It’s Time for a New Approach to Customer-Centric Content
This is a guest post by Coveo, a TA Digital global partner to help transform enterprise search by delivering intuitive and relevant insights.
How customer-centric is your website content?
To answer this question, Chief Marketing Officers need to go right to the source. Forget focus groups, eye tests, email surveys. These still won’t get you close enough to understanding the real-time journey your customers and prospects undertake when they have questions about your product or service.
The answer is right on your website: internal site search.
You’re not alone if you haven’t even looked at your internal search queries in the last quarter…or ever. According to eConsultancy, only 15 percent of companies have resources dedicated to improving the site search experience.
This information, however, is more valuable than you think. Your customers and prospects tell you something every time they search and those data points paint a compelling story of how you can engage with them: how they view your product, what questions they have before their purchase, what questions they have after your purchase. These aren’t insights that you glean through asking your customers what they thought or rating the purchase experience on a scale of 1 to 10.
These insights are crucial to your strategy – and ones that deserve as much, if not more, attention to your marketing automation system and website performance analytics. Although the data you receive from these systems is valuable, the businesses that become customer-centric are the ones that will the next generation of business. Customers expect relevant and personalized interactions with your brand at every touchpoint, whether it’s in your store with a sales rep or on your mobile app trying to figure out shipping information. It’s time to create truly customer-centric digital experiences. And what could be more customer-centric than creating exactly the content that your prospects need and delivering it right when they need it?
Coveo’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mark Floisand, will review the metrics below, as well as a few others in a session for Sitecore Global Virtual Summit on September 06, 2017. Register today.
Three Site Search Metrics You Need to Really Measure Your Content Performance
Are you measuring the right metrics for your website content? No matter who your site search provider is, you need to ensure that you are looking at these metrics as you approach your next website relaunch, content strategy or even just a blog post.
Search queries with no results. This is what we call a “content gap.” When your customers log onto your page, type in a query, and see no results, this means that either your existing content that could match that query is not being crawled for some reason or you have yet to write about this topic. It’s important to note, however, that not every query will mean what you think it does or even make sense to you; context plays an important role. Try to understand if there are specific contextual factors that can clue you into your visitor’s intent, such as their country, IP location, previous queries and previous pages visited. Think of search as part of a conversation. Just as someone eavesdropping on a conversation often cannot guess at the nature or intent of the speakers after hearing just one sentence, your search queries don’t provide enough information on their own for you to really understand what your next line in the conversation should be.
Search queries with low click-through rates. If search is a conversation with your prospect, this metric points to when you aren’t providing the most relevant information in that conversation. If your search results are not being clicked on, this indicates that the content does not sufficiently match the visitor’s query, either by not being relevant to their context or just plain not answering the question. Many companies use federated search to pull together results from all of their various properties with no reason for ranking order. This is where you get into results that don’t apply at all to the query ending up on the first page of results.
Results pages with high click-through rates. This is a good sign – and one that you may be able to build upon to better meet your prospects’ needs. These results provide a jumping-off point for other content, but you need to put yourself in the mind of your prospect to understand why they would click on that result over another. Is the headline or text beneath in a friendlier tone or positioned as more of a straightforward how-to article? This will require some inference and testing, but you will know that you are on the right track by looking at the content that is leaving your prospects wanting you to say more.
Want to hear more about creating a customer-centric content strategy? Join Mark Floisand for a session on Best Practices for Contextual Relevance at Scale with AI-Powered Search at Sitecore Global Virtual Summit on September 06, 2017. Register today.
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Rachel Schultz is the Content Marketing Manager at Coveo. She blends her background in journalism seamlessly with her B2B marketing expertise and obsession with data to create compelling content for the Coveo community. When she’s not working, you’ll find her reading (strictly non-fiction), hanging out with her puppy or taking in all NYC has to offer with her husband.