Monday, July 23, 2007

Seek & You Shall Sell

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." ~ Mark Twain, American humorist & writer, (1835–1910)
Did you know that the search function on your website is a very important tool for both your readers and your marketing.

Oh yeah... searching on a content rich site for just that one article is beyond valuable. It's obligatory.

Nothing is more troubling for potential clients than to find a good site with a poor search tool. After all... if you can't provide good service for the free material you'll never convince them to upgrade for the paid material. Remember, you're not just building a business, you're building a community.

But this happens all the time... a business spends big bucks on creating and promoting their website but they forget the costumer experience. They forget the importance of the search function.

I can't explain it.

Nonetheless, if you have a good search function not only will you have happy visitors, but you'll gain insight into the behavior, wants and needs of your visitors.

In other words, you'll make more money!

Think about it... if you can see what people are searching for on your site then you can learn what they find relevant, what they want, and what they need.

A good search function tool will give you all this data for review. You'll get a list of searched for words, a.k.a. keywords... keywords that you should own... keywords your paid campaigns should go after.

These words may be familiar, but you may also be surprised. You may find a niche within your niche that you did not know existed. That's of tremendous value to your business.

Site search technology is not rare, in fact it's quite common and easy to find. Yet, often the search function associated with most CMS systems is... crap.

So what to do?

Don't settle for poor functionality; go get the best search technology you can find. I've used several different companies in the past few years, but there is something new afoot...

Last week Google released Custom Search Business Edition, a hosted site search solution that provides Google-quality results for your website. You'd think if you're going to find the best search tool, then Google’s would be the gold standard, right?


They claim it's fast, relevant, reliable, and flexible. The pricing starts at $100 per year for searching up to 5,000 pages.

I'm going to test it myself... I'll let you know results. Here's more about the Custom Search Business Edition: