After much planning and hard work, your organization’s new website is ready to be launched. Hallelujah! But wait – have you thoroughly vetted your relaunch plan? Did you include the search experience as part of your design?
Consumers have completed up to 60% of their research for a product or service before they engage with a salesperson and as much as 84% of their research is done on a given business’s website. So, if you haven’t factored SEO into your new website design/plan, you’re missing out on bringing in new visitors to your site. These questions should be asked and answered before relaunching your site:
- What are the expectations of our website visitors? You should develop an outline of what your visitors expect from a search query, such as:
- Content that is relevant to the intent of the query
- A back-end that is capable of learning from visitor queries what content is most relevant
- Delivery of an optimal visit experience utilizing existing visitor data.
- What features are necessary to meet visitors’ search expectations? These features will provide search clues to assist your visitors’ search experience:
- Auto-fill query suggestions
- Content recommendations
- Mobile optimization.
- Will the visitor search experience fit with your overall personalization strategy?Personalization is an important component of your marketing strategy. Your search experience should be taking advantage of the visitor data you have to return the most relevant content to each visitor.
- Do you include data from other sources to influence search results? Don’t forget the data you have on your visitors from other sources such as previous queries, emails clicked, IP addresses and more. Pulling all this data together can greatly improve the relevance of search results.
- What assets are being searched? Is all of your digital content available for search returns? If you have more than one website or other digital assets with different content on each, you need to make all of that content available for search returns.
- How will we determine what content is missing on our site(s)? Consumers and provider organizations have different perspectives, so a consumer’s information needs may not have occurred to you. Pay attention to your click-through rate metrics to see if search returns are meeting your visitors’ needs.
- Are we allowing for new content? As you add to and change your content, you don’t want to have to manually fine-tune adjustments based on new search data. A machine-learning solution is a good investment as you grow your website content, traffic and audience.
Bottom line: People are going to search your website to find the information they need. Get your search strategy in place before you re-launch your new site!