On April 1st, 2017, Google discontinued all subscription sales of Google Site Search, taking many businesses by surprise. Now, marketers and business owners are left wondering what their next steps will be.
We’ve put together a series of 3 blogs focusing on Google Site Search to help you to help you easily understand what Google Site Search’s end means for your business, what alternatives for in-site search services are out there, and how to turn this risk into a marketing opportunity.
If you didn’t know, Google Site Search is the search bar on your website that allows visitors to look directly for products, services or other content they can’t find directly through your site’s navigation.
The replacement for Google Site Search, Google Custom Search Engine (CSE), will show ads in search results, meaning competitors could soon be advertising on your website. This is something many businesses are working to avoid by finding an alternative solution.
How is the End of Site Search an Opportunity?
In-site search is important in a number of ways. By finding an alternative to CSE, and understanding the value of in-site search, you can start to boost the efficiency of your lead generation.
In-site search features, which can usually be integrated into Google Analytics for your convenience, provides you with a wealth of data to use in a number of ways. It’s also important for the user experience, as 59% of people frequently use the internal search function on a website.
By looking at website search queries, you can find new keywords that potential customers are using that you aren’t optimizing for. You can also use these keywords in paid search campaigns, and the associated landing pages, to entice higher click-through rates.
Looking through search data can tell you how effective your site’s navigation is, and ultimately, how effectively you’re giving potential customers a path to purchase. If people are consistently searching for the same things, you’ll know your website isn’t giving them an easy way to make a purchase or get in contact with you.
If website visitors are frequently using the website search features on landing pages, you’ll know that your landing pages, whether the purpose is to fill out a form or make a purchase, aren’t convincing enough to your visitors. By mining the keyword data, you can begin to get an idea of how to optimize these pages for higher conversion rates.
For the website visitor, a search function improves their experience. It provides an easy way to find information that’s not easily accessible through navigation. This is important, as the average website visitor spends less than one minute on a website before leaving. You don’t have long to capture their interest, and every potential lead is important.
Capitalize on this Opportunity
While many are lamenting the end of Google Site Search, and dreading the impact of CSE on lead generation, you can turn this situation into an opportunity for your business.
There are many different ways that in-site search features can be leveraged for higher lead generation, and some search platforms can provide even more capabilities than the ones described here.
Rather than letting your competitors advertise on your site, be proactive and pursue a solution that will enable more efficient lead generation for your site.
To learn more about what the end of Google Site Search means for you, read the first blog in our series. Those looking to move forward with a different in-site search service can see what alternatives exist in the second blog in our series.