With all of the different, and often competing priorities that your business and teams must manage, onsite search is often overlooked. In fact, 84% of companies don’t optimize or measure their internal site search at all.
So why should you care about internal site search?
There’s a difference between site visitors and site searchers. Visitors to your website can often be compared to folks that are ‘just browsing’ at a brick-and-mortar store. But site searchers are on a mission. Site searchers are using the internal search function on your site to look for a specific solution: they have intent, are engaged, and they’re far more likely to convert.
To be effective, internal site search must be three things: fast, relevant, and iterative. Searchers need their results quickly, they need to find what they are looking for, and businesses need to analyze user behaviors to continuously improve search results.
5 Best Practices to Improve Internal Site Search
1. Improve Visibility.
While only 15% of website visitors use site search functions, those site searches account for 45% of revenue! Take advantage of that high engagement and intent by making sure that your onsite search box is easy to find and inviting to use. Consider moving the search bar to a more prominent location, increasing its size, changing the CTA, or adding color to draw the attention of site searchers.
2. Remember the Basics
An internal site search bar should include some basic functionality to meet searcher expectations. Including: searches that are not case-sensitive, by default; overlooking common misspellings and typos; as well as understanding singular, plural, and other word variants.
3. Monitor Speed.
Speed is crucial for both mobile and desktop user experiences. Your IT support or digital marketing teams may already be using a variety of tools designed to monitor and review the health of your company’s website. Including the speed of search results as a critical metric will help give you a better understanding of your site’s overall performance and improve your ability to engage with new prospects.
4. Analyze Use and Results.
If your search results aren’t accurate and don’t provide the searcher the information they are looking for, you may lose that next new client altogether. Google recommends that site search improvement begins with asking – and answering – these questions:
How frequently do your visitors use site search, and what are they looking for?
Where do searches begin and end?
Are users satisfied with what they find?
How do different groups of users search my site?
What are the business outcomes of internal site search?
5. Iterate and Improve.
Once you understand how and why people are searching on your site, and their satisfaction with the results they achieve, you can begin to improve their website experience. So how do you deliver the right results, faster, and improve conversions and revenues? By putting the right tools in place – either by engaging a partner, purchasing a solution, or designing a custom solution that will help manage, monitor, and improve internal site search.
Typical solutions aimed at internal site search provide a dashboard – an analytics report, essentially a to-do list of suggestions, recommendations, tasks, and activities that your business should take. While helpful, implementing those changes manually can often prove to be a burden for your team. The ideal solution would make those changes for you automatically – analyzing data and updating internal site search results without requiring any extra effort. It would still collect data, provide insights into key behaviors of your most valuable customers, while also being easy to implement -allowing you to focus on real business results.
If you’d like to learn more about improving internal site search and getting more conversions from your website, connect with SoloSegment today. Our easy-to-implement solutions can help you turn your most highly-engaged site visitors into your best customers.