For the last post of our site search series, we are going to show one example for how using site search has increase the ROI of one of our clients, thepartyworks.com. This post should inspire you to think outside the box and give you some ideas on how to optimize the site search experience on your site to increase revenue. If you haven’t read the first two posts of this series, Site Search Part 1: Learn From Your Customers outlines why site search is important and highlights some insights it can provide you, and Site Search Part 2: Track Site Search can show you how to get site search set up and help you begin tacking your visitor’s behavior in Google Analytics.
We go through a specific process at FutureNow, when we analyze our client’s sites and help them make improvements. We got to a point of our analysis where a high impact opportunity seemed to exist within the potential of thepartyworks.com’s site search. We noticed that people who used the search bar on the site were converting at 3.25%, while the site average was .7%. There wasn’t a lot of traffic coming through site search, but we figured that if we could make the site search more prominent on the site, then perhaps more late stage visitors would find and use the site search, resulting in more visitors entering a funnel that converts at a higher rate.
The site search box likely converts users at a higher rate for several reasons; it caters to later stage buyers, it gives instant results, and people have gotten used to navigating this way from using search engines.
So, by simply making the site search box more obvious, we were able to increase the amount of people who use it from 7.9% to 11.4%, a 30% increase. Since people who use site search convert at a higher rate, we were able to increase ROI significantly with this small change.
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Let’s look at some hypothetical numbers (these are not our client’s numbers- those are confidential!), so you can see what a drastic difference a small informed change can make on your site. First, you can find the increase in site search box users by looking at the percentage of unique visitors to your site who use site search. Let’s say you originally have 5,000 visitors who use the search box on your site each month, and their conversion rate, like with thepartyworks.com is 3.25%. After you put your new, more obvious search box on your site, you notice that 6500 people use site search, with 30% more people using search per month. That means that before the change, 162 people converted per month, and after, 211 people converted. If your average order value is $30, you will get $1470 per month with this single change, or $17,640 annually. That’s a lot of money to make from spending 5 minutes looking at your site search data and 2-3 hours taking action.
As a follow up test, we optimized the site search box landing page, and now people who use site search on thepartyworks.com are converting at a 14% higher rate. This means that in our hypothetical version, the new annual revenue from site search would increase by $2469, to $20,109.6 annually. One small win after another and you’ll be banking those extra dollars in no time!
So, what are you waiting for, dig in! Optimizing your site search experience can increase your conversion rate. You can also gain other valuable insights such as what pages on the site need help with navigation, what keywords people are searching for on your site, and much more.
Have you run any tests based on your findings in your site search data? Did they add value to your website? Do you need help implementing your site search box or tracking it in your Google analytics, Omniture or SiteCatalyst account? Most importantly, do you know how to draw insights from that data to make you money? If you need help with any or all of these things, contact us.