I was very pleased with my panel. We turned up some great information.
Chris Knoch of Omniture kicked things off with a brief deck out and outlined these reasons why on-site search is important:
•"Quick and easy way to get information without navigation •57% of users on a website are highly likely to use the search tool •30% of shoppers use search outright •Consumer use the advanced search options like brand, price and style more than any other options •50% of visitors who convert to buyers used site search to find their product •Marketers can use site search metrics –Improve conversion for products and content (subscription sites) –Increase ad revenue by enhancing site stickiness –Reduce support costs by ensuring more visitors find self-service support content"
Panelists Esmee Williams of Allrecipes.com and Karen Brophy of Tribune.com emphasized that leveraging internal search for content publishers is much different than e-commerce companies. It's all about making sure the right content bubbles up to meet the query but there is still an element of merchandising to ensure that the best monetized pages have a strong presence. Ultimately, though, Karen summed it up by saying you have do do what's best for the users first and foremost and revenue will follow (ala Google's model).
Jeremy Barnes of Acquity Group had the best line on the panel reminiscing that 5 years ago he would have said if you have to use an on-site search tool that means your website's Information Architecture is sub-par. On-site search... you've come a long way baby!
Here's the quick and dirty: I've been in the digital marketing and media space for over ten years, which is like sixty dog years in traditional media. I've served time on the agency, media, and technology side of the table, working with marketers ranging from global Fortune 500 brands to local start-ups.
Over the years I've run the gamut of digital marketing -- display, search, video, email, co-reg, affiliate, sponsorships, etc. Through it all, the one thing I've learned is that the only constant in this space is change. And the key to winning is not only knowing which way the wind is blowing but when the tide has reached its peak.
About This Blog
Welcome to the official Aaron Goldman blog -- sorry, gotta talk about myself in 3rd person for SEO purposes.
Somehow having 15 blogs and contributing to 3 others wasn't enough. Maybe it's the Type-F in me. So I decided to create one more.
Why? Well, despite having plenty of online real-estate to share my POV, I found myself without a forum to comment on general trends in digital marketing and media. All of the other blogs I post on are specific to a niche in the marketplace -- search, URLs, etc.
On this blog, I'll opine on the sea change being brought about by the shift in media from analog to digital, push to pull, broadcast to narrowcast, one-way to two-way, etc. And I'll touch on all the various marketing opportunities that are coming to bear in pursuit of the blue oceans ahead.
Note: I've recently begun using images to poignantly punctuate my posts. Wherever possible, I provide attribution for images that are not my own. If I've used one of your images and you feel that I'm infringing on your copyright, please contact me and I'll remove it promptly.
Update: effective September 3, 2010, this blog is no longer active. Please see this post for more information and join the conversation at the Googley Lessons blog.