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Put Your Site Search to Work and Improve Your Targeted Marketing, Part 1

by Shaun Ryan  |  
June 9, 2009

No doubt you're spending a lot of time thinking about getting the most bang out of every marketing buck—especially at a time when those dollars might be in short supply.

ROI is a particular concern in the case of investments in technology solutions that are designed to improve the user experience on your website, and you want to make sure that you're getting a good return on those investments.

If you're like most online marketers, you may not realize that some of the technologies that power your website can be critical tools for improving the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

For example, did you know that you can use data from your site-search solution to create emails with lists of popular products that match your customers' preferences? The result: stronger brand visibility, higher conversions, and a more engaging customer experience.

A recent poll we conducted of more than 300 online businesses found that the most important technologies for promoting their brands are site search, search engine optimization (SEO), and email marketing. All these technologies not only can help you boost your brand online but also can encourage customers to choose your products over your competition's.

In fact, site search, SEO, and email marketing are ideally suited to cross-promoting because they're all valuable tools for gathering information about customers and prospects, such as their product and brand preferences, as well as demographic and geographic information that can be used for personalizing content on a website or for creating targeted, customized promotions.

Site search, in particular, offers many opportunities to improve marketing efforts. Anyone who runs an e-commerce or other type of content-rich site knows that search is one of today's key tools for driving conversions and for creating an engaging online experience.

When site visitors can easily search for the products or information they want and receive relevant results, they're more likely to buy and spend more. When visitors are frustrated by a search that returns results that have little to do with the sought-after information, they quickly leave (and most likely go to one of your competitors), possibly never to return.

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Shaun Ryan is CEO of SLI Systems, a provider of hosted search solutions. He can be reached via

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