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“Out-of-the-box it just worked. The search just worked,” says Jim Alberque, GIS and Emerging Technology Manager at City of Raleigh


Losing access to a tool can be one of the worst-case scenarios for a busy marketing team – especially when it happens right before a big project. With the sunsetting of Google Search Appliance (GSA) and a website up for redesign, the City of Raleigh was in the market for a new search technology in 2019. The City of Raleigh needed a fast and easy implementation, leading them to Cludo.

A fast-growing city

Raleigh, a city of just under half a million people, is the capital of North Carolina. Known for its colleges and universities, the city is one of the fastest growing in the state.

"Between 2010 and 2016, Raleigh added about 70,000 people. Which is about the size of a neighboring town,” says Jim Alberque, GIS and Emerging Technology Manager at City of Raleigh. “We're a really, really fast-growing city."

With a rapidly growing population, and roughly one million page views per month, the City of Raleigh heavily relies on their government website as an important way to communicate with residents. So when looking at choosing a new search solution, they knew the bar would be set high.

A search solution fit for redesign

When choosing a new search technology, Raleigh had specific needs to be met. With the redesign of the website, they knew the search functionality had to work, but it could not be a huge investment in time and resources.

“We looked at a couple of different technology solutions, Cludo being one of those. Some of the things that attracted us to Cludo were good technology, a lightweight implementation that wouldn’t require massive investments in professional services or staff time, and from a cost perspective, this was something we could definitely afford,” says Alberque.

Not only that, but Cludo’s API integration allowed Raleigh to be flexible with their design and theming. This was incredibly important to them, since they were about to invest a lot in a beautiful new website. The search needed to match. That’s why after an intensive search, the City of Raleigh decided to go with Cludo.

A search that just worked

Launching Cludo on the Raleigh site went “eerily well”, according to Alberque. “A credit to the technology is that from never hearing of the technology to doing a pretty technical API integration, at a 5% investment in time, we were able to do it. Out-of-the-box it just worked. The search just worked,” Alberque said about Cludo.

To be honest, Raleigh expected to hear some sort of feedback from residents, since the public is very willing to express concerns. But the days went by after launch, and the only feedback was positive. In fact, the City of Raleigh’s website later went on to be recognized for it’s quality as both an Honoree at the Webby Awards, and as a winner of the Communicator Award of Excellence.

And the news kept getting better – Cludo was easy to use. The Cludo platform is so intuitive that multiple disparate teams and stakeholders with Raleigh were able to use the platform without needing extensive training.

Curating content through search analytics

Once Cludo was implemented on the City of Raleigh website, search analytics played a big part in identifying content gaps. One example being the term “fences.” Fences was coming back as a popular search term, but a term that returned ineffective results. The City of Raleigh realized the search results were leading users to anything related to city parks that have fences, when what users were actually looking for was information on fence permits and how to install their own fence.

Instances like these lead the team at City of Raleigh to reach out to content curators, teaching them that the “first step to increasing your searchability is making sure that the thing that people are searching for is in your content,” says Alberque.

Cludo’s easy-to-use technology has also allowed the City of Raleigh to make timely updates (like Boostings) directly in the backend, saving time and resources.

Looking to make a change yourself?

Whether you’re unhappy with your current search solution, or just curious about what else is out there, we want to talk to you. Cludo works well with your current website, and can be a helpful part of a website redesign. Request a demo today to see how!