August 25, 2021 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Did you know that up to 30% of shoppers on eCommerce websites use a site search box to find what they’re looking for? Internal site search can help people locate the right products or content easily on your site without switching windows or tabs to use Google. Setting up your website logically is a good start for organizing content, but sometimes people want to dive right into that search bar and get some personalized results.
If you’re not using internal site search yet, or you’re looking for ways to improve what you’ve already got, check out some of these fast facts that can help people tap-tap-click their way to the perfect results.
Check out these tips for starting or strengthening your internal website search game:
If you have a lot of web content and tons of pages to search for, you’ll likely need a more high-powered, sophisticated search engine. Before you picture Tim Taylor’s classic “more power,” it doesn’t have to be that intense, just enough to accommodate everything you offer.
Think about the internal search on websites like Target.com and Amazon.com where you can search by category, get suggested searches, and narrow content by brands and prices. These are all indicators of a sophisticated search engine. Even if you don’t have a lot of content yet, if you intend to in the future, starting with a more robust engine can save you set-up time later.
Your site traffic numbers may be a predictor of your internal search engine traffic. The more people that visit your site, the more people might use your search engine. But too much traffic can clog up your server, which may make the site run slower or crash. But don’t panic! You have other options. Consider putting your search engine traffic on a different server to separate them and free up space.
Google Analytics and Tag Manager can do a lot of things, including give you data about your internal site search. Though we’re not complete experts on the topic, Marco Bonomo at Search Engine Watch has tips on how you can use filters to create custom paths and show “zero-result” reports. These programs can help you find just what your visitors are looking for, and maybe even open you up to new content niches.
We have reached the point in society where we’re getting too lackadaisical to type numbers on a remote or words on a screen. Think about your Xfinity and Roku remotes, your Alexas, and iPhones. We’re all about voice commands and visuals. You can hop on this trend by adding a voice recognition option to your internal site search. This may be especially helpful if most of your traffic comes from mobile devices and tablets.
Just make sure that it can accurately recognize what people say. Searching for “Hulu Law and Order SVU” but getting results for “YouTube Love Some Order and a View” might not make people too happy.
If you want an internal site search but you can’t or don’t want to write the code yourself and change it constantly, a third-party search option could be for you. These programs can make navigation more efficient and, on pages like eCommerce sites, improve your conversions. Third-party engines may offer options like showcasing screenshots of products or articles, auto-suggesting search queries, and yes, providing those cool and all-important filtering options. If you’re into browsing, check out FinancesOnline’s list of 20 site search solutions.
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