How To Leverage Site Search Data To Fuel Your Marketing Strategy

By Dana Naim, Twiggle

On-site search data is a gold mine for retailers that
want to keep their finger on the pulse, meet customers’ changing demands, and
stay top of mind.

Purchase data will tell you which products are
selling. But search data is your way of predictively assessing which are about
to sell, before they actually do. It offers a wide-ranging view of shopper
behavior and their interest level across products, brands and categories. For
example, if you notice that a growing number of customers are searching for a ‘tie-dye
maxi dress
,’ you’ll know which product deserves more of your attention.


That knowledge will give you the best possible chance
of reacting to emerging trends before your competitors do, while ensuring that
you can deliver strong customer experiences and capture sales at the right

It’s for this reason that search data isn’t just
important for optimizing your web site; it’s a way of shaping and optimizing
your entire marketing strategy.

Here are five ways of using your site search data to build
more effective marketing campaigns that drive bottom-line results for your e-Commerce

  1. Getting your timing right

Seasons don’t really start and end on a calendar date —
when it comes to seasonal shopping, consumers dictate what will sell when. Search
data allows you to tap into your customers’ mindset to examine what they’re
thinking at a precise moment.

This enables you to roll out seasonal campaigns when
people are actively searching for products associated with that time of the
year. However, it also teaches you to rely on data, rather than guesswork, when
planning your marketing activity.

Let’s take the example of products that don’t come
with an obvious label. We know that swimsuits, sandals and garden furniture all
see big rises in sales when the temperature increases, while hoodies, boots and
lip-care products enjoy more popularity when the temperature drops. By
examining your search data to spot shifts in demand for specific products during
specific times of year, you can plan your campaigns with the right timing in

2. Developing your paid-ad

Search data allows you to react to trends as and when
they happen, but it’s not all about suddenly shifting your priorities. By
analyzing queries from a previous year, you can lay out the framework for 12
months’ worth of display and search activity, based on what is likely to

For instance, if a sporting goods retailer sees a lift
in searches for tennis equipment in the first week of the U.S. Open, they’ll
know when to start pushing pay-per-click (PPC) and display campaigns for these
items. We’ve heard of 25%
in page views for dresses during late April — a period
when high schoolers are thinking about their prom and graduation parties. These
recurring events are huge for retailers that want to drive results in key

Search data allows you to react quicker to the micro
moments that happen on a day-to-day basis. But given that many trends are influenced
by seasons and events, you should always look to plan ahead where possible.

3. Promoting your trending

In a market that is subject to fast-changing
preferences, driven by influencers and celebrities, a product can become
popular overnight. It’s why trends in search volume for a very specific item
should be acted upon immediately.  

Through email campaigns, newsletters and homepage
banners, it’s possible to alert customers to items before they’ve searched for
them. You can even create dedicated landing pages for popular lines — ideal for
capturing all results for a trending category.

These reactions have a crucial role in closing the gap
between the homepage and the checkout. If you can see that an item is
unanimously popular, you should offer a fast, efficient way of buying it.

4. Intent-driven retargeting

Retargeting has emerged as an ideal way of capturing
lost sales. And if we’re talking about signs of user intent, you can’t get a
more obvious signal than data from people landing on your site and completing a

Retailers almost have to take a step back to really
understand how important their search traffic is. By typing in the name of a
product, the user is offering a very deliberate sign of their interest in that
item — and their intent to purchase it. 

Promotional activities like retargeting can use this
extra layer of insight to become more personalized and impactful. It’s easy to
take a safe, generic route with your campaigns, but you’d be wrong in thinking
that every person is interested in a popular brand, ‘what’s new’ or ‘on sale’.

Retailers should be quick to funnel their search data
back into retargeting campaigns that drive results via a product-led approach.

5. Maximizing your PPC efforts

Keep in mind that site visitors use your search box in
a similar way to Google, serving as a strong indicator of what products are in
high demand. Use your search data to decide where you should invest your
marketing dollars when targeting customers via PPC.

Bid higher on the terms that attract more searches and
consider the impact of long-tail searches. The big products and brands (e.g. ‘Nike running
, ‘North Face’) are always going to attract
huge amounts of search volume. However, if you can spot where people are
drilling down into their features (e.g. ‘Bose latest home theater’), you
can drive more ROI through longer-tail and historically cheaper terms.

Search data is a key source of insight for marketers
on the quest for greater ROI, providing vital clues into the customer’s mindset
and decision-making process. Use this data to better understand your customers,
guide your marketing strategy and create a faster pathway to checkout.

Dana Naim is the Head of Marketing
and Content at
Twiggle. A
former teacher and journalist with a passion for words and tech, Naim strives
to educate, inform, and delight her readers on subjects including retail technology,
AI, and search.

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