If you’re ignoring internal search, slap yourself silly

While Jerome is busy posting about the in’s and out’s of implementing Search&Promote, I thought I’d wade in with a post on why businesses should consider their search as a missed opportunity.

I’ve previously posted on what I think is a hidden gold mine of information called internal search. It’s an area of the site that many companies, quite frankly, ignore.

“Not too sure how to do anything with it, we assume it’s working just fine serving up results to random queries, so we’ll leave it alone and focus on our core purpose, driving people into our conversion funnel.”

Or something along those lines.

If that’s you, go stand in front of a mirror and slap yourself a few times! Wake up and smell the coffee…there’s much more to search than that!

Visitor Scoring – the engaged visitor segment

So I promised that I would finally put fingertip to keyboard and talk a little bit more about using Visitor Scoring…to finish up the series that I started a while ago.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that we implemented a series of metrics for engagement measurement, culminating in a per-visitor score.

I wanted to share with you some of the insights and benefits of doing all of this, particularly in Discover.

Search&Promote on steroids

When it comes to searching across the web, we all know that Google is king, but does this still hold true across your own internal network?

Over the past 12 months we have wrestled with this question, particularly in an environment with multiple search mechanisms, manually maintained indexes, and masses of sites that were created when metadata was primarily used to categorise instead of search.

Elusive engagement – Part II – Visitor scoring

This is a follow on post to my previous one about measuring that elusive engagement. This post focuses on the aspect of applying a score to visitor interactions, as they interact with your content and applications.

Visitor scoring is fairly simple – especially in SiteCatalyst, and by leveraging the data in Discover through segmentation, (and ultimately in SiteCatalyst 15), it’ll give you even more insight into visitor engagement.

Visitor scoring measures and assigns a relative value to individual customers and prospects based on their actions and behaviors over time. You can determine intent and engagement – even before visitors convert.

Once you’ve identified your most valuable visitors, you can dissect their actions to determine the campaigns, keywords, referring sites and offline touch points that engage them – and invest more on these efforts.

Elusive engagement

Now, there’s a hot topic. Measuring engagement. One of the most widely debated topics in web analytics.

What is engagement and how do we measure it?

Engagement, unfortunately, is not derived from a single measure. It’s not time on site. It’s not how many pages they viewed. It’s not bounce rates and it’s not about conversions.

Engagement is about a lot of things. What is an engaged visitor and how do you measure engagement?

Test&Target silly season has arrived.

It’s campaign time again. Normally we behaviorally target content to users based on their application stage.
We know from previous tests that this provides more relevance to the user when they visit our site – instead of just seeing a standard campaign message each time. And relevance is proven to lift conversions.

Moving beyond business-based segmentation

One of the most powerful ways to enable an audience connection is through behavioural segmentation.

Many companies today segment from a business standpoint. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good strategy and aligns your measurement and optimisation strategy with your business segmentation model.

Customer / non-customer segments. Product A owners / product B owners. Mosaic-based segments. Geographic segments. Lead / Non-lead segments. These are all typically business-based segments, and you should definitely be segmenting using this methodology if your overall business does.

But I think there’s a higher level of segmentation – behavioural segmentation. Read on to see how we easily achieved this.

Campaign Stacking, Lead Stacking, Product Stacking

Here’s another really simple customisation that you can and should do as part of your basic implementation, which helps you to further understand attribution.

Attribution is probably one of the hardest and most contested measurements available…which “thing” led your customer to do something. Read on to find out more about stacking in SiteCatalyst.

How to create a good measurement strategy

Many companies struggle with an effective digital measurement strategy, often due to the lack of resources or the lack of understanding how it can provide an effective return on the investment.

And it is an investment. Generally you’ll incur people and training costs and you’ll incur licensing costs for the various platforms. These are all ongoing costs.

But you can demonstrate an ROI that will far outweigh the costs incurred, if you spend the time and effort in putting a solid strategy together. Read on to see the 6 key elements to a successful measurement strategy.

Measuring engagement over time

I recently read a great blog post about Cohort Analysis – measuring engagement over time, from 52 weeks of UX, and it got me thinking how to achieve this within Omniture SiteCatalyst.

As it turns out, with a bit of custom code, it’s pretty easy to do, and what an opportunity it opens up.

Cohort Analysis allows you to look at a group of people who start something at a specific time and monitor them over time to see whether their engagement increases or decreases. Then you can also compare them with people who start the same thing at a different point in time.

Read on to find out what this all means, why you need it, and what you can do with it…

Is your content converting?

One of the little-used nuggets in SiteCatalyst is “participation”.

It’s a given that you want to know how many sales you’ve made, or how much revenue you’ve generated, but what about which pages have helped to contribute to that conversion. Not every visitor follows the same path through the content, and it’s therefore beneficial to be able to see which pages are more likely to drive a conversion than others, thereby exposing your most valuable pages.

Driving content relevance with Test&Target

In many cases homepages are either relatively static, or promotional driven. The problem is that homepages are often still the starting point of a users journey on the site and not every user should see the same content.

Enter Omniture Test and Target. A very powerful application that can dynamically change content based on previous user behaviors. Content relevance yields greater conversion, so it makes a lot of sense to include it in your overall online strategy.