The on-site search performance of a website can make or break a visiting user’s experience.

Yet for some unfortunate reason, this critical aspect of website navigation is often under-invested in, or just plain ignored completely.

There aren’t many studies publicly available about on-site search activity or how its handled either, but in 2014 eConsultancy did release an informative report taken from their surveys on the subject. Additionally, SLI systems released another similar study.

A typical eCommerce report shows that out of the companies examined, roughly 43% entirely neglected allocating resources toward their on-site search. Meanwhile, 42% rope on-site search optimization efforts under other online measurement initiatives, with only 15% actually assigning dedicated resources toward enhancing their on-site search experience.

This all implies that a surprising amount of companies fail to fully realize the value of this influential website feature. However, it’s worth noting that with the ever-growing trend toward website personalization, internal search analysis is sometimes umbrella those efforts. But still, a concentrated on-site search effort goes a long way toward improving how visitors engage with a website.

Before we go into the ways you can optimize your own on-site search performance, here’s some numbers regarding the total impact it actually lends to businesses.

The Benefits On-Site Search brings a Website

Abstract image of an on-site search bar that reads "knowledge is power"

An average of 30% of the people who visit a website will try to perform on-site searches at some point.

Meaning, if a website neglects an on-site search option, or fails to ensure that theirs performs well, 1-in-3 potential customers are going to be dissatisfied with your business right off-the-bat. It’s no surprise, then, that Ecommerce websites who maintain a strong on-site search generate more revenue than those who don’t.

In fact, according to the study, people who successfully perform on-site searches are twice as likely to convert. Specifically, the data shows that overall Ecommerce conversions average at a rate of 2.77%. But when users find what they are looking for through an internal search, that number grows to 4.63%.

Additionally, when it comes to personalization efforts and predicting customer behaviors, monitoring a user’s on-site search pattern is an incredible indicator on their habits and interests.

From these overlying benefits alone, its easy to see why on-site search optimization is something online businesses really shouldn’t ignore.

4 Ways to Optimize your On-Site Search Performance

Image of an on-site search bar

1. Set up On-Site Search Tracking and Analytics

After activating Site Search tracking for your website, you’ll be able to list parameters for search queries across your pages.

Doing so requires the use of software, such as a Google+ is a social networking and identity service that is owned and operated by Google Inc. Google has described Google+ as a “social layer” that enhances many of its online properties, and that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associated web-content directly with its owner/author. It is the Google Analytics account that’s linked to your website. To see a brief guide on how to get all of that set-up through Google Analytics’ administrator panel, look here. Once that’s been completed, you’ll have access to the tools you need to begin monitoring and optimizing your on-site search.

But that’s only the first step.

2. Ensure your Website’s Search Bar is Attractive and Easy to Find

Image of a quarter-binoculars machine looking over the beach
Since a significant portion of website revenue is directly related to its internal search bar, users need to be able to find it effortlessly—even when they aren’t specifically looking for it.

There’s a few ways you can make this happen with some basic attention to your web design. For instance, you can:

Increase the pixel size of your search bar so it pops out at users

Make sure the search bar is positioned at the top and center of a page to draw user attention

Pay careful attention to the pre-text language of your search bar. A shift as simple as changing the words “Go to…” to “Find…” can have a major effect on user engagement.

Consider using noticeable color variances to highlight the presence of a search-bar. Even just ensuring that the background color does not match the search bar box will help it stand out all-the-more.

To see what these easy changes can do, check out this older case study on how Black Forest Décor revamped their on-site search design to drive a 34% increase in their Ecommerce conversion rates. Even though that story is from 2008, the on-site search tactics described are still employed successfully on their website today.

Fast Live Search Plugin

One suggestion to help with this step is the Fast Live Search Filter Plugin (also called an extension or add-on) is a software component with a specific feature that can be added to a software or web application.

Plugins allow the user to customize the application further to enhance the appearance, functionality and dynamics of their website. They are commonly used to add new features to search engines plugin. It allows you to add a fast live search filter to elements on both the front end and the backend of your WordPress site.

Users can search and filter posts using this live search plugin, as well as enable live search. The WordPress live search plugin supports adding the fast live search filter in different ways.

If your WordPress site is slow and sluggish, there is high chance that you will lose your visitors and search engine ranking as well. This service includes a review of your WordPress website and suggestions how to improve your WordPress site and optimize it to work faster. Simply contact FASTDOT to get the ball rolling.

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Posted by News Monkey