Doesn't it drive you crazy that people visit your Web site and then just leave? What are they looking for? What is missing from your site that they need? Here's a free way to find out.
During my last Web site renovation, I asked my designer to add a search box to the site. My thinking was that it would provide my visitors with an added convenience for finding the information they needed. However, I didn't realize at the time that these little boxes hold a terrific marketing secret.
The search box I personally use is provided free
. However, it is what ELSE is provided free that really interested me. I can visit their site and view the search terms that my visitors are typing into the box. They also send me a monthly report detailing the phrases and words visitors have searched for. "So what", you might ask. This is an excellent insight into what others are hoping to find on my site.
Let me give you an example. So far this month the most popular search term recorded was "coaching". Evidentially, some visitors were interested in having me coach them on their marketing efforts. While I do offer consulting services, I am not a certified coach. However, based on the number of searches for this word, I may need to consider adding this to my list of services. If not, I would need to at least consider finding a viable marketing coach to work out a joint venture with.
The most popular search term last month was "business card designs". Again, I provide writing services, but not graphic design. However, this lets me know that I should find a business card design professional who will either work with me on a joint venture, or that I trust enough to refer potential clients to.
Another way to use the search results to your advantage is with selling ad space on your site. Just imagine the impact if you presented a potential advertiser with search results showing that visitors consistently searched your site for their product or service. It would be an extremely convincing argument!
There will be some people who don't understand that the search box is strictly to locate information on your site. You'll no doubt end up with unusual and unsuitable phrases that don't have anything to do with what you offer. Just ignore those.
But for the ones who leave you with little clues as to what they are looking for, be thankful! This is as honest and upfront as it gets. The research delivered to you from the site search companies can open many avenues of new product or service ideas for you to explore and potentially add.
Your customers will wonder how you became so in tune with their needs and you will be amazed at the increase in your business!
October 29, 2003
Karon Thackston is owner of Marketing Words, Inc. a full-service copywriting company specializing in search engine copywriting. She is also publisher of the long-standing free ezine, Business Essentials. Karon is author and publisher of the popular Step-by-Step Copywriting Course, an e-course designed to teach sound and highly-effective copywriting techniques - including search engine copywriting techniques. With over 20 years of copywriting experience, Karon has contributed to the search engine and sales success of companies large and small including Gortons Seafood, Third Sphere Hosting and more.