Great internal site search can be a huge help to your customers. Even more so if you run an ecommerce store with thousands of products on it. But so many internal site searches don’t work properly.
No one wants to spend ages searching through your site for a single post or product if they can use a search bar instead. Think about it; you want your brick and mortar sales assistants to point customers in the right direction of a specific product, so why should your website be any different? It shouldn’t right?
Well if it is, here are five strategies to fix it.
Make sure users can find your search bar
Okay, this may seem a bit obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many websites hide their site search bars to the point where user struggle to find them. Here’s a hint, don’t hide it towards the bottom of your page, in the footer or even in the sidebar. Your search bar needs to be immediately obvious as soon as someone lands on the page. That means placing it at the very top of your website in the navigation bar. Make sure the color of the bar is different from the rest of the site and that you include the word “search” in it so users can’t possibly be mistaken.
It’s important that your customers can find what they are looking for as quickly and as easily as possible. Autocomplete functionality is a great way to do this. When a user starts typing in their search, your search bar should be suggesting conclusions to their query that tally with the products or services on your website.
Don’t be harsh on errors
Too many search bars offer no results if users spell a single word incorrectly. This can be hugely frustrating for the user if they’ve missed out a single letter from a word and have to go back and add it in. Instead, your site search should serve up items that match as closely as possible to the initial query.
Make use of the thesaurus
Ideally, your site search should be smart enough to realise when someone is searching for a particular product, even if they don’t use the exact words. Understanding synonyms and using them in search results is key to an intuitive search that all users can make use of.
Tag your posts properly
Okay so if you’re letting customers to search through all of your blog posts, this one is huge. It is so, so important that you tag every blog post with care, including every keyword that someone might use to find this post. Take the time to think from a user’s perspective about what search terms you would use to find the product and include them as tags. But don’t go mad with this. Otherwise you’ll leave users with hundreds of posts to sort through.
If you want to have site search done properly, our team can help. Contact us today.