Promote content using best bets

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Optimizely Search & Navigation lets you promote content by adding best bets and search phrases that deliver selected Web content to the top of search results. Use best bets to answer common questions or create sponsored links, such as in an ecommerce site.

For example, if a search phrase has a low click-through rate, that might indicate that the content title or description is not compelling. Use a best bet to assign a custom title and description to promote that content. You optimize the site visitor's search experience by customizing the title and description.

A best bet's search phrase does not need to occur in the assigned content – you are mapping one or more phrases to an internal or external Web page, which displays above organic search results.

Image: Assinging content

You can style a best bet to distinguish it from organic results. For example, notify visitors that a link is sponsored.

A developer needs to implement this feature in your website's styling.

You can define best bets for a specific language and a specific website.

Examples of best bets

  • You are running a Christmas campaign. When a visitor searches for Christmas cards, you want the Christmas special offer page to display at the top of search results.
  • Link search phrases to content that you believe visitors want. For example, add a best bet for a contact information page with search phrases like customer service, contact us, and opening hours.
  • You want a search phrase to return specific content. For example, if someone searches for health insurance, display the health insurance card application form page on top.
  • You have a Special offers page, which displays in search results when searching for offers but is rarely clicked. Create a best bet for the page and give it a title like Unbelievable Deals while leaving the original content untouched.

Add best bets

Best bets are not enabled by default; developers need to enable them.
  1. From edit view, select Search & Navigation > Manage. The Statistics screen displays.
  2. If one or more search terms (that you want to promote by best bets) display in the Search Phrase list, select the ones you want, then Create best bets. You can modify the search terms on the Optimization screen.

    Otherwise, select the Optimization screen > Best Bets and use the Phrases field to enter one or more search phrases.

    A best bet phrase cannot contain these special characters:

    + - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \ /

    Image: adding best bets

    The site visitor must enter words in the search phrase exactly to retrieve the content. Stemming is not supported. If a best bet contains several search phrases, and any of them matches the site visitor's input, the best bet content displays at the top of search results.
  3. In the Target Content field, specify the content to display when a site visitor searches for any search phrase. To assign an Optimizely page, image, video, or asset, select Local and go to it. To assign an external page, click External link and insert a URL with a protocol identifier, such as https://.
  4. If you select an Optimizely page, its title and description display. Modify them as desired. For example, enter more compelling text to encourage a site visitor to click the result.

    If you selected an external page, enter a relevant title and description.

Edit best bets

The bottom of the Optimization page displays current best bets.

  1. Using the context menu, click Edit. The screen is populated with the current values.

    Image: Editing best bets

  2. Change as needed.
  3. Click Save best bet.

Delete best bets

Best bets typically have a limited life, so maintain them continuously to ensure that outdated promotions are removed.

  1. Using the context menu, click Delete.
  2. Confirm.

Effect of publication and expiration dates on best bets

Best bets respect content publication and expiration dates; that information is presented on the Best Bets screen.

Image: Information on the Best Bets screen

So, while you can apply a best bet to unpublished content, the best bet only affects search results if content is published. Also, if published content expires, a best bet no longer affects search results, although you can still see it on the Best Bets screen.

 Best bets for catalog entries

If Optimizely Customized Commerce is installed on your website, you can promote content using the catalog content selector in best bets view. You can define best bets for products, variants, and images in the catalog.

Image: Best bets for catalog entries