Once upon a time, exploring a website saw customers routinely utilising the page’s navigation bar, ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ over which dropdown menu option the information they sought might have been carefully (or not so carefully) filed into.
Fast forward a couple of decades and the tables have dramatically turned, with powerful new search functions now providing customers with intuitive, relevant and instantaneous direction to the information, services or portals they require. Today it’s almost second nature to be able to obtain the information we need, whenever we want and at any location across the globe. Consumers now expect that when they arrive at an organization’s landing page, they’ll be able to punch any query into a search bar and be provided with immediate and relevant search results.
Yet website search remains one of the most neglected and undervalued capabilities utilised by organizations in the digital age, which for marketing, represents missed opportunities to further engage and convert potential customers.
Well firstly, it’s certainly in marketing’s interest that consumers are directed to content they perceive to be relevant. Of course ‘relevance’ is a subjective term and alters according to the individual needs and wants of the consumer. However, a highly effective search capability not only analyses, integrates and surfaces the most relevant content to successfully solutionise the user’s request, search is intuitive and adaptive, delivering content in the form and manner that is most useful, as well as predictive, personalising and tailoring unique content according to the consumer.
With marketing’s goal to ensure consumers discover relevant content in the most efficient means possible, tools are then needed so that content can be sorted, filtered and explored, as well as displayed in a visually appealing and easy-to-dissect manner. A proficient website search allows a visitor to do this, categorising information by a variety of logical values, and kicking marketing’s first goal of ensuring the consumer is able to hone in easily on the precise information they were looking for.
The next element, to be predictive, indicates a function that analyses any information readily available about a visitor, and then leverages the content that is individually tailored to suit the unique customer profile of this visitor. This information may include anything from a geo-location or type of device used, right through to a user’s purchase history, digital pathway or account status. And of course, no one is interested in this data more so than the marketing department, the people most deeply invested in understanding why their customers do what they do. A competent search solution can therefore help marketing do their job, utilising a visitor’s contextual clues to deliver the most relevant and engaging content so that potential or existing customers are directed to whatever they were (or weren’t) looking for.
There’s a still lot more search can do, including the pulling and integration of tailored content from sources external to an organization’s internal systems, whilst still dynamically curating content so that it sits in line with the look and feel of a brand.
So, if this still hasn’t convinced you that website search is marketing’s new best friend, we suggest having a look at this video which breaks it down a little more technically. A capable website search can do more than just deliver customers relevant and engaging content, it individually tailors, arranges, and curates this content for you, so you can focus your attention on looking to engage these consumers across the other organizational channels.