Aldo Agostinelli

SEO and SEM are important but optimizing searches has become a real must of the digital marketing strategy of both e-commerce and media. Why? 43% of people visiting a website, do it through a search. Figures, data, success examples.

How important is the search efficiency within a channel or a website? It is really important, or better, immensely so.

We are not only talking about promptly answering users’ requests by offering them the searched products and contents. We are also talking about boosting one’s digital marketing strategy, increasing customers’ loyalty so as not to lose them. Lost customers (or readers/ watchers) mean wasting money.

We often tend to invest a lot into SEO and SEM systems but if a user lands into our digital space and does not immediately finds what he is searching for, they will simply go away.  And, if we want to see it from the financial point of view, they will take with them also a small part of our investment.

Search systems count: figures prove it

According to a survey conducted by Forrester, 43% of people visiting a website will try to use the search function. Marketers using a good search system obtain a conversion rate which is 3 times higher than those who have not been using it. In the case of Amazon such rate reaches up to 6 (Amazon’s $10B Growth Hack That Nobody Knows About)

Forrester also claims that 79% of users who are unsatisfied with their customer experience are really not likely to go back to the same e-commerce (Must-Have eCommerce Features)

According to Akamai  79% of the users will never go back while 44% of them will also spread negative reviews about the website.

Moreover, according to McKinsey, users tend to leave websites with a poor performance within maximum three seconds.

And again: Google has calculated that a half second delay in answering users’ queries translates in a decrease in the website traffic of 20%.

For Amazon a 0,1 second delay translates into a loss 1% in its income.

With this regard Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Google represent the digital marketing model to be copied. They trust the search function and invest in it. Users enter their channel, make a search and immediately find all the alternatives  available online which may suit their exigencies. Efficiency, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty.

Who benefits from the search

Figures are quite explanatory. Whether we are talking about an e-commerce, a publisher or an organization, the faster is the reply to users’ queries, the higher is the customer satisfaction rate.  And a happy user is likely to come back, subscribe, purchase and hang out.

When it comes to media, whose target is to increase paying users, being able to promptly supply a selection of dedicated contents, means making users spend more time in the channel thus improving marketers’ performances with the consequent advantages both in terms of customers’ loyalty and revenues.

In the case of e-commerce activities, it is obvious that offering well targeted products means increasing sales.

Four success stories: Twitch,, iFlix, Coursera

In addition to Amazon or Google, there are other digital realities which definitely benefit from the optimization of the search&discovery function both in terms of user experience and increase of revenues.

We can take Twitch as an example. This live streaming platform specialized in eSport, has invested a lot in tools to increase its speed in supplying the right contents to users according to their queries. It is no surprise that, since 2014, it has become part of the Amazon group (Amazon acquires Twitch: World’s largest e-tailer buys largest gameplay-livestreaming site). Milliseconds matter for Twitch. Answers are returned into 50 milliseconds thanks to a system which allows users to make searches through just one button., instead, pays a lot of attention to the coherence of  search results.  Users find it extremely frustrating to enter a query and obtain thousands of unrelated answers thus having to sort such materials out. Therefore they have decided to increase the punctuality and accuracy of the contents they offer through direct links to the videos.

iflix is an entertainment platform for emerging markets offering TV programs, films, live sport events, news and local videos in over  22 countries many of which do not have high quality internet connection.  So, users are often forced to download contents when they can connect to a wi-fi to watch them later offline. In this case search optimization is definitely important and has been fundamental in the increase of conversions up 20% (“How 3 media players use search to increase content consumption”).

Last but not least, Coursera. By increasing their speed in answering queries, in just a few months, the platform offering online university courses has increased the number of students of 30%.

If the current model is now the one provided by Amazon or Google, ignoring it means being left behind.  

What about the search function of our e-commerce and media website? Are you satisfied with it? Tweet @AgostinelliAldo

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Aldo Agostinelli