Many of the tools the Google offers website owners and webmasters are free. We can sometimes take for granted the they offer free stats (Analytics), free business listings in their directory (Places) and free product listings in their shopping center (Product Search) that help us with out site and expose our businesses to millions of potential customers. And we can sometimes balk at them (or anyone) asking us to pay for something. But there are some tools that Google charges for that can be worth it. One in particular that we find most customers do not understand that well is Google Site Search.
So, how can you benefit by including this on your website?
Let’s start by telling you what Google Site Search is. It is basically a search box on your website, designed to display results that are only relevant pages from your website (unless you choose to show results from other websites that are indexed by Google). When visitors to your site can’t easily find what they want, they’ll type in a phrase and see a list of pages related to that phrase. The closer the relationship between the search term and page, the higher up in the results the page will appear. Check out the one on our site here – https://www.mannixmarketing.com/seo/ (just under the Contact Us button).
So how can you utilize this to your advantage? There are a number of ways. The first is that it is a service to your customers and potential customers. For the most part they will use this when they are unsure of where to go within your site navigation, or as a short cut to quickly find something they are looking for. And if they are using the search box often it may tell you that there is an issue with the site navigation, so you may want to update it. Also, Google will show you which phrases are being searched in the most. This gives you an idea of what people are expecting to find when they get to your site. If the phrases relate to your business, you may want to make it easier for people to find information on it from your main landing pages. If the phrases don’t have to do with your business, you might want to find out how those visitors are getting to your site and work to get traffic that is more relevant and likely to convert.
Another benefit of Google Site Search that Google allows you to bias the results that display by certain sections of your website (i.e., get them to product pages vs. general article pages) or by age of documents. This allows you to steer traffic to the pages that you want them to see. You can also upload a synonym dictionary or a custom synonym dictionary that relates to your site. So once they are on your site you don’t have to worry about what version of a phrase a visitor uses to describe a product. If you are a drink producer, the correct pages will show whether someone types in soda, pop or soft drink.
The short of it is that if you use Google Site Search effectively, you can work to get more targeted traffic to your website, get site visitors where they want to go quicker and ultimately increase conversions.
We started by telling you that this was not one of Google’s free tools. So how much does it cost? Pricing depends on size of website and number of search queries, but for small sites the cost is $100/year (You can contact Google for more info).
Does this make you want to test out Google Site Search? Are you using it already? Let us know.