Monetizing in-site search: why it must be on a content-rich website…

When you’re using a search monetization tool such as SiteFuel to monetize your website, there’s one key thing you need to make it work: content.

Why In-Site Search Requires Lots of Content

Search engines are complex databases that use websites as their data sources. They use queries to sift through the content on your site in order to return the most relevant content.

The less content – or data – there is for them to search, the less the in-site search box has to work with.

Here are a few problems that could arise from having too little content:

The in-site search engines don’t return many results. When there’s not much data to work with, there’s not much content to return. This will mean less engagement, fewer clicks, and less opportunity for monetization.

They could return irrelevant results. Relevance becomes easier for in-site search engines to establish when they have more content to work with. The less content there is, the harder it is for them to find relevant search results.

Or they could return no results at all. The less content your site has, the less likely it is to return anything. When in-site search returns nothing, then you face the biggest obstacle to in-site search monetization…

User engagement and potential revenue drop. Website usability relies on effective navigation and “findability.” If users can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll probably go somewhere else to keep searching. This, of course, means less monetization potential.

Tips for Making More from Your Content

To make the most money from your in-site search monetization engine, follow these simple steps:

1. Find a premium in-site search solution.

There are a few qualities to look for when integrating an in-site search solution into your site. Here are a few qualities to consider when shopping for in-site search tools:

  • Relevant results – This seems obvious, but when you compare basic tools to more high-end versions, you’ll notice a difference. Prioritize tools that use semantic search or make use of leading search providers in order to index your site’s content.
  • Great user experience – Older, less sophisticated in-site search tools deliver results in a format that can be difficult to understand or read. Find newer tools that deliver results via an attention-grabbing UI. This type of tool will increase engagement and create a positive user experience, making people more likely to stay and search on your site.
  • Monetization and additional features – Premium in-site search tools don’t just benefit users, they benefit your bottom line. By partnering with industry-leading search providers, these tools can offer you a share of revenue each time users search your site.

The best in-site search solutions offer all three of these qualities.

SiteFuel, CodeFuel’s premium in-site search tool, is one such solution. The engine focuses entirely on engagement and experience. Results are delivered in a visually appealing search grid, and they are powered by industry-leading search providers, such as Bing.

Like all CodeFuel products, SiteFuel uses CodeFuel’s powerful platform to deliver real-time analytics, insightful reports, and actionable data.

2. Integrate it into your site and test.

Embedding SiteFuel is easy – simply add code to the right place in your website and you start making money. But to earn more from your content, don’t stop there.

Test the placement of your search box, surrounding designs, and even call-to-action copy.

3. Add content.

As mentioned, the more content you have, the more money you can make from your in-site search box.

Here are a few types of sites that are great for in-site search monetization:

  • Blogs – Blog articles are a great way to keep your site filled with fresh, relevant content. They provide in-site search engines with the fuel they need to give your users the search results that make you money.
  • Encyclopedia Sites – Reference sites, such as wikis, are primarily navigated by search. If you design a knowledgebase or a reference site, then you can funnel all your users through that search engine.
  • Database Sites – A database sites, such as a website that contains the meanings of names or geographic data, is another example of a site that could be effectively monetized with in-site search. These types of websites will also rely heavily on search as the main way people navigate, so you’ll potentially earn much more than if you tuck your search bar in the corner of a small blog.

A Few Tips for Earning More from Your Content

If you’re not seeing the results you expect from your in-site search monetization solution, make sure you’re following these best practices:

  • Make search a central navigation feature for your site. Keep your search bar highly visible, above the fold, and easy to access. You may even consider including it in the header of your site. And if you really want to draw attention to it, think about adding several on a page, in places such as the header, the footer, sidebars, and so on.
  • Add lots of content regularly. Lots of fresh content doesn’t just feed your in-site search engine, it feeds major search engines such as Google and Bing. In order to make money from your site, you’ll need traffic, and lots of it. Content is key to drawing people in, engaging them, and getting them to use your search engine.
  • Make sure your content is relevant to your users’ needs. Monitor your in-site search engine’s analytics. This data offers excellent insight into the minds of your visitors and customers, so it allows you to craft content that they’re looking for.
  • Find users who need lots of information on your topic. Targeting the right users can make all the difference when it comes to search monetization. A casual internet browser may only be casually interested in your blog articles. But a student who is studying a topic in-depth may be much more likely to search a site repeatedly. This type of information-hungry visitor would make the ideal customer.

Whether you are running a blog or a website, you’ll need a content-rich website to make money from in-site search engines. If you follow these tips and guidelines, you should start to see your profit grow in no time.