Thursday, May 14, 2009

Understanding Buyers Through Internal Search Queries


I’ve talked quite a bit about things you can do with understanding the digital body language of your buyers based on Google search queries. However, there are often internal searches, within your web experience, that can be equally or more valuable. If your website uses an internal search for documents, case studies, or solutions, be sure you are adding the insights that can be gained from that into the view of your visitor’s digital body language.

To do this, there are two possible techniques. Either the search form can be integrated as a normal Eloqua form to capture the data before passing it back to the original search engine, or the search query itself can be captured directly from the query string seen in the URL.

The second technique is more commonly used if there is a hesitation to add an intermediary step between the user and the search results, of if there is a hesitation on the part of the team that owns the search area to make any alterations.

In this case, you can use query strings to track the searches. If the search results are presented in a URL that looks something like:


http://www.yoursite.com/search.php?searchquery=finance+case+studies


you can define a query string to look for the value of “Searchquery”.

With this query string defined, you will automatically capture the search query of each web visitor who performs a search within your site. This can be used individually for lead scoring purposes, or can be looked at in aggregate with reporting to see the aggregate trends in your visitors.

When thinking about understanding your buyers’ digital body language, it’s important not to overlook any potential areas of insight. An internal search engine can be a great source of this insight and it’s easy to track in Eloqua using either form integration or query strings.

This can be used either in overall understanding of buyer trends of the understanding of an individual's digital body language for the purpose of lead scoring or defining of nurturing routines.

2 comments:

Aby Varma said...

Great tip!!

Chad H said...

As an extension, create a Profile Field from the Query String and then you can see the actual known visitors who have done these searches. You can then add this field to sales lead reports and visitor notifications as well as lead scoring criteria as Steve alludes to.