You’re well-versed in the value of search. You know that optimized search is no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity on your website, app or intranet. Maybe you already have a search solution in mind! But how are you going to get your boss to see the value and importance of search? Don’t worry, that’s why Cludo is here. We’ve built a four-step plan on how to convince your boss to invest in a comprehensive search solution like Cludo. Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Explain why search matters
Before you begin trying to get budget approved for a new software, it’s important your supervisor has a fundamental understanding of why search matters. Give them some talking points that they can take to their boss if necessary.
Search is more than a bar at the top of the page
Many people (50% to be exact) prefer to use a website’s search function over the navigation. With half of your user base going straight to the search bar, it’s critical that your search is optimized and ready to serve relevant results.
Search serves a purpose
Whether a user inherently prefers to search or they use the search function as a last result, it means they are seeking information believed to be found on your website or app. If they are unable to find what they need in a timely manner, they may potentially leave and opt for an alternative.
The purpose of search is to help retain your users and provide a satisfying user experience that will keep them coming back.
Search is the center of your digital experience
Search is a critical component of the user experience. Whether your company is a smaller mom-and-pop shop or has thousands of employees, an optimized search experience is essential for business growth and success.
For instance, if you have a proprietary app that your customers use to shop, or readers use to find news articles, there’s no doubt they’ll be using the search function. If you work for an enterprise-sized company that deals with confidential information both internally and externally, having an intranet search is an absolute necessity.
Without an intelligent and relevant search, you run the risk of losing potential customers and damaging your website or app’s reputation.
Search analytics provide user insights
Search analytics can give you insights into user behavior that will transform your content strategy and even improve conversion rates.
Whether you’re missing content, have existing content that users aren’t finding, or maybe need to update some of your site, site search analytics will guide you all the way.
Search needs to be intelligent
Your search needs to provide relevant, personalized results in order to give employees or customers a great experience. That’s why it needs to be intelligent. With a machine learning based solution like Cludo, your search will maintain relevance across millions of search queries – learning, refining and improving as time goes on.
Step 2: Gather support
Now that your boss can see the value of search on their own terms, give them some more substantial information on why a search partner like Cludo is only going to make their life (and yours) easier.
Optimizing your search will save money
On average, it costs upwards of $60,000 (USD) to develop a website search in-house, not to mention an additional $10,000+ a year to maintain. Purchasing a search solution like Cludo will cost a fraction of that, whether for your website or other platform.
What if my boss wants to go with a free solution or the built-in search that’s part of our CMS system?
Glad you asked! We deal with this question quite often. While there are obvious cost benefits to a free option or your CMS’ search, these solutions simply do not stand up to a search like Cludo. These solutions check a box – providing a basic search that’s better than nothing. But they do not offer crucial features like custom banners, autocorrect, intelligent autocomplete and user intent.
Optimizing your search will save time
Search solutions like Cludo come out-of-the-box and can be managed by any member of the team, not just a technically trained employee such as a developer. Not having to dedicate in-house developer resources will save time on optimization and allow development time to go towards other projects.
With a user-friendly dashboard to make real-time updates and changes, you have the ability to crawl new pages instantly and keep your search results as fresh as the content you create.
Give them the numbers
If your boss is a numbers person, show them some stats. These ought to get the wheels spinning:
- 80% of users will leave your site if they perceive the search quality to be poor
- People who perform an on-site search are 216% more likely to convert
- Click-through-rate for Cludo customers is 220% higher than industry average; our relevancy is 130% higher than industry average
Step 3: Look beyond search
At this point, you may have already convinced your leaders of the importance of a better search solution. If not, it’s time to take it beyond the tool itself. Relevant search with actionable analytics can have a huge impact on your company besides just making your website and app users happier. It can also help you:
Increase website conversions
This one is especially important for eCommerce, where conversions are your bread and butter. But this benefit is relevant for any industry. Data shows customers who use search are twice as likely to convert. Make that conversion easy for them through search details like categories and other facets, and the number increases even more.
Make important business decisions
Search is one of the only ways (besides polling and customer interviews) that you can get clear direction from your users on what they want. You can use this data to make real business decisions. Getting tons of searches for a product you don’t offer? High exit rate on your site after making a particular search? These are pieces of information that can drive the future of your company.
Transform your marketing strategy
With the help of search analytics, you can easily identify under-performing and hard-to-find content that your team can either enhance or create. Maybe you’re in need of more seasonal content, or there are pieces of content that are outdated. Use these discoveries to improve the quality and relevance of your content offerings.
In addition to creating and refreshing content, search analytics can help to unify your overall marketing strategy. By identifying trending searches, you can align your website, app, social media, PPC and email content around these terms that you already know are trending upward. By combining search insights with overall traffic analytics, your team is able to effectively optimize their wider online and offline strategies.
Step 4: Make a plan
Explain why a solution like Cludo is worth it
You started looking for a new search solution because you know the value it can bring to the table. While we can provide facts and figures, you have to build the case for your specific company and job function. A few questions to answer include:
- How a search solution will save you and your team time
- What you can accomplish with a search solution that you currently cannot
- What useful insights and analytics you hope to gain
- How you plan to transform your content strategy/calendar because of these analytics
Run the conversations through your mind
You’ve gotten this far into the process, why not be extra prepared by role-playing a few scenarios and establishing how you’ll respond?
If your boss says… “Why should we focus on search when we have so many other initiatives going on (SEO, social media, content creation)?”
You say… “In order to focus on business goals and growth, we need to pay close attention to search. Searches are our customers, visitors, or employees directly speaking to us. In order to provide the best experience possible, we need to listen.”
If your boss says… “Is it really necessary to purchase a separate tool for search when we have a CMS?”
You say… “While our CMS works in most areas, it is not built to focus on search. The value of purchasing a solution like Cludo is that it provides extensive search analytics that the content team can immediately act on while also taking up no development resources. We also have full customization capabilities with Cludo and get to build our search results page exactly how we want, unlike with our CMS.”
If your boss says… “Is this something that is going to take a good amount of training to use? I don’t want time being split between learning this new software and all of your other work.”
You say… “No, this won’t take up much time at all. Most Cludo users spend less than an hour in the platform each week. On top of the platform being super easy-to-use, we will be provided with a Customer Success Manager to properly onboard every team member.”
Create a timeline
As we all know, time is money. The sooner you can convince your boss to invest, the sooner you can get up and running with your new and improved search. (The thorough attention to detail is also bound to impress!)
Build a step-by-step process of what you believe this project will entail. While the exact timeline will vary based on the size of the company and developer resources needed (if any) on your end, the process is relatively straightforward – and even better, you can start completing some of it before getting decision-makers involved.
Search Implementation Timeline:
- Phase 1: Research. Good news, you’ve already started this! Figure out why an improved search is important for your company and begin looking into solutions.
- Phase 2: Preliminary Discussions. This step can happen internally with your team, and can also be when you begin reaching out to search providers. What’s your budget? Who would be using this tool? How soon do you want your search up-and-running? Who should be involved in the decision-making process? All questions to ask during this time.
- Phase 3: Take Action. Are you ready for a platform walkthrough or demo? Would you rather go the independent route and sign up for a free trial? Some search providers like Cludo also have additional options like the 15-minute search audit, an offering that connects you directly to a search expert that reviews your website and gives an overall assessment of its search. Pick which option sounds best for your timeline and goals, and proceed.
- Phase 4: Decision Time. Once you’ve narrowed down the search provider deemed most fit for your company, it’s time to make a decision. Ensure the solution you choose has ample support and provides realistic development expectations because as you know, search is an investment!
- Phase 5: Begin the Implementation Process. You’ve made a decision and all of the dotted lines are signed, congratulations! Now it’s time to work with your search partner to build a search experience that makes your visitors happy while making your job easier.
Need a bit more backup?
If your boss wants to do a bit of research for themselves, we’ve got you covered. Start by sending them The Ultimate Site Search Buyers’ Guide, this extensive guide will answer questions they may still have about the need to invest in a search solution like Cludo.
From there, let them explore the Cludo blog. This resource hub is full of useful information on the search industry as well Cludo company and product updates they may find helpful.
And if you really want to seal the deal, send them to our Customer Stories page. Who better to tell your boss about the value of Cludo than our happy customers?
Now it’s your turn!
Whether you’re in need of a functional internal search or improvements to your customer-facing platforms and websites, with a search solution like Cludo, the possibilities are endless.
You’re more than ready to explain the value of search, and now have the resources to back it up! Once you’ve gotten through the four-step plan and convinced your boss to invest in a search solution like Cludo, reach out. We’ll be happy to schedule a demo or get your free trial started!