Death to bad search results:… [Marketing Topic Maps]

Death to bad search results: Elicit fixes website search with some context and a human touch by Michael Carney.

From the post:

Most major brand websites fail to satisfy their customers’ needs. It’s not because the right content isn’t available, but rather because users routinely struggle to find what they’re looking for and leave disappointed. Menu-based navigation systems are confusing and ineffective, while traditional search solutions are more likely to turn up corporate press releases than actual product- or service-related content.

This doesn’t have to be the case.

Elicit is a Chicago-based startup that has been solving this search and discovery problem for major brands like Motorola (previous), Blackberry, Xerox, Time Warner Cable, Bank of America, GoodYear, Whirlpool, and others. The SaaS company was founded in 2011 by a pair of former ad agency execs out of first-hand frustrations.

“We saw that customers and users increasingly start interacting with new sites via the search box,” Elicit co-founder and President Adam Heneghan says. “You spend so much money getting people to your site, but then do a bad job of satisfying them at that point. It makes absolutely no sense. More than 80 percent of site abandonment happens at search box.” (emphasis added)

From a bit further in the post:

“People typically assume that this is a huge, impossible problem to solve. But the reality is, when you look at the data, you can typically solve nearly 100 percent of search queries with just 100 or so keywords, once the data has been properly organized,” Eric Heneghan says.

I first saw this in a post on Facebook lamenting topic maps being ahead of their times.

Perhaps but I think the real difference is that Elicit is marketing a solution to a known problem. One that their customers suffer from and when relieved, the results are visible.

Think of it as being the difference between Walmart selling DIY condom kits versus condoms.

Which one would you drop by Walmart to buy?

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