Content is the hottest thing on the internet today. It’s a medium which is simple yet flexible in terms of how it can be used – for marketing, sales, information discovery, and even, at times, to look cool at parties! It’s also a medium which is heavily dependent on search functionality. In fact, that’s what brought TradePub.com to Algolia.
David Fortino, SVP, Audience & Product at NetLine Corporation, recently reached out to share TradePub.com’s Algolia story with us. Here’s what he had to say.
What does TradePub.com do?
Living in an on-demand world is an amazing thing. Satisfying that demand though is a different ball-game altogether. TradePub.com is one such player that satisfies the demand in the “content” sphere by curating resources on behalf of some of the world’s largest and most influential companies. The TradePub.com research library is one of the top destinations for professionals to access free research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks.
TradePub.com is owned by NetLine Corporation, a top B2B content syndication lead generation platform, reaching 125 million business professionals across 300 industry sectors.
How We Do it
As a top research destination for professionals, TradePub.com is built on sophisticated recommendation algorithms that dynamically match content with users throughout their onsite experience as well as beyond the on-site experience via 1-to-1 personalized email newsletters. However, one feature that had not received much TLC or investment in terms of time, was Search. At NetLine, our Product Team was focused on content discovery and recommendation modules on TradePub.com, and didn’t have much bandwidth to optimize the onsite search feature…but then again, how important was search if TradePub.com’s content recommendation technology perfectly did what it was supposed to?
We knew that TradePub.com’s search functionality needed work. The accuracy and relevance of search results constantly received a poor rating from internal parties; however, search only accounted for < 2% of monthly page views — therefore, upgrading the search functionality was difficult to prioritize on the project roadmap.
While we had a hard time directly attributing search to a significant percent of page views and revenue, we did realize that it contributed to the onsite experience of thousands of TradePub.com users daily. Therefore, a correlation could be made that thousands of users were receiving a poor user experience, and we were definitely not satisfied with this statistic.
Historically, our search feature was internally built and supported by NetLine’s Engineering Team. To improve search results and implement additional features such as auto-complete, the tool would require a complete rebuild.
Afterall, In-House Tool Rebuild = Time + Resources
What Sold Us on Algolia
We recognized that though search was not a top priority, it was still an important feature which added to the TradePub.com UX. With this in mind, we started looking for 3rd party solutions that could bring TradePub.com up to industry standards quickly, without pulling significant time and resources away from high priority items.
NetLine had several key features on the “required” list when interviewing Search providers: fast results, responsive design/display, auto-complete and data analytics. As such, an exploratory process commenced that focused on the evaluation of various search technologies in the market. It was through this process that we discovered Algolia. While there was a wide assortment of customizable features reviewed throughout the evaluation process, the following key components moved Algolia to the top of the list:
- Auto-Complete Drop Down: Users could avoid the Search Results Page and preview immediate results.
- Instant Results: Users that reached the Search Results Page received dynamically generated result sets as they type search queries. Try it!
- Faceting: User facing search refinement options were available, for example: by content topics.
- Fully Responsive: Users could benefit from the fact that it worked perfectly across all devices.
- Human Centric Error Handling: Automatically handled typing mistakes, concatenation, and split (“front end” vs “front-end”) queries.
- Analytics: Easy dashboard reporting complete with:
- Top Searches
- Top Searches to yield zero results
- Top refinements
Once the t’s were crossed and the i’s dotted by my colleagues on our cross-functional Product Development team, we moved quickly to begin the implementation phase. Search was implemented between other top priority projects; but from product discovery to completion, the process was fully implemented within two months.
The Bottom Line:
Following the implementation phase, we captured and published two months of search data. Initial results comparing the new Algolia Search Feature with 6 months of data from the original in-house search tool are as follows:
- Average Monthly Search Queries increased more than 200%
- Average Monthly Conversions driven by Search increased more than 70%
- Average Monthly Revenue driven by Search increased more than 30%
- 15% of Search conversions are driven by the Search dropdown menu versus the Search Results Page.
Needless to say, our team at NetLine is thrilled with the early results – and the entire TradePub.com audience is reaping the benefits of the new advanced search experience.