A Buyer’s Guide to Site Search
By now, we should all know how important it is to have an amazing site UX, especially when it comes to search. Just consider these facts:
- "6% of e-commerce visits that include engagement with AI-powered recommendations drive an outsized 37% of revenue"
- Shoppers that use website searches spend an average of 2.6 times more than shoppers that don’t
- consumers that use site searches yield 216% higher conversions than the site average
But why is it important to use custom site search solutions to upgrade your site search platform? Because different businesses have different needs. Lineate introduced a site-based search package called Custom SIte Search Solution. This package allows business leaders to pick and choose what tools and functions to implement. Here is a quick buyer’s guide to custom site search functionality and needs that different businesses might have:
Businesses that sell products online, be it Amazon or a small boutique, need search capabilities that can find goods quickly and accurately for their customers. In addition to the enhanced autocomplete (which provides search suggestions as a user types) and typo-tolerance (which provides the ability to account for typos) that every website should include, be it e-commerce, media-based, or service-based, e-commerce sites have their own unique search needs.
One of the most important tools an e-commerce site benefit from is to understand the metrics of what you are selling. Pages that are easily categorized offer the most relevant items in a customer search. With this knowledge, you can also offer relevant product suggestions in future retargeting. Furthermore, when search results are fed back into the system, you’ll have intelligent details to understand your customers better. And with those metrics you can perform custom ranking—a utilization of business metrics to optimally rank search results-- to better showcase your product line, keep people on your site, and boost sales.
Another important search feature critical for e-commerce businesses is enhanced product finders and multi-category search. With enhanced product finders, customers can filter their search by whatever parameters you set up. Examples include make, model, color, size, materials used, country of origin, popularity, and price—and can be categorized however a business sees fit. These filters can be used on top of one another, meaning that if a customer wants to find a small, cotton, red shirt made in America, for under 18 dollars, the exact item a shopper is looking for can pop up without a single letter being typed.
Media-based companies have different needs when it comes to their searches. Companies that specialize in content, such as articles, blogs, music, and videos have a totally different marketing strategy than e-commerce. Whether it is subscription or ad-based revenue streams, media-based companies need to make their content seem both valuable and easy to access.
Type-ahead suggestions is a custom site search feature that works great for media-based businesses. Imagine a blog/entertainment/news site like Mashable. They update their homepage every few minutes with new articles, so if you are looking to reread or share that article you found last week, it is already lost in the sea of content. With type-ahead suggestions, consumers can find the articles they are looking for, even if they don’t remember the exact title. For quick-changing, content-based media sites, a search function like that isn’t just good to have—it’s necessary.
And service-based sites have yet another set of needs in terms of its search functionality. By service-based sites, I mean sites that help inform or schedule a physical service, such as roof repair, doctor’s visits, and educational courses. In this case, it is important that users can easily find information, contact relevant parties, and schedule services.
An important search feature for service-based websites is map data. There are so many ways a person would express an issue. Mapping data allows for searches of synonyms, dialects, and phrasing that a customer can ask for a service. This is important when assisting with places like medical centers, where people search for specialists to deal with whatever problem they have. For a full example of this in action, feel free to read our case study.
Another useful search feature service-based companies should consider is highlighting. Highlighting helps bring the most important part of a website to a user’s attention, based on where they are in a search process. For example, if a user is looking for an appointment with a podiatrist, it can show where to look on the screen for appointment times.
It’s clear that stellar Search capabilities are a critical component to revenue generation across domains and business types. Deciding which sets of functionality or tech stacks are right for you can be relatively easy to determine with Custom Search expertise. If you would like to learn more about our custom site search solutions, get started today!