“Our website search facility is managed by the IT team.”
It feels like I hear this statement nearly every day, always said in a tone of voice where they assume it makes perfect sense. So I ask if their IT team manages their website. “The technology part, but we do the content.”
Okay. I ask if the IT team determines messaging for email marketing. I’m met by surprised voices — “Of course not! That’s ridiculous. They’re just in charge of the servers.” But IT teams managing their website search makes sense?
Sure, website search has a technology component, but so does your website and so does your email marketing. Why is it OK for the marketing department to pay no attention to your website search facility?
You might tell yourself that website search technology should just work. But your web server doesn’t just work. You need this little detail called content. Your email server doesn’t just work. Yeah, that little content thing again. What do you think website search needs? Uh huh. Content.
Now, sometimes the website search engine will find the right content–I am not saying it never happens. But it doesn’t happen enough. And every time a searcher types a keyword into your website search engine, it is a marketing moment. They are telling you that they think you have this information on your site–that’s why they are searching for it.
Now, you might not know how to improve your website search engine. That’s fair, but it’s still your job.
Once upon a time, you didn’t know how to write web content or email copy either, but that didn’t cause you to leave those jobs to the IT people. You can’t leave your website search results to your IT people either.
Yes, you need to let them install the technology and make sure that it stays up and performs well. But you need to know the list of most popular keywords. You need to know which pages should show up when they are searched for. You need to know how to optimize the titles and other metadata.
You need to manage your website search facility, not your IT team. So, what are you waiting for?