Wel­come to the Site­Cat­a­lyst Finance Fun­da­men­tals blog series.  In this series we will dis­cuss the imple­men­ta­tion basics and exam­ple analy­sis of each fun­da­men­tal solu­tion that Finan­cial Ser­vices cus­tomers should con­sider lever­ag­ing.  Stay tuned and please feel free to con­tribute your thoughts/experience as we dis­cuss each solution.

In our pre­vi­ous post, we walked through the tech­ni­cal imple­men­ta­tion of cap­tur­ing onsite search terms in Site­Cat­a­lyst. The basic report­ing out­lined there was valu­able and action­able, but most clients don’t real­ize that inter­nal search report­ing can be so much more com­plex and valu­able than just most pop­u­lar search term.

SAINT Clas­si­fi­ca­tions to Group Search Terms

You’re prob­a­bly already aware that SAINT can be used to clas­sify exter­nal cam­paign track­ing codes, but did you know that SAINT can be used on nearly any vari­able in Site­Cat­a­lyst? Yes, includ­ing inter­nal search terms!

You can use SAINT to group your inter­nal search terms by topic, con­tent owner, audi­ence, lan­guage, any­thing. For our exam­ple client, Adobe Bank, we can use SAINT to group our inter­nal search terms into topic groups. I won’t get into the mechan­ics of how SAINT works (you can read more about that here), but you will end up with a report like this:


All of the long-tail, gran­u­lar, mis­spelled, and ugly look­ing search terms have been rolled up into just six sim­ple line items. Addi­tional analy­sis can be per­formed to see which group­ings have the high­est con­ver­sion rate, or which ones have searches with no results.

What’s that you say? Main­tain­ing the SAINT file and clas­si­fy­ing new terms takes a long time? Clas­si­fi­ca­tion Rule Builder to the res­cue! Using the Rule Builder, you can enter match cri­te­ria or reg­u­lar expres­sions to auto­mat­i­cally apply a clas­si­fi­ca­tion to a value. Here’s what a sam­ple rule set might look like:


Rule #1 will match sev­eral search terms, like “live chat, “chat with a rep,” or “chat online.” All of those will auto­mat­i­cally be put in the Cus­tomer Ser­vice cat­e­gory, no fur­ther inter­ven­tion needed. Of course there will still be long tail key­words that need man­ual clas­si­fi­ca­tion, but the bur­den of main­tain­ing those will be greatly reduced.

Search Term Pathing

By copy­ing the onsite search term into a prop, you can see how users are refin­ing their searches over the course of a visit or what other terms users are search­ing for in the same visit. For exam­ple, for users that search for the term “ira” on our hypo­thet­i­cal Adobe Bank site:


You can see that 42.32% of users leave the site with­out per­form­ing another search (blue line). This could mean that they found the IRA land­ing page and suc­cess­fully opened an account, so an exit wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily be a bad thing. How­ever, 33.66% of users refined their search to be “ira dis­tri­b­u­tion” (yel­low line) which indi­cates they didn’t find their desired dis­tri­b­u­tion form the first time. As an ana­lyst, you could sug­gest that the con­tent group add a link to the dis­tri­b­u­tion form on the IRA land­ing page for eas­ier access.

Search Term Orig­i­na­tion Page

If your Site­Cat­a­lyst account is con­fig­ured to cap­ture the pre­vi­ous page’s name in an eVar, you can very eas­ily report on the num­ber of times users ini­ti­ate searches from a par­tic­u­lar page. This is a good indi­ca­tor of what con­tent your users are look­ing for on a page but are hav­ing dif­fi­culty finding.

Using our Adobe Bank client as an exam­ple, you can see that from the IRA land­ing page users are search­ing for the fol­low­ing things:


You can see that the first sev­eral items con­cern remov­ing money from an IRA account. As with our search term pathing exam­ple, it looks like Adobe Bank’s cus­tomers want to with­draw money from their IRA but can’t find the form. You the ana­lyst have fur­ther evi­dence to back up your asser­tion that a link to their dis­tri­b­u­tion form should be placed on the land­ing page!

We’ve explored sev­eral ways of get­ting value out of your inter­nal search terms reports beyond report­ing on the most pop­u­lar search terms. How are you get­ting value out of your onsite search reports? Leave a note in the comments!

Have a ques­tion about any­thing related to Site­Cat­a­lyst for the Finan­cial Ser­vices indus­try?  Do you have any tips or best prac­tices to share?  If so, please leave a com­ment here or send me an email at svertree (at) adobe​.com and I will do my best to answer it on this blog so every­one can learn! (Don’t worry – I’ll keep your name and com­pany name confidential).