Ecommerce Master Class: Directed Search

Ecommerce Master Class: Directed Search

“How did you do it?” That’s a question we get asked all the time. When you profitably make more than $30,000,000 online over the course of seven years where each year beat the previous year by 20% or more questions are common.

Search and Merchandising = big parts of how we accomplished such lofty goals. Great PEOPLE are even more important, but learning how to have Google love you (external search) and merchandising with internal search are big CSFs (Critical Success Factors) for any ecom team.

This, our first Ecommerce Master Class, shares how to create a directed search in Magento. Directed searches reduce a site’s NOISE to get customers to what they are looking for faster and with less frustration. If you’re thinking “faster with less frustration” translates into more conversions, loyalty and money you win a cookie.

Clearing the clutter from your top searches by DIRECTING the search to a more relevant page is a great way to increase engagement (time on site, pages viewed) and so improve the “new SEO”.

The example STARTS with Google Analytcs taking’s top search in the last thirty days and making sure customers who type “Hugo” (as in the best selling DAC Chord Hugo) into search get a great instead of an average page.

Extend the logic. Organic search is often full of noise. Most sites use the same keywords over and over. That means any internal search algorithm may produce less than stellar results. We’ve taken special actions with

We created a two dimensional algorithm categorizing all products as Good, Better and Best AND providing an individual tracking number ranking their top 500 products from 1 to 500. The interplay of the macro (Good, Better, Best) with the Micro (tracking codes) produces much better “natural search” results

Even still internal search can be fuzzy and confusing. You want your internal search to be used for searches where FUZZY is good. When a searcher’s INTENT is clear you DO NOT WANT customers to feel like they have to chop down trees to find what they want. The rub is in knowing WHEN you need the one (wandering and fuzzy) vs. the other (directed and specific).

The video is a HOW TO for Magento, but most ecommerce platforms provide some way to direct searches where you want them. Shopify and Volusion sites may require purchasing a plugin, but we bet you can find a way to modify your site’s internal search so customers find what they want fast.

The experience of your site, what we call your site’s “nonverbals”, plays a HUGE role in creating the kind of sustainable online community we preach about constantly. If your internal search GETS ME connection and love is possible. If your customers have to cut down forest to find what they want frustration sets in.

Frustrated customers do many things. Buying is rarely one of them, so use “directed search” to win hearts, minds and loyalty. Oh, and you make a lot more MONEY too :).M