Gilbane – Crafting Your Site to Drive Traffic and Improve Conversions

Panel:
Richard Zwicky – Eightfold Logic
Ed Hoffman – SLI Systems
Sam Mefford – Avalon Consulting
Moderator: Hadley Reynolds – IDC

Hadley –

  • Search has become strategic. “Businesses are swimming in a sea of search.”
  • Search H2O – Text (keywords, related terms, popularity) and Data (click paths, transactions, social, geo/temporal, device type)
  • 40-50% of all purchases are influenced by the Internet
  • 30-70% of site traffic generated through major search engines
  • >50% of online purchases come from search-generated traffic
  • Inside firms: 25% + time searching; <50% are satisified with search
  • Findability on the web / Findability on a .com site / Findability in the Enterprise

Richard — Increasing Website Findability

  • Predictive analysis to the marketers fingertips (What are customers looking for)
  • Every day, millions of potential customers are telling you exactly what they want but you are not listening – Vanessa Fox (Marketing in the Age of Google)
  • We can’t watch someone walk through a store anymore, but we can see how they are “walking” through our web site
  • Findability – The Path from Customers to You — It’s about relevance. Your customers need to know that your the company they want.
  • Inbound marketing: Marketing used to be about telling people what they need it’s now about being found where the customer is looking
  • It’s no longer about reaching a crowd (offline isn’t measureable)
  • Findability: It’s all about the customer finding you (individualized marketing)
  • Findable channels (Analytics, PCC (Paid search), SEO (Organic Search), SMM (Social media), Cross-Linking (link building)
  • Channels are all about making positive interactions in third party locations
  • Many people try to measure the buzz, but not enough people are actually measuring the number of customers coming in the doors based on the campaign — where did people click through? did it have an impact on my other channels?
  • 62% of all UK shoppers consult online communities before buying; 27% go direct to the retailer
  • 88% of google traffic comes from SEO — 12% comes from paid Google search
  • Conversion rate is less than 3/10 between paid and organic search on Google
  • SEO is not just about customer acquisition: Not an IT project or a one-off job; off-page and on-page experience; branding; internal navigation; conversion optimization
  • Shouldn’t worry about the cost of the click. Worry about the value of the sale and then work backwards.
  • Potential = (1 – KV / SER)(PV)(Time)(1-BR) — KV=keyword volume; SER=referral rates (number of referrals for a given term); PV=Page views; time (in seconds); BR=Bounce rate for the phrase
  • You need to use your data. Your data is your customer feedback.
  • Understand where customers came from and overlay that data. Understand how things contribute to each other. If you do a catalog drop in a certain zip code, how did that affect search, social media.
  • Predictive analysis allows you to understand how much potential traffic is there that I’m not acquiring but will be available over the next 30-60 days.
  • What are the terms that related and relevant to your business that your customer will be using.
  • Really easy to monitor social medial and find out what’s being talked about (trending topics; search terms on desktop applications)
  • You can’t manage what you can’t measure.
  • You don’t want 100K visitors … you want the 10 visitors that are ready to spend money on your product
  • At the end of the day, it’s all about the bottom line.
  • Web site doesn’t belong in IT. They should be providing tools to marketers.

Ed Hoffman – SLI Systems (Site search for eCommerce sites)

  • Two aspects to findability: How do you get found on google, bing, etc.? and How do visitors find info/products on your site?
  • Need to be able to learn from the interaction on how they are searching for things on your web site.
  • Expectations of site search from Google, Facebook, etc. Web search is training customers.
  • SEO is big business for a reason. Intense competition.
  • Visitors probably reached your site via search. Consider availability of search box. Make sure the site search returns relevant results. Major exit point on many sites is the search results page. (Why are people leaving the site? It’s more often a negative thing and a missed opportunity.)
  • Learn from your visitors – what language are they using, use their click-thru behavior to influence results
  • Continuously improve – Make it interesting; incorporate social content on your site; watch what happens, measure, improve and repeat; always be testing
  • Jelly Belly case study – Provide suggestions; allow people to automatically narrow search and sort; merchandising with the past language of visitors
  • Improve relevance by watching what people search for and click through.
  • Using search experience on the site to create highly optimized content. (Including mis-spellings and typos)

Sam Mefford – Avalon Consulting — Techniques to Increase Content Quality with Less Staff

  • Good cross linking between content — Usually there is too much content to manually relate and you need to create a way to link. Solution: Widget for WCM or Baynote
  • Better meta-data for faceted search — Meta-tag the high value content. Make sure the meta-data is visible to the end-user. Create two levels of meta-data content where the more important documents actually feed the meta-data of the less important content (reduces errors)
  • Users want integrated view from multiple sources — Search engine is better at content integration than some of the content management systems
  • Structure content integration — use smart crawlers for web extraction. Empowers structured search.

Questions:

Question: Are there any differences between strategies for B2B vs. B2C?
Richard Answer: Audience is much larger for B2C, but strategies are just variation

Question: Where does the corporate web site fit in the strategy?
Ed Answer: Embrace the fact that the content exists and incorporate it into your site. Consumers are far more educated than they were 5 years ago. People come prepared with real questions and a much more focused approach.  If something gets low marks, it’s probably because the product is no good.