The eclectic tastes and expectations of consumers can often be hard to predict. While every business sells a defined group of products and/or services, consumers perception of what that group should include is often slightly different. Knowing what people are really looking for allows businesses to sell more because they can offer appropriate inventory and design better experiences for customers. Major brands like Coca Cola and Target invest huge sums of money to fund consumer studies to glean this valuable information, but for small business that’s not an option. The good news is that two common web tools may already be built into your website that can help you mine this valuable information.
All of the major Content Management Systems include a simple way to add a search feature within your site. This is a helpful tool for visitors if your site contains a large volume of content and if it’s linked to your analytic tools it can show you what visitors are typing into that search field.
Think about it from the standpoint of your customers. They get to your site and don’t want to spend a lot of time digging so they type in the brand name or service they are looking for into the search field. If they don’t find what they are looking for on your site they may leave and if you are not tracking what they typed in you will never know why. More importantly if you see a large number of visitors looking for a product or service that you are not currently offering, this is what is commonly referred to as an opportunity.
In Google Analytics (and others), there is a feature called, Site Search. By default it is not active because not all sites include a search feature, but once it is set-up, it allows you to monitor and track in-site search queries to start building a dataset. For instance it can provide the geographic area of the search, the amount of time the user spent on the site after their search and much more. Sometimes it can reveal a desire for a brand you are not currently carrying, or for a more extensive selection of examples of your work. Regardless of your industry the data provides a powerful snapshot of real consumer behavior.
If you have a website and you don’t have any analytic tool installed, you really need to install one now. Without it you are working blind. The amount of data it will provide across the board is an incredible marketing tool and the addition of Site Search just adds greater insight to understand your website visitors. It’s simple to set up and will start generating results immediately.
So set-up site search today and see what your customers will start telling you. If you are unfamiliar with the set-up we have created a simple tutorial to set up site search here: Site Search Set-up