Autocomplete, also called autosuggest or incremental search, improves the user experience by making it easier to execute searches by suggesting words and phrases that a matching algorithm determines are appropriate based upon the characters entered into a search box. Google has had autocomplete in their search box since 2008. Following in their footsteps, any company that values its customer experience has implemented autosuggestion in their onsite search. But there’s a new trend in the type-ahead game that we’ve begun to see cropping up on more and more company websites: Instant Search.
Five Effective Strategies for A/B Testing Site Search
Recently, SoloSegment CEO Steve Zakur participated in a webinar on Biznology and shared five strategies for how companies can improve onsite search using A/B testing. Using these methods you can test new settings against a portion of your live traffic without risking tanking things altogether. Once the new settings have proven themselves, you can deploy them to the primary search engine.
Most companies don’t measure site search well. They rely upon out of the box measurements that measure activity instead of outcomes. Nowhere is this problem acuter than when you move from one search engine to another.
- How do you exceed customer expectations if you don’t have an effective baseline?
- How do you know you’ve done the migration well if you don’t measure the gap before and after?
- How do you ensure improvements in content and algorithms are effective?
A/B testing of the search engines is the answer. Check out the webinar or you can read the transcript below.
Site search often represents the first personalized experience for customers on your website and is key to improving your website’s engagement, lead contributions, and conversions. If you’d like to learn more about how to do this for your company, don’t miss our new ebook, “The 6 Personalization Truths Every B2B Marketer Needs to Know Right Now.”
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.
Many companies have a measurement problem when it comes to understanding the effectiveness of site search. But that measurement problem often stems from the failure to ask the right question. The question shouldn’t be about customer behavior or what your customer does. The question you ask should be about customer experience or how you help your customers accomplish their goals. At SoloSegment we believe that the only customer experience that matters when you’re talking about site search is the success rate. Did the customer find the right content to answer their question on the first click? Unless you start with that point of view, you’re doing it wrong.
In fact, we think that site search is the first element of a personalized customer experience. Think about it. What is more fundamental to a great personalized experience than making sure your customer gets the right answers to the questions they’re asking? That’s just one of the “Six Personalization Realities B2B Marketers Need to Know Right Now” in a new ebook we’ve put together for you. Because site search and personalization go hand-in-hand.
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 onsite 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.