More and more companies realize the importance of proper site search on their websites. They know that visitors who can’t find what they’re looking for move on and try their luck elsewhere – likely on the competition’s website. That’s why businesses need to work with web agencies that can help them create outstanding, seamless digital experiences that satisfy users. On the other hand, web agencies need a reliable search solution that is both simple and versatile to achieve these goals.
In this blog post, we’ll look at site search for web agencies from different angles. In the process, we’ll find out why and how to make sure you choose the right solution that benefits your clients and their customers.
What are the benefits of site search for web agencies and their clients?
If you’ve read any other blog post on our website, you’ll know that we strive to make website visitors happy by providing them with a well-done site search. By increasing user satisfaction, many good things will fall into place for businesses on their own. In our blog post, “What is site search, and how can it help you?” we talked more about the benefits companies can enjoy thanks to proper site search implementation:
- decreased help desk costs
- enhanced website UX
- increased traffic and engagement
- boosted revenue
- improved dwell times and lowered bounce rates
But how can you, as a web agency, benefit from promoting and integrating site search into your client projects?
Naturally, you want to build future-proof and progressive websites and apps that help your clients remain relevant in the market. Although you have to consider different aspects of your project to achieve this, you shouldn’t underestimate the role of site search in your work’s overall success. Obviously, an e-commerce site requires more advanced search capabilities than a simple corporate blog. However, your clients and their customers expect a fully functional site search at all times, regardless of the website, which helps them achieve their goals quickly and easily.
Before looking for the ideal site search platform for you and your clients, you need to ask yourself a few questions: What is your current workflow? Do you keep reinventing the wheel when implementing site searches? Do you use the default search functions of the content management system (CMS) used? Also, think about how you go about search in general. Is it getting the attention it deserves, or do you tend to neglect it? Analyzing and understanding the status quo and areas for improvement can help you establish a more efficient workflow for building site searches.
Why work with a dedicated site search solution provider?
As a web agency, you know what you’re doing and have the right people to build amazing websites and apps, such as UX designers and web developers. Your team’s know-how and skills put you in the optimal position to get the most out of an advanced site search solution for all your projects.
For some projects, your objective may be to build a robust yet straightforward search with basic features, similar to what traditional CMSs such as WordPress provide. For other projects, you may need a comprehensive site search platform that offers you many advanced capabilities and setting options. This could be a webshop, for example, for which you have defined specific search requirements, which makes the search implementation its own project.
With a dedicated solution, you can tackle all your projects’ site search challenges confidently.
We’ve noticed that web agencies sometimes struggle with search implementation if they don’t use a dedicated solution. This is because the implementation project often requires a lot of effort, work, and knowledge. However, using a site search platform usually improves their efficiency drastically. The more experience they have with the solution, the more comfortable and productive they can work with it.
Finally, let’s look at some benefits of site search solutions for web agencies:
- Ease of implementation. Most search solutions are built so that it’s straightforward for web agencies’ development teams to implement website searches with various features. And, as pointed out before, reusing a search platform can increase your efficiency a lot!
- Advanced support. As a returning client, your site search provider sure will be happy to assist you with any site search questions and needs. Additionally, some providers offer to take over the search implementation project and help you add a search bar to your project.
- Better service. As a web agency and returning client, you often benefit from more services in general. For example, you may get early access to new releases, send feature requests for your unique use cases, and benefit from exclusive deals.
How web agencies can choose the right site search provider
Now you may be wondering how to choose the ideal site search provider for your web agency. What should you pay particular attention to?
Obviously, you want to pick the solution that offers features that you find most relevant and useful for your projects. Don’t worry, we will talk about the essential elements to look out for in a moment. But before that, we’d like to talk about the subject on a more fundamental level:
Think long term
Think about future project requirements: Are you looking for a one-off or long-term solution? If you think more of your projects could benefit from a site search solution? If you think more of your projects could benefit from a site search solution, opt for a well-rounded solution that you can utilize for different use cases. That way, you can take advantage of what you already know about the solution and work more efficiently in the future.
Adaptability is key.
You want a site search solution that supports you in realizing anything from small to large search implementations. First, look out for plug-and-play components that allow you to deliver results quickly. Second, make sure that the solution has plenty of customization options so that you can create tailor-made search UIs for different use cases.
Developers need to approve.
Ultimately, the people who implement site search for your projects are your web developers. Thus, it’s crucial to include them in the selection process! They need to check whether the solution fits their workflows and tech stack to make sure they can keep the learning curve as flat as possible. Finally, they may also have requirements that you didn’t think of, for example, how do crawling and indexing work? What about APIs?
Do you require additional services?
As mentioned earlier, search providers may offer additional services to web agencies. Suppose you don’t want to get involved in the implementation of search too much. In this case, your provider may help you with the creation. Or perhaps you want an expert to work directly with you and your client? Then, a search provider may also offer to share their expertise directly.
Regardless of your needs, make sure to talk to different providers. Learn about their services, and see how they can help you reach your goals.
Choosing a solution that works well for you and your clients’ projects can be challenging. That’s why we’ve created a thorough 2020 buyer’s guide that walks you through all essential criteria to consider. Perhaps, you’ve already started looking for candidates and have come across different site search providers, such as Swiftype, Algolia, and our own, AddSearch. If you are wondering how they compare, we recommend reading this article on our blog.
Essential features of future-proof site search solutions
Now it’s time to shed light on specific features that the ideal site search solution for web agencies should offer:
Filters, sorting, and autocomplete
These three are basic and essential features that we dare to call site search must-haves. With filters and sorting functions, users can fine-tune their search results. They are especially useful when dealing with a lot of content, such as on e-commerce sites or knowledge bases. Autocomplete helps website visitors achieve their goals faster by completing the words users start typing in the search bar. Offering autocomplete functionality on mobile websites or apps is particularly valuable since users appreciate not having to type in every single letter of their search query.
Some site search providers also offer a feature called faceted search. Basically, faceted search helps users fine-tune their results with advanced (faceted) filter options. You can learn more in our blog post on faceted search here.
Promote and boost content
The more content your client’s website has, the trickier it can be for visitors to get valuable and relevant search results. For this reason, the ideal search solution should allow fine-tuning of search results:
- Boost site areas like specific categories, and give particular pages more or less weight to rank them higher or lower in search results.
- Pin specific and valuable content in a fixed position in search results to ensure users can’t miss it.
- Promote exclusive deals, upcoming events, or other content you want to temporarily draw attention with a dedicated promotional banner.
Personalized search experiences
Basically, every site search solution is a search engine. Like Google, some site search platforms can study user behavior and interests to offer more relevant search results. For example, suppose a vegan user is looking for meal ideas on a recipe blog. In that case, a personalized search could present only vegan meals to them. Note that personalization is an advanced feature that you should discuss with search providers to learn more about your options.
Site search analytics
Of course, you don’t want to spend precious time implementing site search and then never look at it again. Neither does your client. So make sure to pick a search platform that offers search-related analytics, such as popular keywords and no-hits keywords. Ideally, the solution can be connected to other website analytics tools like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics. Only then can you or your clients’ marketing and SEO specialists learn how the search performs and develop appropriate optimization suggestions.
Synonyms and typos
Website visitors don’t use the same queries when searching for the same content. Also, they may simply write stuff wrong. Even so, they expect valuable results from site search. Thus, it’s essential to use a search solution that can handle synonyms and typos, which you can usually add to the solution’s backend.
This leads to another vital aspect to consider. Most likely, you are creating websites and web apps in different languages. Therefore, the ideal website search solution must also support multiple languages for the backend, search interface, typo tolerance, and stemming.
Picking a solution that offers your web developers everything they need in a way they can work with is critical. Naturally, your devs know what’s best for them, but generally speaking, you’re looking for a website search solution that offers:
- Search APIs. APIs are an excellent way for your devs to implement custom site search solutions and create unique search UIs with ease. Some search platforms also offer client libraries in different programming languages that help integrate the API into the project more efficiently.
- Ready-made components or templates. For smaller projects, your front-end developers can save time if they use some sort of plug-and-play system or ready-made templates to build the search UI.
- Indexing methods. Work with your developers to review how the solution crawls and indexes online content. Also, check whether you can choose between different options. For example, AddSearch provides an indexing API that you can use for manually crawling your mobile app’s content.
- Developer resources. The more developer tools and features a search provider has, the more critical it is to have proper documentation. Thus, make sure the provider offers thorough information, references, and learning materials for their products! In the end, web developers save time by not having to figure out how things work for themselves.
Why AddSearch is the site search provider you’re looking for
AddSearch is our solution that offers all the essential features and benefits you’re looking for in a site search platform for web agencies. Use AddSearch to integrate on-site search into mobile or web applications and use our APIs to create tailor-made experiences for your clients. If you’re looking for a fast and straightforward approach to search implementation, you should check out our Search UI library, which includes useful ready-made components. However, the search’s UI design is fully customizable, so you can implement site search according to your clients’ needs and requirements. If you find yourself in need of help, we’ll gladly support you in creating intuitive and enjoyable search UIs for your projects.
Since AddSearch’s founding day, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many different web agencies and optimizing our search platform and services to match their specific needs. We’d love to join forces with you! Join our partner program, which is exclusively available for web agencies, and benefit from various benefits. Shape the future of our product’s development and receive a 20% revenue share for every customer you bring to us! Additionally, you can count on our steadfast support with all aspects of site search, be it consultation, sales, design, or programming.