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tradeit next generation ecommerce platform

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Easy ways to deliver targeted content - Part one: Use the on-site search tool


When a user conducts a search on your ecommerce site, you (the merchant) immediately get an idea of exactly what they are looking for and can thus begin personalising what is displayed to them based on that search query. Most ecommerce pages are built using pre-defined templates which can have areas within them assigned for displaying such targeted content.

When a user conducts their search query, targeted content can be triggered to display along with their search results or, if the search returns 0 results, instead of any search results. That targeted content could be a promotional advert, piece of information or some products complimentary to what has been searched for, for instance.

In the examples below we have deliberately used two very broad search terms, with one user carrying out a search for ‘Skirts’, and one for ‘High Heels’, which trigger the display of two different pieces of targeted content for each based on those exact searches.


By examining your website analytics, either those contained within your ecommerce platform or using an external analytics tool like Google Analytics, to see the specific search terms that people have used, you can get an understanding of exactly what has been searched for previously, and thus, what is likely to be searched for in future. You can then begin to build some targeted content based on those search queries, starting with the most popular (highest frequency of searches). If you have a number of popular terms that are roughly aligned, you can then also think about producing some generic, broader content that covers them all to start with using search buckets. As you become more confident about building targeted content you can begin to increase the quantity and sophistication of what is delivered including multiple pieces of targeted content at the same time, on the same page.

tradeit ecommerce platform search term frequency report

Search term data from Google Analytics


Whilst reviewing your search term analytics you should also take the opportunity to look at any mis-spellings, synonyms or acronyms you should consider setting up. Analysing the actual data of what users have mis-spelt is a great place to start when building up a list of these, particularly for terms that you want to trigger your targeted content. By adding these mis-spellings you can ensure that users are still directed to the item that they are looking for and the targeted content you want to be displayed, is still displayed.

tradeit ecommerce platform spelling correction management

Search buckets for targeted content

You can also build up a search bucket of other similar terms that you would like to trigger that same piece, or those same pieces, of targeted content, rather than creating different content for every single search term which is totally unrealistic. These search buckets also allow for plural/multiple terms.

Through rotating, testing and analysing the targeted content (particularly if it contains any promotions or offers), you can also begin to see which produces the best results and improves your KPIs the most.

See Part Two, where we look at using the contents of a user's basket to help deliver personalised content.