Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Improving Search with BehaviorTracking

The topic for this post is Behaviortracking (check out the website, cause I'm not gonna spend time here explaining what it is). This is a post where I'm basically gonna pretend I'm in marketing and fill You, my dear reader, with something that might resemble a sales pitch for a particular product.. "Why?" and "Where's the code?" I hear you ask. Well, first of all I feel quite strongly about this - I've seen so many websites that ought to start listening to their visitors instead of their executives - and with regards to the code...well I'm sorry no code this time.

The reason BehaviorTracking is such a cool tool, is that where other web analytics software might tell you about popularity of pages and server loads during the day, BehaviorTracking tells you exactly what you need to know: What are users looking for on my site.
In my mind it's perfectly obvious.
A website is to some degree like a shop. You have some users who browse around the shop, looking at the shelfes and eventually leaving, and some other users who go directly to the clerk at the counter and ask for a specific item. Obviously the people going directly to the counter with a specific goal are the ones most likely to buy - and naturally these are the people you want to listen to. Now, suppose you are the proud owner of a clothes store and a customer walks up to your clerk and asks for a specific pair of "Levis" jeans. Would you like that answer to be:
a) duuh
b) I'm sorry, I don't know anything
c) The jeans department is over there
d) Here is a number of Levis jeans that should fit you, this pair is very popular and this pair here is on sale this week. By the way could I also interest you with a new shirt that matches to go with that?
e) We don't have any Levis jeans at the moment, but I'll make sure to order some. Meanwhile perhaps you'd like to check out this competing brand that looks similar and is a bit cheaper?

(I'm no sales guy, but I could imagine two of the above answers being good - you figure out which).
A good search engine is like a good sales guy greeting people at your store, helping them while selling your products. But in order to always provide the best assistance it needs constant optimization - and thats where BehaviorTracking comes into play. By frequently examining the search patterns of the visitors it's easy to customize not only the website but also the search engine to provide the best possible service to your visitors.

No comments: