June 10, 2010, 1:12 PM

Motorcycle Superstore revs up site search

The e-retailer’s multi-faceted site search strategy drives nearly a third of revenue.

Motorcycle Superstore Inc., a retailer of motorcycle helmets, jackets and other accessories, takes several steps such as using long-tail keyword phrases and coordinated online banner ads to get the most out of its site search system, chief technology officer Jason Miller said the Internet Retailer Conference.


“We get up to 30% of our revenue through site search,” Miller said.


He noted that the 100 most commonly used keyword phrases embedded in MotorcycleSuperstore.com’s site search system accounted for 38% of revenue gained through organic search revenue last year. But that left 62% of converted organic search results coming from long-tail keyword phrases, Miller said.


The retailer, which uses site search technology from SLI Systems Inc., deploys several tactics to build and capitalize on an effective library of long-tail keyword phrases, most of which are three to six words.


To expand its base of keyword phases, it uses the SLI system to monitor new keyword phrases entered by site visitors and gets keyword suggestion tools from sources such as SEMRush.com, Wordstream.com and SEOmoz.org.


With its broader base of keyword phrases, it also takes advantage of SLI’s auto-complete tool, which automatically produces a drop-down menu of search terms as a shopper begins to enter the first letters of a keyword. This not only can support deeper searches with more keywords for additional products.


A shopper interested in finding motorcycle gloves, for instance, would see terms including goggles, gas cap, graphics and GPS in the drop-down menu.


In other efforts, the retailer has converted visitors to buyers with banner ads, such as one for exhaust systems, that appear on search results pages for related keywords. And when it doesn’t have searched-for brand in its inventory, it may take a searcher to a results page with listings of a comparable brand.


Motorcycle Superstore is No. 197 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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