5 Tips on Using Site Search to Boost Sales
The power of search extends beyond Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines to your website. Site-side search is a critical component in online retailers’ efforts to reduce abandonments, provide a better shopper experience and improve conversion rates.
In a Total Retail webinar last week, Kevin Lee, founder and CEO of Didit, a digital agency that specializes in search marketing, and Anton Khramov, founder and CEO of UPS Battery Center, an online retailer of sealed lead acid batteries, offered their expertise on how retailers can grow sales with the help of an optimized site search solution. (Register for the webinar on-demand.) Here’s just a sampling of the tips extracted from the webinar:
1. Identify your audience. Are your site visitors across a wide spectrum — young, old, male, female, rural, urban, etc.? Furthermore, you may have different audiences to consider, such as prospects, returning customers, distributors, investors, etc. Lastly, monitor the behaviors of your visitors. Are they product focused? Browsers? Bargain hunters? Researchers? With this data in hand, begin to design your search engine results pages (SERPs) with your audience’s needs in mind, said Lee.
2. Use data to power your keyword strategy. This applies to both your highest-converting landing pages and your poorest-converting (i.e., “No Results”) landing pages. For example, if site visitors are frequently searching for things such as model numbers, product descriptions, and solutions and questions, optimize your landing pages so they’re rich in the keywords and phrases being searched for. On the flip side, if your search results are inferior — i.e., visitors are searching for products that you don’t have — either get them or suggest viable alternatives, said Lee.
In addition, focus your energies in refining site-side search based on the popularity and profitability of a product. Capture long-tail searches with your more niche products, Lee advised.
3. Prioritize. Score your keyword and content opportunities based on the following factors:
- query search volume;
- timeless vs. timeliness;
- paid media equivalence; and
- visitor expectations.
Once done scoring, prioritize based on what’s most important to your business — i.e., will lead to the highest conversion rate possible.
4. Put a strategy in place to capture organic traffic. UPS Battery Center created landing pages for products that it didn’t have in stock, capturing organic search traffic on these pages. Once on the page, UPS Battery Center prominently called out its search box to drive this traffic to other products it did have. The tactic generated actionable analytics on what products customers wanted, enabling the retailer to use the product search results to sell its merchandise on other online marketplaces, Khramov noted.
5. Customize SERPs to drive sales. Khramov spoke of how drag-and-drop functionality has allowed UPS Battery Center to customize search results based on a user’s clickthrough behavior. In addition, the retailer is able to add in products that don’t appear by default (e.g., high margin products), liquidate excess inventory by placing it at the top of SERPs, and delete irrelevant products from SERPs.
To hear the full webinar, register for on-demand access.