The internet is ruled by search. Chances are you ended up on this page looking for “site search” on Google. Users love search because it makes it easier and faster to find the content they are looking for – if it’s done well. Still, many businesses miss out on the power of (high-quality) site search because they are unsure about the benefits.
Discover five reasons why your business needs site search:
1. Site search gives users the result they want – right now
Site search is an effective tool for visitors to make the navigation of your site as easy as possible. Users want to find what they are looking for right now. They are accustomed to high quality search options such as Google or YouTube that make the right content quickly accessible.
Imagine the following scenario: A page visitor wants to find a pair of black jeans in size L on an e-commerce page. Instead of looking through the navigation and clicking through several layers of filters (men’s wear -> trousers -> jeans -> color: black -> size L), they can access the product they want instantly. Not only did they get to their result faster and saved time, they also can investigate related offers to get them interested in other products (see more under reason #4)
The results users are getting can even be personalized. With a high-quality site search option, you can offer user-specific results depending on their previous behavior. A better user experience on your site increases happiness and drives conversion.
2. Site search leads to higher conversion rates and more engagement
People that use site search are often in the late stage of purchasing. They came to your page with an intent and are more likely to buy than other users. Your focus should be on converting them.
In an analysis of 21 e-commerce sites, visitors were 1,8 times more likely to convert when they used site search for finding a product. On top of that, visitors that search can generate as much as 13.8 percent of a site’s overall revenue, even though they only make up 5,75% of the overall visitors.
Despite its importance, many online stores lack quality in their site search. Some common mistakes include:
- Usage of product type jargon: 70% require users to search by the exact same product type as the site, failing to offer relevant products for a search such as “blow dryer” if “hairdryer” is used on the site, or “multifunction printer” vs “all-in-one printer”
- No ability to translate abbreviation or symbols: 60% of site search options are unable to comprehend the difference between the inch symbol – and the word ‘inch’
- Autocomplete issues: 36% of websites which use autocomplete have serious usability and relevance problems
- Spelling mistakes: 18% handle phonetic misspellings poorly, especially when it comes to product names (e.g. 0 results for “Kitchen Aid Artysan” when looking for the “KitchenAid Artisan” mixer) (Source: Baymard Institute)
Subsequently, any visitor who leaves the website without finding what they’re looking for – merely because of a spelling mistake or the wrong jargon – is a lost customer. Forrester reports that as many as 68% of shoppers would not return to a site that provided a poor search experience.
In addition, a customer that won’t find the solution they looked for is more likely to cost you resources in customer service because they require a call or online support.
On the other hand, users that have a good first browsing experience are more likely to return for more purchases because they find the page easy to manage and feel confident. They are in control of their shopping experience which makes them more likely to convert. After a first pleasant user experience, the chances increase that they will head back for more.
Site search increases:
- frequency of purchases
- average order size and value
- cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
- length of visits
Site search decreases:
- Bounce rate
3. Site search can promote content and products
One great feature of high-quality site search options is suggestive and related topics/items in your results. You can even promote a certain content piece or article to lead the visitor to a landing page for your newest online course, your most-selling product or any offers and sales.
With search suggestions you can give visitors a better idea of what is available. In the example of someone looking for black jeans, the related items could offer clothes that match well with black jeans or send the user to a sales page around jeans in general (see reason #2).
According to research from Econsultancy, adding these suggestions can encourage visitors to view more products: about 25% of site visitors will click on a search suggestion.
4. Site search analysis offers a free keyword library
This last reason is a great benefit to marketers. If you collect site search analytics, you get a free library or keywords that your customers search. The best part: these are not elaborate guesses on what your users are looking for or what might be relevant in your industry, they are actual data points on what your users want.
This information is a great starting point for any form of marketing, be it future landing pages, ad copy or other marketing material.
5. Site search and navigation support each other
You might have already spent some time to optimize your navigation to make it as easy as possible for your clients to find what they are looking for. But navigation and site search are not opponents, in fact they work hand in hand. Some users will prefer to use a navigation, others will prefer the site search option.
Site search is an awesome tool if your page has lots of content or includes many different products. It’s ideal for any page that has an advanced structure or technical information. Visitors are most likely to check out site search if they can’t find what they are looking for in your navigation. If you don’t want to lose any potential customers, you should offer both on your site.
If your business is B2B, site search will still affect your sales. Half of all B2B buyers create a set of selection criteria or a potential vendor list without ever communicating with anyone in these organizations – only based on digital content. A lack of great site search tools could cost you sales and leads without ever getting the chance to make a pitch.
Your Next Step: How you can get site search
The quality for site search is deciding in how it will affect your business. If it’s done poorly, you can lose users (see reason #3). Think about your own behavior: If you end up on a page with an inefficient site search and don’t get the result you look for instantly, you might leave the site and look elsewhere. Any user that leaves your site frustrated is a potential customer lost.
Thankfully, getting a high-quality site search tool is very easy. AddSearch is a lightning-fast, accurate and customizable site search engine with a Search API. Start boosting conversions and keeping visitors happy with a free trial of AddSearch!