Yext has partnered with Italiaonline, the country’s largest digital media company. The partnership will bring Yext’s powerful technology to Italian businesses via IOL Connect, Italiaonline’s new service, which allows businesses to manage their location data online. By joining forces with Yext, Italiaonline will help businesses improve their searchability on any of the 100+ maps, apps, search engines and directories in Yext’s PowerListings Network — including Google and Facebook.
“Together with our partner Italiaonline, we’re excited to put hundreds of thousands of Italian small businesses on the map,” said Howard Lerman, CEO of Yext. “Using the Yext Location Cloud, they will be able to manage their location data online easily and in real time, reaching more customers and driving more visits.”
The partnership between Yext and Italiaonline comes at a critical moment in Italy, as mobile search continues to gain dominance throughout the world, and as the country’s ever-growing Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) community increasingly demands a one-stop-shop for making real-time location data updates.
“IOL Connect is an integrated digital location system that, thanks to the partnership with Yext, we are proud to launch exclusively for the Italian market,” said Antonio Converti, CEO of Italiaonline. ”Being found on the web is essential, especially for local businesses. We now have a powerful tool — together with our sales network and local ties — including over a thousand agents and a hundred media consultants specialising in digital marketing.”
Yext is expanding its European integrations and network rapidly, partnering with leading digital platforms and directory services throughout the continent. This latest expansion comes on the heels of several new product launches, including the Healthcare Location Cloud in the US, as well as a partnership with Snapchat to make sponsored Geofilters easy.
For more information, check out Italiaonline’s press release.
Optimising the user’s experience on your website is paramount when it comes to increasing your successful conversions.
One of the biggest roadblocks a web page can have that turns consumers away is an improperly organised navigation function. If the user feels that they have to dig through your content to find what they’re looking for, they’re likely to back up and look for a competitor who has a streamlined site.
There are many ways for a business to clean up their page and increase positive user experience, from a high-quality search engine like Yext Answers to AI Chatbots.
But one powerful approach, in particular, is called faceted search.
Faceted search can boost your online business’s organisation by allowing users to focus their search queries and limit the number of results returned by your internal search engine.
Getting your customer to what they’re looking for as fast as possible will raise your conversion rate.
So what is a faceted search, how does it work, and how does it benefit your business? Yext is here to walk you through it.
What Is Faceted Search?
Faceted search is a function that organises your online content into familiar categories and allows your user to stack filters to refine the results that show up for them.
This isn’t the same as a simple filtered search system, but it is close. Faceted search blends multiple filters flexibly.
The goal of faceted search is to narrow down the search results for your user, allowing them to find what they’re looking for swiftly.
Imagine that you have an online jewellery store with hundreds of different pieces. A customer visits your shop with something particular in mind but isn’t sure what it’s called on your specific site.
Faceted search would allow them to create a narrow field of search results by filtering unique qualities. They might be looking for a women’s ring with diamonds and opal in the $300-$600 range.
Offering customers the ability to layer filters like these qualities increases the likelihood that they find the right product that is good for your customer and your business.
Why Is Faceted Search Beneficial to Your Business?
Faceted search is a great way for company websites to organise their online information with a lot of content. Customers appreciate a streamlined online experience, and you have the opportunity to present products or information similar to their initial query.
At Yext, we’re on a mission to increase your company’s success and your customer’s satisfaction which is why we’re so interested in bringing faceted search to your attention.
Here are a few benefits that faceted search can bring to your business.
Focus Your Content Options to Fit The User
Market expansion is a double-edged sword. Businesses may want to expand their content in order to keep up with the ever-growing amount of data on the internet and stay relevant.
But this can negatively affect your customers by overloading them with options, especially if they have something specific in mind.
Customers who have a hard time finding what they want in an ocean of unrelated products and content on your page will more than likely turn to someone else.
Faceted search allows companies to continue their content growth while also providing users a way to limit the number of available search results based on their set criteria.
Optimise Your User Experience
Sometimes your user has an idea of what they want but isn’t sure how to find it. Instead of fumbling around on the search bar, faceted search gives the customer a tool to slowly close in on exactly what they’re looking for.
Faceted search is personalised to attributes of the content on your page through meta tags and content. This means that users are given a personalised list of filters to include in their search based on your content.
Tips For Faceted Search
While simply having a faceted search function implemented on your website is a positive step, there are a few tips that will help you optimise your customers’ online experience, increasing your conversion rates.
Create Facets With Your Audience in Mind
It will depend on what information or products your website hosts when deciding what facets to create to help narrow your search options, but one thing is the most important to keep in mind: the user.
Consider your website’s specialised topics; what facets are going to help users find specific pages? Of course, they should be personalised to your material, but beyond that, they should be easy-to-understand attributes your customers can use to focus their queries.
A popular facet that most users will use is a price range. Most people have a specific budget in mind when shopping online, and being able to narrow down their search to fit their budget will help consumers find the right match for them quickly.
Create Thematic Facets
The type of search facets you offer to your users completely depends on what your website is offering, but implementing relevant yet suggestive or thematic facets can inspire their search beyond what they may have originally come for.
For example, if you had a business focused on body soaps and lotions, you would probably have general facets including scent genre, price and speciality attributes such as coarse soap vs. lotions.
But just as useful to you and your consumers would be facets that include special occasions or holidays, such as soap products frequently bought for Mother’s Day or speciality products exclusive to the Halloween season.
While specific and relative facets are important, thematic facets like this can suggest other products to users that they might not have thought of before coming to your site.
Limit The Amount of Facets
While having a wide array of facets is important, it’s also important to remember that your users are on the internet with more than enough options.
Too many options. There’s an overwhelming amount of content and options for products and data right now that users seek out organisation. An overpopulated facet list might overwhelm consumers and lead them to other pages with a more restricted number of search options.
Also, the more facets you have, the less content shows in search, and while that is the goal of search facets, you don’t want users crafting search queries that return with only one product.
Especially if they’re using facets to narrow down their search, it’s a good opportunity to show them what they want and other products that are similar enough to interest them.
What Companies Should Use Faceted Search?
As we’ve discussed, faceted search can be a major benefit to your users when it comes to narrowing search results and quickly finding what it is that they want.
But it isn’t necessarily for everyone. Optimising your user interface is essential, and at the end of the day, faceted search, as powerful as it is, is another UI element for the user to interact with.
If your online business only has a hundred or so products, faceted search may not be necessary. You could use single-use filters to help consumers find what they’re looking for.
However, if your online content surpasses that by much, then faceted search might be right for you. While filters are useful, they’re pretty limited when it comes to an expansive index full of all types of different products.
When your content has a wide range of options, attributes and styles, the extra element of faceted search becomes extremely worth it to your users and your business.
If you have a business website with a large amount of content, optimising your user experience is one of the best ways to raise your rates of purchase.
Customers often come to your site already knowing what they want; if not, they have a general idea.
Using faceted search, you add a level of organisation and personalisation to your internal search engine, helping users narrow down their options and find the product they came to your web page for.
Currently, 70% of online businesses require consumers to type in specific product titles to find them, limiting the probability that they’ll see what they’re looking for easily, which could very quickly drive them away.
Implementing an easy-to-use faceted search designed with the user in mind into your site enables customers to quickly and conveniently browse your inventory and successfully reach the page that they’re seeking, boosting your conversion rates.
With the abundance of options available to consumers these days, it’s the attention to detail that people remember most. Our expectations are higher. We’re all craving convenience, personalisation and just enough facts to make us feel confident about our purchase.
Consumer search is the gateway to the shopping experience, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to have your products found by the present-day impatient shopper. Within a few short seconds of landing on your site, consumers will decide if they’re going to be able to find what they’re looking for. If they made it that far, it would be a shame to lose them to poor performance.
If you’re an online-based business, this is crucial — but after the worldwide craziness of 2020, we can agree that almost every business needs to adapt to being digital. Even if the purchase isn’t completed online, most buying decisions begin with a search.
Digital Consumer Behaviour
Once consumers decide on a good or service they need, they’ll spend more time researching and analysing than before smartphones. Hard not to with so much data at our fingertips.
Impulse buying is seeing a decrease as more buyers are taking their time to compare prices and details. Consumers are empowered with choices, which has also raised expectations and made buyers more demanding.
To meet the needs of today’s customers, you have to understand why they operate the way they do. You’ll hear consumer behaviour broken down in various ways, but here we’ll review the following three and how they relate to site search.
- Curious Consumer: researching details of products or services
- Demanding Consumer: expecting personalised experiences just for them
- Impatient Consumer: people who want it now
That list doesn’t portray consumers in the best light, but it’s the reality of how search has changed the buyer’s journey. It can feel a little intimidating to be on the seller’s side, but site search gives us the advantage of meeting customer demands.
When we look at the data, we realise every decision warrants some research beforehand. With so much access to information, we want every commitment — both big and small — to be an informed one.
A Google study showed over 100% growth in mobile searches for “best toothbrush” in 2017.
Consumers are now looking for personalised shopping experiences when searching online. As AI assistants have increased in homes, buyers feel like they have their advisors. As a result, we’ve noticed a trend in searches looking for advice, such as “comfortable shoes for a wedding” versus a search for “wedding shoes” we would’ve seen a few years back.
According to Google, mobile searches for “____ shoes for ____” increased by over 120% between 2015-2017.
Regarding the buyer who doesn’t need to do research — they know what they want, and they want it now. This behaviour is typically seen in users looking for a good or service they already used before. Searches like “open” or “near me” have skyrocketed in recent years.
Most people are expecting to find the information they need online, right when they need it. If your brand can be found in that critical moment, you’ll build trust and earn business.
Make Mobile a Priority
The majority of searches are from smartphones, and people expect the results to be quick and relevant. Therefore, your site should be mobile-friendly and load in no more than two seconds to keep up. Studies have shown a direct correlation with a fast load speed to a higher conversion rate.
Consumers are all about convenience in this age of AI assistance. Many shoppers today prefer to use their smart device through the entire buying process, but unfortunately, a lot of carts are abandoned due to a poor mobile checkout feature. It’s important to test functionality across all platforms to confirm everything is rendered correctly and working smoothly.
Sellers are expected to provide a consistent experience anywhere their brand can be found. This omnichannel world of connection requires you to be available and ready to influence a buyer’s decision wherever they may be searching — including offline.
Target Local Searchers
Just because the world has embraced digital doesn’t mean in-person sales are dead. As we mentioned, when people know what they’re looking for, they don’t want to wait around for it. If you want to compete with other local businesses, users need to find you on the map.
A whopping 80% of local searches from smartphones turn into a transaction. So even if you’re not a numbers person, it’s plain to see there is value there.
Optimising your brand for local search will improve your visibility for all local searches on major search engines and other knowledge networks. To better serve the impatient customer looking for “____ near me,” your business needs to be accessible on various major platforms like Google Maps, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Consumers want to see the full picture before they commit, and boy, do we love a review.
Leverage Business Reviews
Curious consumers love to read online reviews. Reviews are a powerful marketing tool because consumers trust them, and it gives an idea of what to expect.
You might dread customer reviews because there is always that one customer you just can’t seem to make happy, but you’ll be surprised to know that even negative reviews can be good for business sometimes.
If your brand appears to be too squeaky clean online, users may find it skeptical. It’s better to address negative reviews to maintain an authentic brand identity quickly.
We came across research that suggests consumers spend five times as long on a website when they interact with negative reviews and offer an 85% increase in conversion rate.
Optimise for Voice Search
Technology has become more intuitive over the years, which has changed the relationship users have with search. For example, as more people search through a voice-activated speaker, they use more conversational queries, resulting in a more personal and specific experience.
To optimise your site for voice-prompted searches, you should use a more conversational tone in your content. You can begin with the standard questions you know consumers will be looking for. As you get your site dialled in, you can look at the search analytics to better understand exactly how users ask for what they need.
A Q & Page can be helpful because it naturally answers questions conversationally. This will make it easier for voice-enabled devices to locate your content. In addition, users find this extra helpful since they can easily find the information they need instead of reaching out to customer service.
As consumers continue to be more digitally driven, it’s important to stay consistent across all marketing channels. It’s likely that users will be interacting with your brand across mediums other than your website, and they’re expecting a dependable experience.
Keep the overall message the same across your social media platforms, email marketing, mobile apps and so on. Of course, you’ll want to deliver that message suitably for that particular channel, but the goal is for users to feel like they can seamlessly transition from one channel to the next without disruption.
Technology has become more accessible and more intuitive than ever. As the digital world has evolved, so has the consumer. For sellers to continue meeting their customer’s needs, they’ll need to incorporate internal search into their business plan.
Once you understand consumer behaviour, you can strategise how your brand can be there in moments of need throughout the buyer’s journey. For a buyer to choose you, they have to be able to find you.
But that’s not enough. After a user lands on your site or listing, they should find all the relevant information they need to make an educated decision. If it’s not right there, they should see a clear call to action leading them to the right place.
Creating mobile-friendly content is essential to providing a seamless experience. A sizable chunk of traffic originates from mobile searches, so brands need to cater to their needs. Make sure your business can be found on Google Maps, quickly respond to reviews, and create conversational content so major search engines can easily find it.