Promoting content using best bets

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

For example, if a search phrase One or more words that a user enters into a search box to begin a search. 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. By customizing title and description, you optimize the site visitor's search experience.

A best bet's search phrase does not need to occur in the assigned content – you are simply mapping one or more phrases to an internal or external Web page, which appears 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 appear at the top of search results.
  • Link search phrases One or more words that a user enters into a search box to begin a search. to content that you believe visitors want. For example, for a contact information page, add a best bet 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 appears 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.

Adding best bets

Best bets are not enabled by default; developers need to enable them.

  1. From edit view A section of the user interface where you edit content items, such as pages and blocks. To access edit view, log in and select CMS > Edit. (See admin view for comparison.), select Search & Navigation > Manage. The Statistics screen appears.
  2. If one or more search terms that you want to promote via best bets appear 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 One or more words that a user enters into a search box to begin a search..

    A best bet phrase cannot contain these special characters: + - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \ /

    Image: adding best bets

  3. The site visitor must enter all 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 appears at the top of search results.

  4. At the Target Content field, specify content to appear 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 Stands for "Uniform Resource Locator". Also known as a web address such as with a protocol identifier, such as https://.
  5. If you selected an Optimizely page, its title and description appear. 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.

Editing 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.

Deleting 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, and 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 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 and variants and images in the catalog.

Image: Best bets for catalog entries