Who types in web addresses anymore? Internet surfers have long since turned their backs on long and winding URLs, preferring instead to enter a few keywords into a search engine and be presented with the content they’re looking for. Searching has become the de facto way of browsing the web. Why is it, then, that 42% of companies fail to see the advantages of providing this functionality on their websites?
When visitors arrive on a site with a particular intention in mind, they want to get from where they are to where they want to be as quickly as possible. Complex menus and intricate sitemaps can quickly turn incoming visitors into outgoing traffic. But, with specially configured site search, users can find what they're looking for fast, and it's not only your customer experience that will feel the benefit.
Why your website needs custom site search
1) It lets you track user behaviour
Imagine being able to read the minds of your website’s visitors, understanding the sort of content, products, or services they’re specifically looking for. On-site search engines allow you to easily track this sort of data via measurable metrics like keywords, impressions, and click-through rates. The importance of this data is plain to see – if you know what your visitors want, you can better tailor your output to suit their needs.
The more information you can collect about your visitors the better, and setting up site search is an easy, cost effective way of learning more about your audience.
2) Investing in UX pays dividends
It’s become almost instinctual for internet users to reach for a search bar when navigating a website. It saves them precious time and erases the frustration of a confusing navigation structure.
Providing site search will improve the overall user experience of your website, allowing users to find what they need quickly. And it pays to invest in UX – did you know that a well-designed user interface could increase conversion rates by 200%?
Offering site search is a simple step towards improving the quality of your UX and thus your chances of converting customers and keeping them engaged with your content.
3) Searchers are buyers
Custom site search has benefits for all types of websites. However, if your website is an e-store, going without site search is like owning a retail shop and not opening the doors. Customers won’t buy what they can’t find, and not only is it important from a customer experience perspective, but research has shown that conversion rates are over 50% higher from users who search against those who just browse. A statistic like that speaks for itself, but just to emphasize – if your business is e-commerce, you need to offer search!
4) Showcase your best content
Do you have a key piece of writing, or perhaps a special offer, that you want your visitors to be aware of? Site search can be a great tool for showcasing your best content.
You could pin popular posts and pages to the top of your search result page – or maybe feature lesser-known content your users may be missing out on. If your search box is smart enough to feature semantic search, it will even be possible to recommend content to users based on synonyms and hypernyms of their search enquiry.
You might think people who use search engines have one specific thing they’re seeking, but search boxes can act as a spring board for further exploration of a topic, inspiring users to spend more time discovering everything your website has to offer.
Implementing a site search platform on your website will allow you to better understand your audience, improve your bottom line, create a more intuitive user experience, and encourage your users to fully explore your content. Does your website need custom site search? Well, that’s up to you, but one thing's for certain – you’re missing out on massive opportunities if you decide against it.
Check out our free introductory guide to custom search engines for your website below: