Dontjustchangeengine

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  • 1. ibm.com Don’t Just Change the Search Engine! Mike Moran April, 2006 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 2. ibm.com “This search engine stinks!”  But a “good search engine” I didn’t find it is not your goal. and I always  Your goal isn’t even to find it on deliver good results Google!  It’s to deliver the business value of your Web site  Search is a means to an end 2 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 3. ibm.com What are your Web conversions?  Online sales  Download a white paper  Find a store  Fill out a  Find a dealer contact form  Find a partner  Phone call  Affiliate link 3 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 4. ibm.com What are your Web visitors doing, anyway?  Learn: Research IBM’s products and services Learn  Shop: Compare offerings Use and prices Shop  Buy: Check out and Get purchase Buy  Get: Check order status  Use: Get technical IBM’s Web support Conversion Cycle 4 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 5. ibm.com Use your cycle to measure conversion value  Finding the right product Land page puts the visitor in the “Learn” stage. Learn  How many customers that Use view a product page put items in their carts? Shop  And how many check out? Get  Multiply by your average Buy revenue and you have the impact on revenue. Increasing the success rate at any stage increases the overall conversion rate 5 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 6. ibm.com Your search facility gets you conversions If they can’t find it,  Answer research questions they can’t buy it with informational content Search  “MP3 player” Learn  Respond to product queries Use with comparisons Shop  “iPod” Get  Provide detailed model and Buy product pages for buyers  “iPod nano” 6 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 7. ibm.com What problems are you trying to address?  “No result” searches  “No click” searches  “No conversion” searches 7 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 8. ibm.com ibm.com Web Strategy and Design The Top-Down Approach © 2005 IBM Corporation 8 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 9. ibm.com Work the most popular search keywords first  Most search terms are unique  IBM’s 1000 most popular queries account for just 27% of all volume  But it’s the easiest improvement you can get 9 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 10. ibm.com Follow the same process for each keyword yes Audit the no OK? landing Start page next keyword Choose a Analyze the Improve landing landing the landing page for page’s page’s keywords metrics content 10 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 11. ibm.com Choose a landing page for each keyword  Where does your customer want to be?  Be careful when choosing the same page for multiple keywords:  “Product Lifecycle Management” and “PLM” is OK  “Aerospace PLM” and “Automotive PLM”—no! 11 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 12. ibm.com Analyze the landing page’s metrics  Search ranking  Keyword density? In titles and body?  Search clickthrough rate  Titles and snippets call to action?  Search conversions  Interim pages compel action? 12 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 13. ibm.com Audit and optimize your landing pages Acronym to Words Image to Text Add K eywor ds Before: Google Rank: #175 After: Google Rank #1 13 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 14. ibm.com If all else fails, cheat  Most search engines allow “Best Bets”  Be sure to maintain all hand-crafted results 14 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 15. ibm.com Use “product search” or other specialized search  Use special searches for high-leverage areas  Choose the most important feature to you Find your server 15 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 16. ibm.com Provide comparisons from product lists  See your final candidates side-by-side  Spot the differences Simpler purchasing experiences increase conversion rates 16 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 17. ibm.com Don’t forget to sell related items Search engines can retrieve the right merchandising spots based on:  Knowledge of the customer  The buyer's current context  The seller’s situation  What spots seem to be working well 17 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 18. ibm.com ibm.com Web Strategy and Design The Bottom-Up Approach © 2005 IBM Corporation 18 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 19. ibm.com Get your site’s pages into the search index  Push pages from your content management system OR  Have a spider crawl your pages  Remove spider traps that prevent crawling  Use site maps and country maps to create spider paths 19 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 20. ibm.com Ensure content is written with search in mind  Check keyword usage in titles and body copy using  Your content management workflow OR  Your content management pipeline  Roll up each unit’s score and publicize Content Quality Scorecards 20 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 21. ibm.com Improve your content pipeline Search  Automated categorization Spider  Subject  Document Type  Date Standardize Content  Country Your Data Pipeline  Language  Linguistics Search  Custom dictionary or thesaurus Index 21 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 22. ibm.com Tune your search engine  Do you have the right query  Have you tested your defaults? facet names?  AND/OR  country/language filters  Have you tested your ranking algorithm?  Using the right factors? Clicks? Links?  Using the right weights? 22 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 23. ibm.com Customize your search user interface  Make search easy to find  Use drilldown in search results instead of advanced search  Optimize what is displayed for product and document lists 23 © 2006 IBM Corporation
  • 24. ibm.com Apply the same ideas to search marketing  “Buy this book, read it, and then read it again.” --Chris Sherman, Search Engine Watch  “Indispensable guide” --Kirkus Reports  Develop a strategy that supports your Web site’s goals  Get conversions, not just rankings  Raise your brand awareness  For more information: www.mikemoran.com www.semincbook.com 24 © 2006 IBM Corporation