Have you ever gone to a site, not found what you were looking for and decided to do a search within that site? Most of us have. It is called a “site search,” and is probably the last search you will do before leaving the site. The ability for your website to deliver an accurate search result will be critical in keeping that visitor on the site.
Why do people conduct site searches? Here are some likely reasons:
- The user experience doesn’t show them how to intuitively navigate your site.
- Maybe you sell many products, and visitors are looking for specific SKUs/product numbers. It is just quicker to do a search.
- Visitor is ready to buy and already knows what they want.
- Perhaps a visitor is looking for something you don’t have on your site.
- Mobile sites can sometimes be difficult to navigate and site search provides an easy way for visitors to find what they want.
What Happens? (How Do You Know)
How do you know what is actually happening with your site search? Google Analytics provides a site search function that allows you to see what kind of searches are being made on your site. Typically when I show this report to my customers, they connect with it right away. They see patterns that often make sense. Many of those patterns map back to the bullet points in the previous paragraph. Below is an example of what a typical site search report in Google Analytics looks like.
Below are some common issues with site searching and how you might deal with those issues.
The Frequent Search:
Sometimes we see visitors search the same keyword or variations of it quite frequently. When we see this issue, there are a couple things you can do. Give the product they are searching for a more prominent position on the site so visitors can easily navigate to it. Maybe advertise it or send out a customer email campaign that is focused on the product or service that is being searched for. Both of these solutions will give users easy access to the information they are most interested in.
It is not uncommon to find visitors not getting a result when they do a search. Within Google Analytics site search report, there is a “no-results:” function. It shows us what keywords are not showing a result when a visitor does a search. This is often a clue that we don’t have a product, service, or information that the visitor wants. If so, we can either find a way to give them what they want or an alternative solution that will meet the searcher’s needs.
Sometimes we notice that searches are being made but the search function on your site is not returning the proper result. (See Example Below) This can be an indication that there is something wrong with your search tool. It can also mean that the searcher is misspelling your product or service. There are often easy solutions to fix these issues. Work with your Internet Marketing Consultant to find a solution so your visitors will get the result they expect.
Site search is not very complicated. It is a quick and easy way to get a better understanding of how visitors are interacting with your site. It can also be a very quick and easy way to provide a much stronger and more positive user experience on your website. So take a look at your site search report today! You won’t be disappointed.