What Users Want: Using Internal Site Search for Prioritization
3. Site searches tell you what people need most. If some things are trending on your site or there are common themes that surface, make sure you feature those things more prominently. Your prospects are telling you to.
4. How successful you are with, well, internal site search. Make sure the tool that's giving you the treasure-trove of data isn't itself broken. Make sure there's enough space to accommodate user queries (users will shorten their search terms if there's little space, and that's more likely to lead to failure). As importantly, review the search depth for your most popular terms if visitors are refining their queries all the time for something that's used often. If this happens a lot, devise a plan to either change your site search engine or customize it for the terms that fail the most.
Now, just knowing what visitors want doesn't get you all that much. There are dozens to hundreds of issues you need to fix, and almost no company has resources to fix everything. Still, if you pay attention to what visitors want in their own words, prioritizing should be just a tad easier.
Tim Ash is the author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization, and CEO of SiteTuners. A computer scientist and cognitive scientist by education (his PhD studies were in Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence), Tim has developed an expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and understanding online behavior, and landing page testing. In the mid-1990s he became one of the early pioneers in the discipline of website conversion rate optimization. Over the past 15 years, Tim has helped a number of major US and international brands to develop successful web-based initiatives. Companies like Google, Expedia, Kodak, eHarmony, Facebook, American Express, Canon, Nestle, Symantec, Intuit, AutoDesk and many others have benefitted from Tim's deep understanding and innovative perspective.
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