You’ve A/B tested every button, optimized every keyword and scrutinized every landing page - all because increasing the conversion rate by just a fraction will have a multiplier effect on your business. For the majority of marketers, however, there is still a frontier left to conquer in this endeavor: site search.
First of all, your customers are using your internal site search, with some studies reporting that as high as 50 percent of users who land on the home page go straight to the search box, according to Cludo. These customers are also more likely to convert - up to twice as likely, one analysis has shown. The website visitors who type in search queries have a clear mission in mind. Fail to meet their needs and external search engines are just a click away where these customers can find the information they need - from your competitors.
Here are six simple changes you can make to optimize your site search today:
- Help users find your search box. Is it tucked away in the corner with the same background color? Don’t expect this to have any impact. Think seriously about where to prominently feature the search box for your customers who need it. Pro tip: try to make it at least 25 characters wide.
- Include image and video previews in your results. Don’t let your engaging and visual content go to waste. Showcase this content with opportunities to preview it right there in your search results page.
- Narrow results using visitor context. Too many results is just as dangerous as too few. Every visitor coming to your site is coming with a certain amount of data that website managers can use to help personalize the experience and content you show in results, rather than overwhelm users with every content piece that matches the keyword. Web content personalization increases sales by 19 percent.
- Make search mobile-friendly. Mobile traffic to websites has officially surpassed desktop traffic. It’s time to embrace mobile search visitors and optimize their experience. With a smaller screen size, users may want fewer facets and possibly have a different intent for their query. Use your search analytics data to decide.
- Make suggestions. Your search box needs to educate your user - and speak their language. Thanks to Google, visitors are accustomed to using a “guess and check” method with their search queries. Allow for common misspellings, use customer terms, and provide some related content for them to view.
- Don’t let ‘no results’ happen. There is a short-term change and a long-term strategy to put in place with this. First, make your “no results” page point users to related content for their next step - instead of inviting them to an external search engine with competitor information just a click away. For the long-term strategy, go through your search analytics and figure out what search queries are returning no results or results with a low click-through rate. Use those queries to guide your content strategy.
These are some easy fixes you can make to start capitalizing on site search to increase your conversion rate. Check out this informative whitepaper, Best Practices for Site Search, for a much more comprehensive strategy if you’re ready to optimize your company’s search experience.
Coveo, the Relevance company.
Recognized as the Most Visionary Leader in Enterprise Search and as a leader in Big Data Search and Knowledge Discovery, Coveo™ helps companies transform their business by engaging their prospects, customers and partners, and upskilling their employees, with the most relevant information and recommendations. A Sitecore Platinum Technology Partner and a Salesforce Gold ISV Partner, Coveo removes complexity and improves proficiency and engagement. Powered by artificial intelligence, unified search, rich analytics, and machine learning, Coveo drives more relevant and effortless experiences by providing contextual information and predictive insights from across all cloud and on-premises systems. From website intelligence and self-service applications to intelligent contact centers and intranets, Coveo partners with some of the world’s largest enterprise technology players and currently has more than 1,500 activations in mid-to-large sized global organizations across multiple industries, such as Johnson & Johnson, Adobe, VMWare, L’Oreal, GoPro, KeyBank and 3i.