Home > Management, Strategy > Search Engine Stats (pt. 1)

Search Engine Stats (pt. 1)

August 19th, 2009

lens_magnifying_glass_266925_lThe search engine on your site can provide some meaningful brand insights, if you look at the stats in the right way.

There are the standard sets of data that web site managers pull off as a matter of course:

  1. How many searches were performed
  2. What % of users use the search engine
  3. The top searched terms
  4. Whether any results were clicked through

But dig a little deeper and some interesting data appears. For example, pull a report on which search terms were entered that returned exactly ZERO results. What does this tell you? It means that someone typed in the URL for your brand. In their mind, your brand = what they were looking for. And your search engine told them to go elsewhere. There is some incredible insight there! What if you looked at all the “Zero” returns and provided a page or a redirect that gave the user what they wanted from your brand?

A real-life example of this is in one of my previous lives at a financial company. When we examined the search engine logs, we found several users had typed in the search term “Wrap Products.” (For those that don’t know the Canadian Mutual Fund industry, a wrap product is a specific type of mutual fund that consists of other mutual funds).

My client didn’t offer Wrap Products, so there were no results. The company essentially said, “We know you came to us wanting a Wrap Product, but go away!”

A slight tweak to our search engine and the addition of a single page, and now the search term “Wrap Product” brought you to a page that explained why we didn’t offer Wrap Products, and pointed you to some of our products that competed with the Wrap market. Now we were saying, “We know you wanted a Wrap Product from our brand, but we have something better for you!”

A 0.1% tweak to our search engine, an 110% improvement in user experience and the user’s perception of our brand.

Categories: Management, Strategy
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