April 03 2020
Know Where to Look and What to Look For
In today’s rapidly evolving times, every day brings new challenges to your business. That can make it difficult to know where to turn or what to do next. By listening to your key customers however, they can often point you in the right direction through their search behavior, the ways they engage with your website or the requests they send you. Each type of engagement provides you with the data you need to know for how to move forward.
Google Analytics should be your first stop for gaining insight into the needs of your current and prospective customers. From here, you can see recent trends in behaviors from visitors to your website.
Paid Search Queries
If you have a paid search program in place, you can view the search queries that are sending customers to your website. This is coming directly from the people who are searching for your products or services and can tell you what they are currently searching for.
To find your search queries, go to your Google Analytics account. Go to Acquisition > Google Ads > Search Queries and select the date range you want to view.
When viewing your search queries, are you seeing any new industries, certifications, products, etc.? Are the pages they land on providing the information they need based on that search query? This could be an opportunity to add new content to your site for your users.
During the last oil and gas downturn, a nameplate and decal manufacturer wanted to find new ways to diversify their offerings and gain new leads. By searching through their paid search queries, their Customer Relationship Team noticed customers were searching for replacement VIN tags and hull plates for over-the-road vehicles.
However, there was no content to support these queries. The company created new content and changed its marketing strategy to incorporate this new direction: new pages were built to address this need and their paid search campaign began to include keywords for this new space. The new content ended up generating an average of 33 new leads a month, 82.93% of which came from organic and paid search traffic.
Another question to consider: Do queries from different parts of the country include different terminology? In the example below, our Team identified a new area of opportunity for an evaporative cooler manufacturer to add “swamp cooler” variations to their paid search program. This increased their exposure in certain parts of the U.S.
This could also apply to different needs throughout different parts of the country, or even within one state. Some areas may have hospitals looking for PPE, while others are in need of temporary structures for overflow.
If you aren’t running a paid search program (or even if you are) you can view organic search queries in Google Analytics by going to Acquisition > Search Console > Queries. You might find relevant queries coming in for existing products or services that deserve their own specific pages on your site.
For the industrial supplier below, Google Search Console identified organic search and impressions for branded products they carried. After noticing this, and doing additional research, the Team worked with the client to add pages for the specific brands they carried. Within a couple of months after adding those pages to the site, the client confirmed three conversions that led to quotes and new business.
Internal Site Search
Take a look at your internal site search queries, as well. These tell you what your customers are searching for on your website and can help you refine your product or service offerings.
If you have internal site search set up on your website, you can find those search terms in Google Analytics by going to Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms.
As with most data, you want to look for patterns and outliers. The B-SMART Method® is particularly helpful here: Are your customers using the same terms and phrases they were using, or have new keywords started popping up? If your pages aren’t getting the same level of traffic, is it because your visitors are looking elsewhere on your site, or because they can’t find what they need? Are there any new industries, certifications, products, etc. that they are searching your website for?
The TopSpot Team working with a leading plastic distributor and custom fabricator noticed that customers on the website were searching for various items related to COVID-19 protection gear for various industries.
Working quickly with the client, they created an entire section of the website devoted to these supplies. In less than two weeks, nearly 20% of their traffic has been to those pages, from both organic and paid search sources.
The clearest information your potential customers are giving you can be found in your form and phone call data. This is where your customers are telling you directly what they want and how you can help them.
When reviewing your lead data, ask yourself the following:
- What pages are they landing on and viewing prior to calling or submitting a form?
- Are they looking for something similar to what you offer, but are asking about it in a way you had not considered?
- Are they talking about specs for the products they are looking for?
- Do they say what they are using that product or service for?
- Are the businesses calling from (or inquiring about) new locations you haven’t considered marketing toward?
If you see any of the above in your data, you may want to consider adding content to the pages your users are viewing to speak to that application. Or, consider adding a new page to specifically address that industry. In the example below, the lead data contains the answer to many of these questions.
In addition to the form data, it could also be helpful to look at when the lead came in. If you are seeing urgent requests coming in at odd hours, it may be a good idea to tailor your calls to action to let searchers know that you can fill their requests quickly. Many of the needs being filled right now are urgent, so matching your users’ sense of urgency in your content will let them know that you’re ready to help.
Another question to consider: Are there common questions that come up often in these areas that you could answer on your website? Calls can even lead to knowing where pain points are for potential customers or what information they would like to learn.
Here’s a snippet of a call transcript that uncovered a need for more visuals on a B2B manufacturer’s website:
Customer: I’m calling — I’m online with your product. I’m looking for a stand-up pouch, and I saw that you have some online but I don’t… I didn’t really get any warm and fuzzies because I can’t actually see any… or maybe I’m in the… well I’m here but I can’t see any sizes or pictures. Am I in the right place here?
What Does This Mean For You?
When you don’t know where to turn, you can always turn to your data. Pay attention to the patterns of user behavior, as well as the details in how those users are communicating with you. For a more in-depth look at how to use your analytics data during these times of dramatic change, watch our recent webinar on Understanding Your Competitive Landscape.