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Site Search: Help Your Users Find Their Way

Once a user lands on your site, enabling them to efficiently find what they’re looking for is a priority for reducing bounce rate and improving the overall user experience. Site search functionality is essential to easy navigation.

Why Site Search?

Using search tools has become a part of everyday life.  “Google it” has become our answer to every question.

We use search for our TV (Xfinity), music (Amazon), maps (Google), phone (Siri) and even in our cars. No one wants to wait for information, and your audience expects the same from your website. Search has become a natural behavior.

Site search can not only benefit your business by improving the overall user experience, and therefore conversion, but can also allow you to learn more about your site users and their interests. This additional information allows you to personalize what they see on your site accordingly – search entries are often the only form of rich feedback your site visitors will provide you with.

3 Types of Site Users

There are three main ways to navigate a site – these different audience types can be broken down into 3 types of users: searchers, browsers and sorters.

1. Searchers

  • Spend very little time learning about the site structure

  • They drive down your “Time on Site” and “Bounce Rate” stats if they can’t find what they are looking for 

  • Unforgiving – they will move on to next site if they cannot find what they want 

  • They become frustrated easily

2. Browsers

  • Spend more time on your site using navigation 

  • They look for their specific bucket of content

3. Sorters

  • Spend more time looking for tools such as configurators 

  • Focused on looking for a personalized user experience

Searchers are 54% of your users – don’t neglect them!

  • 80% abandon the site after poor search performance

  • Only 15% of companies dedicate resources to optimize search

The search bar can help your users search through articles, products, listings, locations, and more. Ensuring your Searchers have the tools they need can result in:

  • Improved Conversion Rate

  • Improved Customer Loyalty

  • Improved Visits and Registrations

  • Improved Brand Position

Features of Good Site Search

When you’re looking for the right search tool for your site, there is plenty to consider. Below is a list of features that make for a great site search tool:

• Federated Search

• Faceted Navigation

• Recommendations

• Single/Multi-Word Search

• Industry-Leading Relevancy

• Stemming

• Synonyms

• Prefix Queries (partial part numbers)

• Advanced Auto-Complete

• Spelling Suggestions (Did you mean?)

• Dashboard, Advanced Preview

• Robust Reporting and Analysis

Article contributed by: Matt Krawiec and Jerry Boduch

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