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Site Search - patterns and analysis

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How awesome is site search today, often it isn't... Frequently it is badly tracked or with just Google analytics "out of the box" so it misses some of the most important performance metrics. What is the life of a query today and some mistakes I have made in the past.

My slides from #MeasureFest 2016

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Site Search - patterns and analysis

  1. 1. Search Analytics Gerry White @dergal UsableContent.co.uk
  2. 2. Me …. “me slide” I specialise in ‘technical marketing’ SEO, Analytics, search and more having been both agency & clientside Clients have included - BBC, Oxfam, Weight Watchers, McDonalds, WPA, DirectGov, O2, Austin Reed, Premier Inn, Kiddicare, (+ about a hundred more). Gerry White @dergal UsableContent.co.uk Currently – consultant working at Just Eat on SEO Globally.
  3. 3. 87.2% of statistics are flawed* *thisonemightbecompletelymadeup There are a number of sources of stats saying “users who use search are x% more like to convert” the data is often questionable as these users are also in a group that are driving to find and purchase a product.
  4. 4. It is all about the long tail – on most sites the “long tail” represents at least 90% and any single search phrase is typically less than 1% of the total Analysis of the same head terms every week, will not help you understand what people are searching for. But you need to start somewhere…
  5. 5. Google “Get me home” is the new bench mark Usersexpect to be able to type what they are looking for into a box and the right result to be returned from your site.
  6. 6. Google “Gte me hme” is the new bench mark Usersexpect to be able to type what they are looking for into a box and the right result to be returned from your site.
  7. 7. Amazon … Oddlynotalwaysthebest …Batman?Bikini?
  8. 8. Site search checklist  Relevant  Fast  Accessible  Usable  Comprehensive
  9. 9. The life of a query Input • Free text box • Autocomplete • Advanced Search Processing • Stop words removed • Similes added • Flattening & Fuzzy Logic • Finding & ranking results Output • Results displayed • Pagination • Refinement
  10. 10. before the query Input • Free text box • Autocomplete • Advanced Search Processing • Stop words removed • Similes added • Flattening & Fuzzy Logic • Finding & ranking results Output • Results displayed • Pagination • Refinement Build a relevant index
  11. 11. Building the Index Whattoinclude&whatnotto.... Including metakeywords ?
  12. 12. Elements of a page not to include Related Content on the left Elements On the Top Common elements in the footer
  13. 13. Only Relevant Content In 2003, a government website had articles about a Dalek base on the moon you could find in search.
  14. 14. Input iswhereitstarts togetfun
  15. 15. Input patterns 1. Simple Free text box 2. + Category selector 3. Autocomplete 4. Voice 5. Chat Bot 6. Photo
  16. 16. Free text box test - size, - placement, - search text button, - hint text, - visibility on breakpoints (tablet, phablet, mobile)
  17. 17. Free text box + Category Selector Watchthe video “RIP Dropdowns” fuckdropdowns.com
  18. 18. Autocomplete Sooo many patterns from the simple suggestions as you type …
  19. 19. AutoComplete
  20. 20. Algolia search demo …
  21. 21. Za Type into ANY page on Zara & the screen goes white Ready to be populated with results as you type – Dreams are similar. Remember 500 “hits” limit in GA / Session
  22. 22. Processing – Improve relevance by adding stop words Input Processing • Stop words removed Output
  23. 23. Stop Words … Stop Words are words which do not contain important significance to be used in Search Queries. Usually these words are filtered out from search queries because they return vast amount of unnecessary information…. a able about across after all almost also am among an and any are as at be because been but by can cannot could dear did do does either else ever every for from get got had has have he her hers him his how however i if in into is it its just least let like likely may me might most must my neither no nor not of off often on only or other our own rather said say says she should since so some than that the their them then there these they this tis to too twas us wants was we were what when where which while who whom why will with would yet you your
  24. 24. Stop Words … a able about across after all almost also am among an and any are as at be because been but by can cannot could dear did do does either else ever every for from get got had has have he her hers him his how however i if in into is it its just least let like likely may me might most must my neither no nor not of off often on only or other our own rather said say says she should since so some than that the their them then there these they this tis to too twas us wants was we were what when where which while who whom why will with would yet you your
  25. 25. Processing – Improve relevance by adding similes Input Processing • Similes added Output
  26. 26. Shades of Grey, Gray …. Simile management can be critical, if you spot that there are multiple words for the same thing – simile management can be critical, is it Doctor Who, or Dr Who Grey or Gray Gigabytes or GB
  27. 27. Processing – Improve relevance by personalisation Input Processing • Personalisation Output
  28. 28. User clicks around the guitar section of a music site and then searches for “Beatles sheet music” Top 10 results? piano music
  29. 29. marketers who are personalizing web experiences are seeing on average a 19% uplift in sales..* *monetate.com/blog/the-tipping-point-for-personalized-website-experiences/
  30. 30. Don’t be creepy
  31. 31. Output … Input •Free text box •Autocomplete •Advanced Search Processing •Stop words removed •Similes added •Flattening •Finding & ranking results Output •Results displayed •Pagination •Refinement
  32. 32. Output - How good is Waterstones ? Fifty shades of grey 50 shades of grey Fifty shades of gray Fity shades of grey
  33. 33. Nice Facets but … Paperback, hardback, audio… Diversity
  34. 34. 50 redirects to Fifty … interesting
  35. 35. “Gray” – just the one result (no gray to grey) 1 product, redirect …
  36. 36. No fuzzy logic
  37. 37. Output checklist Responsive Shouldn’tneedtosayit Refinable Keepthesearchboxandeditablequery Blended? Canyousearchmorethanonearea Facet filters stock,price,guitar,piano Pagination orinfinite? Feature labels price,availability,publishdate Other stuff
  38. 38. Analysis vs Reporting Howgoodisyoursearch
  39. 39. Google (Built in) 1
  40. 40. Google (Built in) 2
  41. 41. Relevance? Performance
  42. 42. Did they get results? Did they click on them? Did they convert? What is a successful search
  43. 43. From a standard 10 blue results – CTR By keyword
  44. 44. Implement in Enhanced e–commere in GTM (Product search) implementing the dataLayers for enhanced eCommerce you actually have all the data needed for impressive tracking - push it out to custom metrics, dimensions or events for better analysis/reporting Not an ecom site? Change your site to push the number of results into the dataLayer & rank position into the div ID
  45. 45. Za Track product search with enhanced ecommerce - Search results as a list - “List” Performance analysis - Product Performance analysis - Funnel inclusion Compliment this with custom dimensions, such as number of results & search term ….
  46. 46. Then - Classified performance this requires bulk text analysis, either Human Turk, automated or both
  47. 47. Bulk keyword classification tools 1. TextRazor 2. Open Calais 3. Aylien 4. AlchemyAPI Some have Add-Ons for Google Sheets,which using the API can also pull in your GA data
  48. 48. A Hotel in France
  49. 49. Number of words Performance
  50. 50. One key way to look at the long tail is to break out the keywords used and how – unfortunately concentrateme.com Looks like it is discontinued but these visualisations could be produced using the Google Analytics API breaking out common patterns….
  51. 51. AutoComplete Very few clicks actually go to a search results page
  52. 52. AutoComplete Very few clicks go to a search results page Tracking the - KW entered - All Clicks - Ranking ? - No clicks ?
  53. 53. Checkout HotJar / Decibel Insight for session recording & heatmaps
  54. 54. When looking at user queries look at refinement & conversations, it will help with simile & diversity – This is manually intensive so … sample, ideally make sure you use true sampling.
  55. 55. Search can be slow so monitor It - No cache - CDN issues - Multiple data sources Google are obsessed with search speed as they know you will switch to Bing if it isn’t good enough. Monitor yours
  56. 56. Test & analyse mobile usage - Repeat n gram analysis - Don’t forget about the Chrome built in emulator - Test & test again - Check speed on mobiles - Check Usage (in your responsive layout, is search easy to find)
  57. 57. Optimising search on larger sites should be a fulltime job, or even a team of people. From input to output like the amazing team at GDS
  58. 58. GDS publish analysis of search & tuning on their blog including how to build this dashboard using GA https://gdsdata.blog.gov.uk/2015/03/12/how-to-monitor- trending-searches-with-google-sheets/
  59. 59. Other stuff?
  60. 60. Put it on the 404 page (obvious I know)
  61. 61. SEO? Butdon’tweblockitinrobots.txt?
  62. 62. Google search to your results
  63. 63. Google search to your results <script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "http://schema.org" "@type": "WebSite" "url": "http://www.simoahava.com/" "potentialAction": { "@type": "SearchAction" "target": "http://www.simoahava.com/?s={search_term}" "query-input": "required name=search_term" } } simoahava.com/analytics/enrich-serp-results-using-gtm/
  64. 64. Thanks – Qs and links - me- @dergal / UsableContent.co.uk - Thanks to #ecomchat folks - Simoahava.com for anyting GTM - GDS Blog - gds.blog.gov.uk - and for takeaways - Just-Eat.co.uk

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