The Importance of Individual Site Search

Locating desired information quickly and easily in a demanding professional schedule often relies on a major search engine’s ability to deliver the results.  The top search engines pride themselves on delivering the information in seconds and will often treat their web site as the destination location for all your search needs. These search engines should serve as an example of success and your website should have a similar goal.

Currently, what happens when visitors land on your website from these search engines?  Do they have to read through your sales pitch, company history, and who your friends are (outbound links) to reach the information they are looking for? If this is the case, and your company offers more than one product or service, your site should offer a site search. Offering an individual site search delivers a multitude of opportunities and benefits for the visitors, but more importantly to you, the business owner.

In order to achieve success with search on your web site, a site visitor needs to be able to quickly locate the information they desire regardless of what page they are viewing on your site. The site search should be easy to spot in a prominent position (e.g. top right of page). With proper content, site structure, and the careful tagging of each page, these efforts should yield great results for terms on your keyword list. Once the visitor has quickly located the desired information, your call-to-action needs to be present, plain, and clear to potentially convert searches into sales.

For a site owner, the competition for search engine keyword terms is a one-sided battle, and you have only yourself to blame if you lose. Why? Because you can control the results on your site. The top terms usually left for the “big guns” are now 100% yours to deliver. However, your success depends on having the proper content to support the site search terms.

An additional benefit for the site owner using an individual site search is a detailed report of exactly what terms are being searched for. This report offers a glimpse into what is causing your visitors to use the site search option and therefore what can and cannot be readily found on your web site. After reviewing your search stats regularly, continuing to refine, review, and make corrective changes to your web site on a regular basis will help boost your bottom line.

A good search engine optimization program begins with a long-tail keyword base and works constantly towards shorter and more concise terms to describe your products and services. The strategy of getting the top ranked positions for as many three, four, five or more term keyword phrases (see KeywordNicheTools.com) to attract visitors is vital. Once on your web site, offering the ability to narrow the focus to the one and two term keyword phrases will offer the rewards you’re striving for from your web presence.

There are a couple of options for an individual site search. The leading search engines offer options to display a search box and search results for your site for free but with their branding and message. Though these services are free and easy, they are still a form of advertisement for the search engine and, depending on the set-up, will also return pay-per-click advertising in the search results (very possibly displaying links to your competition). The other option is a custom, non-branding or co-branded solution. Although programming a customized search with personalized results into your site comes with a price tag, it will ensure quality and integrity of your web presence. How awful is it to see a web site that might have cost $100,000 tarnish their tailor-made investment by choosing to paste cheap advertising for an external search engine into their pages over taking the small step of adding an individual, integrated site search of their own?

To summarize the steps for successful individual site search:

  1. Start with a great keyword list that is segmented for opportunities
  2. Have solid content to match that keyword list with options (i.e.: “car door opener” and “opening car doors”)
  3. Utilize calls-to-action throughout the site
  4. Have a good web site statistics package to help guide you
  5. Use a non-branded, individual site search with reporting option
  6. Analyze and adjust on regular intervals based on your stats

CrystalVision offers individual site search options that are customized and integrated into your web site.  Regular interval reporting options (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly), coupled with your web site referral stats log, will deliver a boost in understanding your customer, allowing you to tailor and exact your responses to match, and inevitably increasing your return on investment. Contact us for details and pricing.

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