“I look at the keywords all the time to see if there are opportunities for the editorial team or for customer service,” Schexnayder said. “For advertisers, we’ll look for keywords that are related to subject matter conversation, to see where there’s relevance between keywords readers are searching for and what marketers are trying to push.”
It’s easy to find out which queries return zero results. Schexnayder noticed that many people had typed in “unsubscribe” to figure out how to remove a subscription, but it didn’t turn up any relevant results. So the company added a page with unsubscribe instructions and pinned that result to the top.
When looking a vendor to replace the slow, custom search from its content management system, Modern Healthcare evaluated other site search companies, including Google’s custom site search and Oracle-owned Endeca. But others vendors’ feature sets and prices didn’t match up to its needs.
Schexnayder liked the ability to manipulate the algorithm to feature content more relevant to Modern Healthcare’s readers, as well as the ability to manipulate algorithms to favor publication date over the search term, which made sense for the news-focused site.
Schexnayder noticed better accuracy, too.
Swiftype’s search results work better for individual sites because its algorithms focus on the relations within an individual site versus the whole Internet, according to Ben Lack, Swiftype’s senior director for marketing and business development. And unlike Google, it offers publishers more data around search terms people are using and when they’re coming up empty-handed.
Over the past year, Modern Healthcare has slowly expanded how it uses sponsored content in the search terms.
The next opportunity is to add site search to its keyword targeting.
Advertisers on Modern Healthcare often buy advertising space against articles tagged with certain keywords. In Q2 of 2016, it will enable advertisers to buy against site searches that contain those same keywords. With more inventory available, Schexnayder estimates it could add 20% to 30% to the revenue it achieves from such buys.