eCommerce Weekly Checklist: Internal Site Search

The Problem/Opportunity:

When visiting content-heavy e-commerce sites, people want to find product/service information as quickly as possible. Typically, visitors don’t want to waste time clicking through menus. If they can’t find what they are looking for right away, then don’t be surprised if they’d leave and go to your competitor’s site.

The Solution:

An effective internal site search can improve visitors’ experience by making it easier for them to find what they want. It is a valuable tool that can help them get around confusing navigational features and quickly find what they need. A good site search can help your marketing efforts and increase conversion – as long as it is optimized to your advantage:

  • Customer insight

What keywords have led visitors to your site? What are they looking for? Analyze your site search logs or use Google Analytics to understand visitors’ search behavior. Know what they are looking for, how often they search and what they do next. Your data will serve as a benchmark as you improve your site’s search function.

  • Relevancy

Improve the odds of having people find what they’re looking for within the first pages of the search results. How? Optimize your site’s content and product titles, leveraging the keywords most often searched and the popular items most visitors click on.

  • Refining searches

Showing too many results can be frustrating. Allow site users to narrow down results by enabling filtering tools. Common criteria are price, size and color.

  • Sorting

Instead of narrowing results, allow visitors use the “sort by” tool to get prioritized query results. This enables them to sort according to product price, user rating, and date of product arrival.

  • Misspellings

Help visitors who misspell words in your site search box. Instead of returning “0 results found,” identify common misspellings in your site search logs and adjust your search tool’s vocabulary accordingly. Paid intelligent search tools are available that suggest commonly searched terms as you type.

In The Long Run:

An optimized internal site search is a good way to reduce bounce rate as satisfied visitors find what they want and increasing the chances of conversion. So make sure to place the site search box in a conspicuous location across all of your pages (not just on the home page).

Getting to “eCommerce heaven” is a marathon, not a sprint – but you can get better every week.

By: Shirley Tan

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eCommerce Weekly Checklist: Internal Site Search

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