What Is Site Search? A Quick Guide for Website Owners

What is site search?

Whether you’re a content publisher, an ecommerce site, or whether you simply have a large website, you need to what it is, how to use it, and why it matters.

What Is Site Search?

Everyone knows what Google is. It’s a search engine that crawls the web, retrieves web content, and delivers the results in a list.

Web search is very similar to site search.

Site search is a search engine that focuses entirely on a single website. These site search tools are common, and can be found on many sites throughout the web. The next time you visit your favorite media outlet or shopping site, keep your eye out for a search box or a magnifying glass.

On some sites, search is more prominent than on others. Ecommerce sites, for example, use search as a primary navigation tool. It makes sense for shoppers to use a search tool rather than attempt to wade through countless menus and submenus to find products.

Why Site Search Matters

As site size grows, so does the necessity for site search. So content publishers, wikis, and large websites can also benefit from site search tools.

Site search, therefore, forms a critical part of the website user interface. Usability relies on it. The better the search, the better the user experience.

When users can’t find what they’re looking for, however, bounce rate increases, engagement decreases, and the bottom line is affected. Whether you’re selling products or whether content is your revenue engine, you need to have a site search solution that helps your users.

Who Should Use Site Search

For some sites, site search may be too powerful or irrelevant.

These are the sites that will make the most from a site search solution:

  • Content-Rich Websites – Media outlets, big blogs, and other content-heavy websites should have a site search component on board. There is still plenty of room for other navigation tools, such as related content widgets and menus. But site search plays a huge role in the site’s usability.
  • Ecommerce Sites – Ecommerce sites stand to lose a lot if visitors bounce. Frustration at poor usability is a chief cause for low user retention and high bounce rates. The right site search can pay for itself in dividends by improving retention, increasing conversions, and elevating customer satisfaction.
  • Knowledgebases – A knowledgebase or a help site cuts support staff costs and improves customer relations. For these sites, search tools are often the primary means of navigation, so it’s critical to have one on board. An offsite provider, such as Google, isn’t a good choice, since it may not even index much – if any – of the site’s articles.
  • Forums – Forums are also go-to information sources for many visitors. Many members enjoy browsing and interacting with forum members. But if visitors are searching for specific information, they need to use a search tool. Forums and other sites that are updated regularly, such as classifieds, need internal search engines, since external search engines will often index small portions of these sites.

Regardless of your business, the right search solution can improve your users’ experience and put money in your pocket.

However, not all site search solutions are created equal…

What to Look for in a Site Search Solution

There are a variety of in-site search providers on the market.

What should you look for when shopping around?

On the surface, you may think that all on-site search is created equal. Since Google provides its own in-site search solution, many opt with the world’s largest tech engine. But Google’s in-site search tool doesn’t offer all same benefits offered by other site search providers.

Here’s what to look for when shopping for site search providers:

  • Analytics – Analytics and search data tell you what your users are searching for. More importantly, it offers insight into their intent. On ecommerce sites, it tells you what they’re shopping for. On content sites, it tells you what content they want. This helps you better meet their needs and improve your site design.
  • Customization – With the right search solution, you can customize your search tool as needed. You can prioritize content, serve ads, change the algorithm, and alter the design. The more you can control, the more you can tailor the search box to meet your customers’ needs.  
  • Design – Design is becoming more important than ever. Today, online content needs to be visually rich and concise. The more eye-catching it is, the better. 
  • Functionality – In other words, you need a search engine that works. Older site search solutions may not work well or may deliver irrelevant content, which is a sure way to decrease engagement and increase bounce rates.
  • Monetization – Monetization may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of site search. But if you want to make more money – as every business does – you should investigate site search solutions that are monetized, such as SiteFuel and SearchFuel.

Why You Need a Sales Engagement Model for Your Content-Based Website

A sales engagement model can help any content-based website improve its monetization.

Many businesses understand that they need content to make money. But they don’t always include best practices to help them increase profits.

A documented content marketing strategy, key performance indicators, and a sales engagement model are critical components for any effective content-based website or campaign.

What Is a Sales Engagement Model?

Many consider engagement to be a function of marketing.

Marketers bring in new customers by engaging them across social media, websites, and other channels, both online and off.

However, there is a good case for making engagement part of the sales department. In a survey by Salesforce’s Pardot, 64% of customers said that the “authenticity” and “helpfulness” of content were determiners when it came to staying with a service provider.

High quality content, therefore, should be used across the entire sales funnel. To make the most of your content program, you need to integrate your sales content and your marketing funnel via a single sales engagement model.

To do that, create appropriate content aimed at each stage of your marketing funnel.

Engagement Requires the Right Content at the Right Time

You’ve probably heard much of the advice designed to help you improve your content marketing and monetization:

  • Add value. In other words, discover what your customers want, then give it to them. People need problems solved, and content that doesn’t solve problems doesn’t keep them engaged.
  • Demonstrate credibility. Credibility comes from reputation, reviews, social proof, track record, original research, and so on. The more credible your content is, the more likely you are to be accepted and engaged with by users.
  • Distribute your content widely. Content doesn’t help if no one knows it exists. Great content must be spread far and wide to achieve the maximum impact.
  • Analyze content consumption. The more data you have at your fingertips, the more you can tailor content to your customers’ needs.

And so on.

Although this advice remains true, it doesn’t incorporate the sales funnel into its equation.

The sales funnel is mapped out to fit the AIDA formula:

  • Awareness – Customers need to learn about a product or service that can solve their problem.
  • Interest – Next, interest in a solution must be generated.
  • Desire – Third, marketers must ignite a desire for a particular solution.
  • Action – Finally, customers must be compelled to act, by making a purchase, opting in, etc.

Every website visitor, app downloader, or prospect that you come across will be at one of these four stages.

The problem with many marketing programs is that they don’t engage customers based on their stage in the marketing process. The wrong content can deter or confuse customers and decrease conversions.

When creating content for your funnel and your users, you should tailor it to each stage of the funnel.

For instance, prospects at the first stage of the funnel are simply looking for information. They aren’t ready to be sold to just yet. So hitting them with your brands’ products or a sales pitch will only turn them off.

These leads must be nurtured with informative content. This information should educate in a general way, without directly mentioning your products or services, or even your brand.

At the next stage, users should be warmed up even further with focused content, such as white papers, ebooks, and guides. Further down the funnel, you can present your solutions, drive traffic towards landing pages, and engage with sales staff.

Fitting Content into Your Sales Engagement Model

As mentioned above, content must add value, be tailored to meet customer needs, be data-driven, and so on.

But for content to be effective in terms of sales engagement, it must drive customers towards the next stage of the sales funnel.

Here’s what content should look like at each stage of your marketing funnel:

  • Awareness – At the top of the funnel, your content should be informative and engaging. Design information for people who are just “beginners” – those who have just learned they have a problem and are trying to make heads and tails of it.
  • Interest – The more interested users become in a solution, the more specific and directed you can be with your content. At this stage, you should elaborate on existing solutions, problems with those solutions, and what to look for in an ideal solution.
  • Desire – To ignite desire in your prospects, start talking about the benefits of your product over the competition’s. Return on investment and your product’s USP are good talking points.
  • Action – At this stage, buyers are choosing among vendors and you are attempting to elicit a response. Prospects should ideally be opted in to autoresponder sequences and they should be directed to landing pages that push for a sale.

Every content marketing and monetization campaign can be improved with the right sales engagement model. By mapping your content to your marketing funnel, you can improve engagement, retention, and your bottom line.

Video Content Monetization 101: How to Turn Videos into Cash

Video content monetization can be very profitable…

If you do it right.

With the right techniques and a little bit of application, you can start monetizing your video content in no time.

Video Content Monetization 101: The Basics

Anyone who wants to make money online wants to know how to monetize content.

And video content can be one of the best ways to market yourself, build an audience, and earn money.

Here are the basic ways to monetize your video content:

Monetizing Video as a Product/Service

The most straightforward way to make money is by selling your videos. Unfortunately this can also be the most challenging, unless you already have an established reputation and an audience that is willing to buy from you.

But if you do meet those criteria, then this method can be the most profitable of all.

Since DVDs have gone the way of the dinosaur, you’ll want to sell on-demand video products. Content marketplaces, such as Amazon and Google Play, let you package and sell your videos for flat fees.

Vimeo has also added an on-demand payment service, which allows you to charge users to view your videos.

While once-and-done video products can earn you a hefty bit of cash, ongoing subscriptions can earn you even more. Think about online course libraries, such as Lynda.com and Udemy.

As we’ll discover below, acquiring ongoing customers for subscription products can be much more valuable to customers – and much more profitable for you.

Using Your Videos to Sell and Market

It can be hard to convince people to buy your videos if you don’t already have an audience that trusts you. The easiest way to get people’s attention is to offer them free video content…

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make money from content that’s free.

Instead of selling your content, use it to market and sell other products. Here are three of the best ways to do that:

Sell your own products and services. If you create videos that promote your other business services, then your videos are still making you money. Video marketing is an essential tool in every successful marketer’s toolbox.

Advertise other people’s products. You can sell other people’s products or services, through affiliate marketing or advertising. The key to making money through advertising and affiliate marketing is traffic, customers that trust you, and valuable content.

Video Content Monetization: Success Strategies

It’s competitive out there.

To stand out in the noise, you’ll need to be different, better, or both.

Adding Value

To successfully monetize anything – whether it’s a video channel, a blog, or an app – you’ll need to add real value to your viewers (your customers).

The best way to do this is by solving a problem…even if that problem is simply a need for entertainment. Entertainers, for instance, can build a following by catering to people who want their specific brand of entertainment. And specialists in a certain field can use video to provide useful information that helps their target audience solve a problem.

Acquiring Viewers (Customers)

The internet isn’t as young as it used to be, so it’s impossible to expect overnight results from a spammy website or cheap YouTube channel. People are more savvy, less gullible, and less likely to fall for gimmicks.

So in such a competitive environment, you need to do everything you can to pull people on board for the long haul. You’ll need to get them to trust you, become loyal, and follow you.

Once they become loyal customers, they’ll buy from you. Whether you’re selling affiliate products, your own products, or both, it’s critical to focus on acquiring a loyal following.

There’s a reason for this: acquiring and selling to a new customer takes much more effort than selling to an existing customer. Once people are following you, they’re more likely to watch your videos and buy whatever it is you’re promoting…like your newest video product.

Creating a Purchase Funnel

One of the most important content monetization concepts is the purchase funnel – also called a sales funnel or marketing funnel.

Every part of your online presence should be devoted to acquiring customers and enhancing your value in their eyes…in order to market and sell to them.

Video content that doesn’t sell doesn’t make money. That’s not to say you should create only sales videos.

But your videos should always drive people towards your offers.

Use your judgement and A/B split tests to strike the right balance between your content and your sales tactics.

If you shy away from calls-to-action and sales copy, your bottom line may suffer. So always be promoting your offers in your videos, video descriptions, and even your video titles.

And once people are on board your sales funnel, it’s time to upsell them. Provide related products and services or premium offers. The most loyal customers will be the most profitable. They’ll keep buying from you, tell their friends about you, and make your video content lucrative for a long time to come.

 

Whether you’re a big business or a freelancer on Facebook, you’ll be able to use video to monetize, market, and make money. Just remember to add value, acquire customers, and keep selling.