How to Improve Your Site's Search Function

How to Improve Your Site’s Search Function

Have you ever used the site search function on a website, looked at the results, and immediately given up on finding what you were looking for?

This has probably happened to you several times, if you think about it. Even some of the best sites on the Internet deliver completely inadequate, confusing, or downright… well… ugly search results to their users. Who wants to wade through six pages of results just to find one specific page or product?

somehow, I don't think this is what the searcher had in mind. (screenshot by Smashing Magazine)
somehow, I don’t think this is what the searcher had in mind. (screenshot by Smashing Magazine)

If your own website’s search is notorious for confusing visitors, not delivering specific results, or just isn’t living up to your expectations, it’s in your best interest to improve it. Keep reading to find out how to deliver better results to your visitors — and how to convert more site searches into purchases or leads.

Interview: Michael Brenner, NewsCred Head of Strategy

Interview: Michael Brenner, NewsCred Head of Strategy

We’re back with another InterviewFX feature! If you’re new around here, this series brings you advice from entrepreneurs, marketers, and other experts to help you better manage your business and online marketing.

Today we focus on leadership values and content marketing as we talk to Michael Brenner, Head of of Strategy for NewsCred. As the former VP of Global Content Marketing Strategy and Head of Digital for SAP Americas, Michael offers you valuable insights into leadership, content marketing, and the future of digital marketing.

Keep reading to see the full interview!

How to Get Star Ratings in Google Search Results

How to Get Star Ratings in Google Search Results

Those beautiful yellow stars that appear just under page titles in search results are a shining opportunity to tell searchers that you are trustworthy. And you’d be surprised at how easily you can implement them on your site!

Some companies see an increase in clickthrough-rate as great as 20%-30% after implementing star ratings in their search results. It works like a referral, in a sense. In the same way that people are more likely to purchase a product a friend recommends, users understand that stars are representative of someone’s experiences with a product or brand.

stars_5

Searchers are more likely to trust a website listing with a favorable star rating than a website without one. It’s a confidence (and clickthrough) booster!

Let’s take a look at the three ways that you can add star ratings to search results for your website, location, or products.

7 Ways to Find Content Ideas Your Audience Will Love

7 Ways to Find Content Ideas Your Audience Will Love

Quality content requires serious investments of time and energy. If you’ve ever written a blog post, designed an infographic, or put together a guide, you know that creating original material is no easy task.

How can you make sure that your hard work doesn’t go to waste? The best way is to spend time finding out what your audience wants before creating content. Even if you personally find a topic that fascinates you or think your idea is incredible, that’s no guarantee that everyone (or anyone) else will agree.

By monitoring or getting involved with the conversations taking place within your industry or niche, you give yourself a much better chance of creating content that people will find relevant, interesting, and worth sharing or linking to.

Keep reading to find out where these conversations are happening, and how you can use them as a source for ideas that your audience will connect with.

4 Unconventional Copywriting Models That Actually Convert

4 Unconventional Copywriting Models That Actually Convert

Have you ever wondered if there was a silver bullet solution to getting people to buy your products or convert into a lead?

Are you wondering if there’s some sort of magical word or phrase that guaranteed visitors would click “buy now” or “contact us” and become loyal, long-term customers?

If you’ve pondered such things, you’re not alone. In fact, many studies and experiments have been performed to discover which words convert more than others, and which copywriting tactics work best.

While many different words have been tested for conversion power, there remains a less-traversed and more experimental road where unconventional words and phrases are useful. As we begin exploring this area, we need to keep a few things in mind about our target audience:

  • Demographics and psychographics: age, gender, likes, dislikes, dispositions, etc.
  • Budget: the average amount a visitor is likely to spend
  • Value perception: how the visitor values our products
  • Openness: the likelihood of a visitor to be open to something new

These factors influence how we devise and modify words and phrases aimed at converting visitors. These aren’t “silver bullet” solutions — they are contextual and play on the respective audiences they target. But with knowledge of your audience, some psychology, and willingness to test different copywriting methods, you can find unconventional solutions that will drive more conversions.

Here are four unusual copywriting ideas that just might work for you.

4 Marketing Lessons from Girl Scout Cookies

4 Marketing Lessons from Girl Scout Cookies

Recently, a friend and I were making our way through a local mall when we came upon a small folding table surrounded by people. After a few seconds of confusion, I realized the folding table had boxes of Girl Scout Cookies on it, and the crowd was there because OMG Girl Scout Cookies.

After I fought through the crowd to buy my own three boxes, I got to thinking about just why I felt so compelled to throw my money at the four little girls who’d been staffing the table. $4 per box is steep for cookies — and they are just cookies, after all. (Except for Thin Mints. They’re an experience.)

I eventually realized that the Girl Scouts have been nailing it on the marketing of their limited-run cookies for years… and we’ve probably never noticed. Whether or not they intended to create these impressive strategies, there are some fantastic lessons you can learn from what they’ve been doing.

Here are four interesting marketing takeaways from the Girl Scouts and their delicious cookies.