The other day I was using a site and needed to use their search feature. A good search gets you fast, relevant results. What I encountered the other day was not fast and not relevant. I’m persistent, so I tried a second keyword. Still nothing. I clicked away from that site and went elsewhere. We’ve become an audience that doesn’t want to dig around for our information. Gone are the days of searching card catalogs and pestering librarians for our information. We all want it fast and easy.
Businesses need to remember this point. As an article on search solutions by Shaun Ryan points out, “73 percent of visitors will leave an ecommerce site within one to two minutes if they don’t find the products they’re looking for, 36 percent of which won’t ever bother returning to the site.” You don’t want to do a load of work to get customers to your site, and then have 36 percent of them flee forever because your site search was ineffective.
Since there are many options for site search solutions, here are some points from “How To Choose The Right Site Search Solution” to think about:
– Are the results relevant? Google has some of the best relevant search returns on the market, so as a business, you have to strive for similar results. “The best solutions “learn” from visitors’ site search activity by leveraging information about search queries—the keywords used and resulting items that site visitors actually click on.” If your visitors find what they are looking for, they are more likely to stay, purchase, and return.
– Do you have the resources required to run and maintain your site search? Search can require considerable resources. If you don’t have the resources to support your search capabilities efficiently, consider using a search vendor that has a hosted service. Other benefits to hosted search solutions include no installation and training time and no ongoing maintenance.
– Does your site search give you control? Search can be another method of promoting your products, including simple options like how items are positioned within your search results or adding promotional banners to your search pages.
– Can you repurpose data from your search solution? Being able to reuse data can help your business determine key words, narrow down your SEO focus, and even determine which products and services your customers are looking at the most.
– Does your search solution improve over time? Search has changed drastically over the last 2-3 years, and any solution you choose should not remain static either. Be sure that your solution evolves and fits with your unique business requirements.
– Can you measure your site search performance? Analytics can be used to improve your business and your site, so having access to them is key.
Not only can your business improve its site search solution, with customer satisfaction at stake, it should be a focal point on your business improvements list.