All Business On Vacation

Last week I left my family behind and took my 82 year-old father and his brother to Yellowstone National Park. This was a bucket list item for both of them and due to their declining health, it may have been our our last opportunity for such an adventure.

There are tons of details that need to be sorted out when traveling with someone who has special needs. In this case, it was two gents who have trouble walking long distances. This meant that during the air travel portion of the week, I was arranging for wheelchairs and negotiating the hotels of Yellowstone — which are preciously short on handicapped rooms and other accommodations for the elderly in lodgings — many of which were built long before ADA and not since updated.

I’m not going to go on my “We need to invest in our public spaces” rant. Suffice to say, we have these beautiful places and we make it difficult for folks to visit them in the name of preserving a quaint vision of the distant past. Upgrade, folks. Upgrade.

Being on vacation, I try to swivel my brain to things other than my day-to-day grind. Of course, that business function gets a little bored so it eventually looks for opportunity for improvement in all the processes that it encounters. So here’s my list from my current trip. It’s an age-old problem.

Steve Zakur

About Steve Zakur

Stephen Zakur is CEO of SoloSegment. SoloSegment provides analytics that improve site search conversion and machine learning technologies that improve content effectiveness.

Your Competitors’ Ads On Your Site Search: Site Search Fails, Vol. 1

Effective site search is important to your business success. Searchers think you have what they want, but they can’t find it. If they find it, they’ll buy.

Here are some facts:

  • Studies show 30-50% of your B2B website visitors use your site search function.
    You can find this number in your web analytics reports. Even if your number is much lower (one company we work with had only 1% of their visitors search), how many leads are you comfortable ignoring? Ask your sales leader if you don’t know the answer to this one.
  • Those who use the site search function are 6 times more likely to buy from you.
    These are some of your best prospects. They’re ready to buy. Meet them halfway, show them what you’ve got.
  • 85% of B2B marketers ignore their site search functionality.
    That’s what this blog series is about, businesses that are ignoring site search at their peril. One of our clients, a Fortune 100 tech company, improved their site search success rate by 109% and found $9M of revenue in their neglected site search. These results got their attention.

It’s that last point that makes this series so easy to write. Companies are ignoring a lot of very low hanging fruit and it is costing them in revenue, support costs, and market opportunity.

In this series, we’ll show you some egregious examples of site search neglect. We’re not doing this to poke fun at the worst cases, we’re doing this to prompt you to go look at your own site search to see where you might have some exposure.

So without further ado, let’s get to the fail.

Frank Reed

About Frank Reed

Frank Reed is the Major Account Executive for SoloSegment. Frank talks to industry leaders who have responsibility for website conversions and overall customer experience. These conversations concentrate on finding revenue that can be realized by turning on-site searchers into prospects and customers. Frank has worked in sales and marketing for over 20 years helping companies like Sony, Brinks Home Security, NetSuite and more generate revenue through increased efficiencies in their marketing efforts with ROI in mind. Finally, Frank is developing a serious level of interest in big data in all areas of life but with a particular focus on the great American pastime, baseball.

Is your site search a guess machine?

Old Time Search

Just past Fish Creek Campground, a gravel, two-track wanders off into the wilderness of Glacier National Park. At the head of the road there are several warning signs about the perils of backcountry travel. Bears. Mountain Lions. Falling trees. There are also unlisted perils — flat tires, dehydration, fire, and the various demons that live in our imagination when we venture into wild places. There’s a lot of unknown down that track but that’s where we’re going, so we drove on.

Steve Zakur

About Steve Zakur

Stephen Zakur is CEO of SoloSegment. SoloSegment provides analytics that improve site search conversion and machine learning technologies that improve content effectiveness.

The ROI of Site Search

The ROI of Site Search

The calculation of ROI (Return on Investment) is a critical step of the business decision making process. It can also be the most intimidating step. Even those who sat through Finance 101 and understand the concepts of ROI calculation may not fully understand how to do it in practice. Fortunately, we’ve had a lot of experience in using this tool, especially in calculating the ROI of site search improvements.

Determining what to do and how to make the most money doing it would seem to be reason enough for calculating ROI. But there’s another, almost equally important reason. Communicating the returns on business decisions is the language of business. You’ll need this information to convince the IT and Finance guys to make the investment. But (ironically) many businesses fail to put the proper time, resources, and methodology to determining ROI, and end up allocating their resources poorly. Site search is a great example of this problem.

Even though up to 50 percent of your customers use your site search, I bet you don’t have technical and human resources dedicated to it. That’s something that needs to be remedied. You’re leaving money on the table. You need to build great partnerships with stakeholders from across business functions to change the status quo and you need to be able to express the need for change in terms of value. Fortunately, you don’t have to have an MBA to figure out the value. Here’s the steps you need to be taking in your ROI process.

Steve Zakur

About Steve Zakur

Stephen Zakur is CEO of SoloSegment. SoloSegment provides analytics that improve site search conversion and machine learning technologies that improve content effectiveness.

Why aren’t I getting conversions out of my site search?

Site searchers tend to show up at your website with a certain purpose in mind. They have a need and believe that you have the solution. This should be great news, because you have all this great content and if they get to see your product, it is likely they’ll buy it. But our experience shows that many site searchers don’t actually get to the point of seeing your content. They use your site search and are frustrated by the poor quality of results. You’re frustrated too, because you don’t know why this happens. Finding out why searchers are frustrated and creating a plan to prevent it can significantly improve your site search conversions and lead to sales.

Steve Zakur

About Steve Zakur

Stephen Zakur is CEO of SoloSegment. SoloSegment provides analytics that improve site search conversion and machine learning technologies that improve content effectiveness.