Tuesday, March 24, 2009

OMMA Global Hollywood On-Site Search Panel: Red-Eye Special

Goldman at OMMA Hollywood

Holy red-eye Batman!

MediaPost covered my OMMA panel re: on-site search in Online Media Daily today and included this pic in the header. I swear I wasn't out partying on Hollywood Blvd. til 3am -- that's just a result of the flash!

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!

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