Dilbert.com Uses Custom Search to Increase Revenue

  |  August 3, 2010   |  Comments

Dilbert site offers keyword search for comic fans looking for old strips.

Letting the people find what they want can be the key to increased page views and more merch sales, as Dilbert.com found when it enabled keyword search.

"We knew the fan base was fanatical about Dilbert. We wanted to give them more options on the site and make sure it was really easy for them to find what they were looking for," said Laura Medley, Web producer for United Media, the comic strip's publisher.

Those fanatics often cherish favorite strips from years ago, but they probably can't remember exactly when they ran. Dilbert.com now holds 20 years of cartoon strips. Before enabling SLI Systems' Learning Search for Publishers, Dilbert.com visitors could only search a particular date range, or tags provided by other users. And tagging activity had dropped off. "So unless you knew the dates, you couldn’t find the strip you were looking for. It was really random," Medley said.

SLI began as specialized search for e-commerce sites, gradually picking up publisher clients. Its Learning Search product takes into account popularity, analyzing past site-search activity by tracking visitors' aggregate search queries, and click-throughs to improve search results.

Says SLI CEO Shaun Ryan, "Ecommerce has had a clear commercial directive to improve its search, publishers not so much. The ROI argument is slightly different for a publisher."

Dilbert.com is supported by display ads, sponsored links, and sales of books, t-shirts, and a wide variety of novelty items. Page views are already up 3 percent, which is substantial given the site's hefty traffic of more than 1 million visitors a month, and Medley expects licensing sales to also increase, because people can find a better match for things like presentations and marketing materials.

The new search tool also delivers results from the Dilbert shop, even though that's managed by a partner. Previously, strips had a small "buy me" button underneath them, but surfacing actual merchandise encourages impulse buys, Medley says. SLI's technology includes the ability to track these conversions.

In addition to rolling in shopping results, SLI did some customization on the relevance algorithms of its hosted service in order to place newer strips higher in search results.

Medley hopes to use information from the search reports, such as "strange things and phrases" that users search for, to develop new products or contests. She says, "There's so much you can do with a good search functionality that actually works."

Tags:

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, August 29 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan Kuchinskas

Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Search newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Resources

Jobs

    • Partnerships Senior Coordinator
      Partnerships Senior Coordinator (Zappos.com, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for a Partnerships Senior Coordinator! Why join us? Our...
    • Assistant Product Listing Ads (PLA) Manager
      Assistant Product Listing Ads (PLA) Manager (Zappos.com, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for an Assistant Product Listing Ads (PLA...
    • Marketing Technology Analyst
      Marketing Technology Analyst (Alfred Music) - Van NuysMarketing Technology Analyst DEFINITION Under the general/direct supervision of the head of...