As Marko and I triangulate on site search analytics from the bottom-up (exploratory analysis) and top-down (metrics-driven analysis), I’ve really struggled with the latter. Not surprising, as a designer of sorts, I’m much more of a bottom-up guy. I’m just not as experienced with the top-down approach, which has been one of the really valuable things I’ve learned from Marko.
But I still feel that there’s a gap. In my take on top-down analytics, you start with a reasonable understanding of your organization’s goals. Is it trying to sell widgets? Help people research retirement plans? Change the minds of voters? This is hand-waving Big Picture stuff, but obviously you shouldn’t be in business if you can’t describe what it is your organization is there to do.
Next part: come up with some concrete site search metrics for purposes of benchmarking and measurement. And there’s the rub: getting from big goals to specific SSA metrics is really hard. Maybe not if you’re trying to sell widgets, but definitely if you’re trying to change voters’ minds.
Marko describes some useful basic SSA metrics in his presentation (see slide #43), and there are many more here. But, based on both reading and direct experience, I still don’t feel like the mapping process is obvious, and I’m not entirely sure what guidance to offer than 1) start with generic SSA metrics and 2) make the effort to customize them for your own organization’s needs.
As an author, I feel like that’s something of a cop-out: readers will surely want more guidance than that. But I’m not sure there’s more out there other than “your mileage may vary”. Does anyone have any advice on getting from broad goals to concrete site search metrics? Love to discuss it in the book (with full credit, natch).
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