Yeah, weird question, huh? And your answer probably is, "My IT team doesn't do my marketing. They run the technology, but I do the marketing. The messaging is completely mine!"
But what if I asked you about your website search results page? Do you let your IT team run that?
Most of you will sheepishly answer, "Yes." You know the marketing messages being sent by your search engine don't really measure up to the rest of your site.
Now it's true that you need your IT team to install your search engine and operate it, just as you need them to run your web servers and your content management systems. But your tech folks don't write your content. They aren't in charge of your messaging, even though you need their technology to deliver those messages.
But when it comes to site search, we suddenly put the technology people in charge of everything — not just the technology, but which pages are shown as the results on the screen.
Why do we do this? It’s probably because you don’t know what else to do. You feel a bit out of your element with search. You know it requires a lot of technology, so it’s just easier if you let the tech folks deal with it. Well, it might be easier, but it sure isn't going to make you more money.
While many eCommerce companies have made the investments required to deliver the right search results, most of the rest of us have search engines that look like random web page generators. Sometimes they deliver the right answers. Too often, they don't.
That lonely box in the upper right hand corner of your screen is making a promise that your search facility can't keep. It is inviting your clients to enter whatever words they want because you'll find the answer for them. Except when you don't.
It's even worse when you laid out precious marketing money for paid search ads or other ways to bring visitors to your site. Perhaps you paid for them to come, but they are getting lost, so they use your website search as their last-ditch effort to find what they are looking for. If you paid for them to visit, why wouldn't you pay a little bit to improve your website search engine to keep them on your site?
Every pixel on your site needs to be optimized so it sells. Your search results page is no exception. What you've been missing is the help to break through the technical jargon and complexity so that your website search can be managed like every other part of your website. Most poor search experiences are caused by missing or poorly search-optimized content. Content developed by your marketing team — and by other teams, in a large enterprise.
So, how do you know which content is working? You analyze your search metrics:
- Which keywords are most popular?
- Which keywords produce no search results?
- Which results should be shown for each keyword?
- Which ones do searchers click on?
By analyzing searcher behavior, you can see what's working and what's not, so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn't. Don't settle for losing your hard-won website visitors when your search engine misfires. Remember, if they can’t find it, they can’t buy it.
Join me on a special SEMrush webinar, Make Your Website Search a Marketing Machine, Tuesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Register now.