5 Ways to Maximize Your On-Site Search
We live in a Google-dominated world; more accurately, we use a Google-dominated internet. The search engine (and purveyor of social media, cloud services and other daily necessities) accounts for over 80 percent of the online query market, making it safe to assume that it set the standard for internet search functions. When choosing to shop online, modern consumers expect no less from the search boxes of the virtual stores they're browsing than they do from King Google.
When designed correctly, on-site search boxes alone have the capacity to double and sometimes triple your conversion rate. Conversely, online shoppers will likely go straight to your competitors if your search function isn't painfully easy to use. Sixty-seven percent of visitors won't dig through more than the top 20 results for any given search, which makes it your responsibility to ensure the results you're providing are instant and relevant.
Having a search box alone isn't enough; the location of the box on the page is also important. Finally, what it allows the user to do contributes most to the selling power of your on-site search.
Here are five back-end tweaks to enhance your on-site search, helping you to create a more robust, efficient customer experience:
1. Smart suggestions. Google pioneered the autofill technology, and while it's become almost second nature to all internet search boxes, there are plenty of e-commerce retailers that still aren't affording this simple luxury to their visitors. Not only does autofill compensate for the human error of forgetting a full product name or title, it can suggest new, similar items that the consumer never considered before.
2. A mixed bag of searchable fields. It's dangerous to believe that site visitors will only be searching for a product by its precise label. The more options you allow as searchable fields, the higher the chances that visitors will find exactly what they're looking for. With a few programming edits, your on-site search can detect inventory based on the item or manufacturer number, short or long descriptions, and keywords. Take advantage of your internal site analytics to determine which keywords are searched most often, then take those and include them in your list of relevant terms.