If you’ve got a search box on your website (and you should), you have the opportunity to make your business even stronger than it already is. Granted, the statistics you can pull from your search box aren’t particularly exciting. In fact, in a casual survey of a few of my colleagues, exactly zero found search statistics to be even slightly interesting. But here’s why they, and you, should care: Visitors to your website use your search tool because they cannot otherwise find what they are looking for!
With that in mind, here are three ways you can add value to your website by using the “boring search data” from your site’s internal search box:
1. Perform a search for your most popular search terms and see what, if anything, shows up.
Your website search box may not be as “smart” as you once thought. For instance, let’s say your visitors regularly search for “tax tips.” But when you type that into your search box, the results are all about sales tax. This is your chance to make sure the top results give your visitors the information they seek.
2. Add homepage promotions and/or links in your navigation that relate to the top search terms.
Giving users direct access to their searched-for content allows you to point them exactly where they should be to find what they are looking for. For our example, you could include a link on your homepage that says “Tax Tips” and leads to articles and sales letters about getting your taxes in order.
3. Create content and/or promotions around the most-searched topics.
Search data will help you better understand your customers – and may give you ideas for new products and content to offer. Maybe you don’t have any articles about tax tips. If that’s your visitors’ top search term, now’s your chance to create new articles and programs that fill that need.[Ed. Note: Rick Maggio is ETR’s newest Search Engine Marketing Specialist. For step-by-step instructions on starting your own Internet business, get ETR’s Magic Button program.]