Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Insights from Clicktime CEO

Alex Mann

CEO, Inc.

1) Why did you need Google Custom Search Business Edition (CSBE)?

We needed to add a search feature to our public-facing information
and marketing site. We're a Sofware as a Service (SaaS) company and
our web site is our primary form of customer contact. That means our
site does most of the talking for us in a pre-sales situation. In
order to provide the best information to customers, we've accumulated
quite a bit of content that's increasingly hard to navigate. We've
got whitepapers, case studies, extensive product documentation, etc.
But each potential customer has very specific interests so we need to
connect them with the content they need with as few clicks as
possible. That's where search is so important.

2) What technology, if any, did it replace and why?

We had no search tool in place before Google. I think we were
actually less conscious of the importance of internal site-search
before exploring Google CSBE.

3) What benefits have you derived from using CSBE?

  • It helps customers zero in on specific aspects of our product, our
    customer segments, or our whitepapers that are beneficial.
  • It keeps customers on our site longer, so they're more likely to
    find the information they need and explore the purchase of our product.
  • We are able to juxtapose our brand with the Google brand -- a
    positive association to most people.

4) What features of CSBE do you appreciate most and why?

Ease of setup is the biggest one. We've got a big challenge keeping
our site fresh, easy to navigate, and compatible with the latest
browsers. Not to mention all the effort we invest in building and
maintaining the best software products in the industry. Handing off
our site search to Google was a no-brainer, especially when the
implementation took less than an hour! The absurdly low cost is the
other obvious win -- there's simply no rational case for taking any
other approach.

5) Are you using Google Analytics on your website?
Absolutely. We couldn't live without it.

6) What's been the overall impact of using Google CSBE on your website?

We've got visitors on our site staying for an average of 5% longer.
That may sound like a little, but that's a big difference to us. We
project an increase in conversions (visitors that become sales leads)
of 10% by year's end, due largely to CSBE.

7) Do you have any advice you'd give others in implementing the Google CSBE for their company's use?

Prior to public launch, we went through the exercise of searching for
a large list of terms and key phrases on our site using CSBE. By
finding out which terms had poor quality results in the search, we
were able to better arrange our content so searchers would quickly
find what they were looking for. This exercise had the unintended
benefit of improving our SEO results, so it was well worth taking the
time to run through those search scenarios.