Now that we are through the basics in my first post, it starts to get really fun. I will show you how to leverage some of the SiteCatalyst in your search marketing.  SearchCenter and SiteCatalyst are Siamese twins. They share the same heart (backend), and but have different heads (UIs). Because of this you can bring the full power of SiteCatalyst to bear in your hunt for ROI.

Landing Page Evaluation

One simple way to improve your campaigns is do bounce rate analysis on your landing pages, keywords and campaigns. By using the clickPast plugin you will be able to see what they bounce rate is for all of your campaigns, keywords, landing pages and custom groups.

This will help you align the landing experience to the campaign. Pages, keywords and campaigns with a high bounce rate are sometimes indicative of a problem and often should receive evasive action. Just remember that a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it helps more qualified visitors take action on your site, ROI is the ultimate prize.

Internal Search Terms for Top Keywords

Another useful arrow to have in your quiver for the ROI hunt is internal searches. This double pointed arrow can be used for keyword expansion and for spotting disconnects in your marketing message.

By keeping an eye on the top internal search keywords you can identify keywords that you might not be buying but that people are searching for.

You can also use it to identify disconnects in the marketing message. By breaking down the campaign, keyword or customer group (see part 1) by the internal search term you can see if people who came in on one keyword are searching for another on your site.

The steps to do this may be slightly different depending on how you are setup, but here is the general idea.

  1. From within SearchCenter run the Keywords report.
  2. Add the Internal Searches metric
  3. Click on the Subrelation icon of the report (not the line item) and break the Searches down by the Internal Search Term.
  4. Look for mismatched search terms

Notice that the number one search term for people who came for fuel relaxed classic jeans is bracelet.

When you find terms like this you can make adjustments to your keyword, ad and landing experience strategy, like adjusting the landing page, the copy of your ad or adding in negative keywords to help reduce waste.

One thing to note when doing this analysis is that people sometimes come to your site for more than one reason. Make sure the search volume is high enough that it represents a major portion of the traffic coming from that keyword before making too many changes. You don’t want to scare off the herd by targeting the one.

Micro Conversion Metrics

Success isn’t always a singular event. Sometimes just taking a step to have more communication with your company is enough. SearchCenter can leverage all of the SiteCatalyst events to measure and optimize success. These events can be pulled in for reporting and used in bid rules to optimize your spend.

This only scratches the surface of the ways the savvy marketers can use SiteCatalyst to hunt down additional ROI in their campaigns. In my next and final piece in this series I will go through some ideas for using the rest of the products in the Suite in the hunt for ROI, be sure to check it out.