Although this post might be going up on Halloween, there's nothing spooky about our new features: searchable FAQs, call-to-action buttons, the 'All results' content group, and more.
FAQ search can be a real treat
FAQs are a great way for your users to get quick answers about your service or product. As you grow, the collection of questions and answers grows as well, and soon, it's hard to navigate. But if you prefer (like us) to limit your FAQ database to a one-pager instead of having a multitude of separate branching short posts, it's a good idea to make every question and answer searchable. That's where our new FAQ extraction feature comes in.
Previously on SS360: your entire FAQ page accounted for a single search result. While your users could preview the text and exact excerpts matching their query in the search result snippets, they had to to additionally CTRL+F the results page for the right final bit of information. It was techy, but not the best user experience.
Now: every Q&A can be indexed as a separate search result entity, allowing you to direct your searchers to the exact snippet they're looking for. If your text is hidden behind accordions, Site Search 360 will scroll down, highlight the question, and open the corresponding answer block:
Wondering if it's too much work to create an FAQ page? Don't worry. It's easy with our free FAQ generator tool. And if you already have an FAQ page, go to the FAQ extraction section, choose Custom FAQ, specify the page URL, and point our crawler to the right Q&A elements.
Previously on SS360: if you wanted to remove specific pages from your search results, it was possible to no-index them only based on the URL patterns. For example, you would no-index
/page/ to skip all paginated links. But what if there's nothing in the URL structure that signifies whether the page should be skipped or not?
Now: you can point our crawler to the specific HTML elements present on these non-result-worthy pages. For example, you want to hide category or product listing pages. You shouldn't blacklist them because then the crawler wouldn't see the outgoing links to your posts or products. But if your category pages have some unique element such as a
<div id="catalog"> that would be missing from the product pages, go ahead and add
//div[@id="catalog"] to the No-Index XPaths under your Crawler Settings. Re-index your site to apply the magic.
ALL Results Content Group
Previously on SS360: all content groups were mutually exclusive, in other words, when splitting your content into categories (News, Products, PDFs, etc.), every page or document could only be assigned to one group.
Now: you can show an aggregated "All results" group as well. Make sure to organize your content groups as tabs and set the showAllResultsTab parameter of your ss360Config code to true if you'd like to use it.
Add a Call To Action
Previously on SS360: search result snippets didn't have any call-to-action elements such as "Add to Cart" that you're used to seeing on ecommerce sites.
Now: While adding to cart requires a deeper integration with your platform (available for our Lightspeed plugin users btw!), you can now add a button to your search results and give it a custom label (e.g. "Read More" or "View Product").
Some backstage changes
- Worried that your "Sorry, no results found" page can be a dead end? You can now redirect your unlucky users to a designated URL page by defining the results.noResultsRedirect parameter.
- Did you know that when crawling your site, Google bots would sometimes go and test your search? We've improved the bot detection so these bot-generated queries are no longer counted against your monthly search volume.
- Search suggestions vs search results? There's now a way to skip suggestions altogether and trigger full-blown results as you type. Be warned: unlike our lightweight search suggestions, these instant results will be counted towards your search quota. Are you ready to try it out?