving people into our conversion funnel.”
Or something along those lines.
If that’s you, go stand in front of a mirror and slap yourself a few times! Wake up and smell the coffee…there’s much more to search than that!
“I can’t find anything!”
This is the most common response we came across during the scoping and implementation of Search and Promote as the new internal search for Murdoch University.
Hardly surprising, given the issues with internal search that I covered in my previous post, but amazingly consistent!
In fact, one of the great truths we found during this project is that people truly don’t care where content is located, or whether it’s authenticated and/or accessible – they just wanted to type something in the search box, immediately find what they’re looking for, then carry on with their work.
We’ve now completed the implementation across our internal sites, and it’s working really well – so well that we’re now 2-3 weeks away from covering our external sites.
I’m still generally stunned that companies find thinking about measurement so difficult, and tend to either leave it to the last minute, or have nothing in place to effectively determine the success of something, and as a consequence have no method to improve on the ROI.
As marketers in a digital age, we’re far more fortunate than our offline counterparts in that we have, at our disposal, a multitude of tools, that allow us to measure success and further optimize the user experience.
When it comes to searching across the web, we all know that Google is king, but does this still hold true across your own internal network?
Over the past 12 months we have wrestled with this question, particularly in an environment with multiple search mechanisms, manually maintained indexes, and masses of sites that were created when metadata was primarily used to categorise instead of search.
Internal search is one of the best goldfields available to you. Not only does it help you understand what your users can’t find in general, but it can also helps you understand what they expect to see on certain pages – and aren’t seeing.
Beyond just the basic keyword measurement, there’s also other things you can do to further enhance your internal search metrics.