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A Simpler Site in Seven Days
To accommodate the needs of its customers, H&R Block sought a comprehensive search solution that would simplify the navigation of its site for users of its Internet-based products and services.
Posted Jul 7, 2004
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Few look back on tax season with fondness. This year, H&R Block did. Like many of us, the provider of tax services has had its share of pretax dread while gearing up for the mid-April peak. Traffic for its Web site, hrblock.com, rises by nearly 125 percent during both the early February and mid-April tax season peaks. To accommodate the needs of its customers, H&R Block sought a comprehensive search solution that would simplify the navigation of its site for users of its Internet-based products and services. "We had a search engine that functioned fine," says Lissa Mitchell, editorial manager of hrblock.com, "but results were not presented in a way that made any sense to our users. Results were hard to read--the way they were displayed was hard to understand." Users doing a product search, for example, frequently would not find the item they were looking for until the second or third page of search results. "We have one to two chances to really connect with someone who comes to the Web site, and most of them will do a search," Mitchell says. "If they see that their results are hard to read, that gives them the impression that the rest of the Web site is difficult to understand." To solve the problem the company took some advice from its companion site, TaxCut.com--a marketer of H&R Block's TaxCut software solutions--and implemented Atomz' Enterprise solution. TaxCut.com had worked with Atomz, a provider of on-demand Web-site solutions, and had been very pleased with its results. Although H&R Block trusted that the solution would improve the relevancy of search results and promotions, time constraints made fast implementation a priority. H&R Block wanted the system in place by April 1-- it was already mid-March when the company first contacted Atomz. H&R Block was concerned with the prospect of implementing a solution under such a tight deadline, but Atomz secured the tax firm's confidence, and within just one week implementation was under way. Atomz had already indexed the site by the time it presented the solution demo. As a result, H&R Block didn't have to rework its current system. Atomz also implemented the Atomz Promo, which enables H&R Block to rank relevant content on its site, and to control the manner in which it is displayed. Although promotions within the search are currently used for products only, there are plans to expand its functionalities. "We want to get our other business units in the company aware of what we can do with the search," Mitchell says.
With the help of Atomz, results during the tax season reflected an increasing number of customers using search to find relevant products, services, and information. Mitchell reports that H&R Block executives are also pleased with the way the site now operates, because they can follow up on the way that the site's content is being searched, including who is searching for what, how often, and what types of promotions are successful.
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