Do you have a site search function on your website? If so, there’s a good chance that you are not making full use of it – especially if you run a store of any kind.
Internal site search is incredibly useful for your visitors because it helps them to find whatever they need quickly and easily. It seems like an obvious addition from a user experience point of view.
But it actually has a lot more power than you may realise.
Many website visitors use site search – as many as 30 per cent according to some research. When people land on your site, they usually have an idea in mind of something they are looking for rather than just being there to browse, so the site search bar speeds up the process.
But the real magic is that your visitors are providing you with information. Whenever they type in a query, that’s data you can use. Here’s how to do that to boost sales on your website.
Discover What Your Visitors Search For
The first and most important advantage of the site search function is that you can use it to find out exactly what your users are searching for when they land on your website.
You won’t just get an idea of what they are looking for. Instead, you’ll find out exactly what they want to find on your website.
This accurate data will tell you the exact products they are looking for and provides you with essential insight into your visitors’ minds. For example, you may find that one product is getting a lot more searches than any other. This may surprise you – perhaps you thought another product was the most popular.
Once you know that one product, or a selection of products, are getting the majority of the searches, you can change how you market them. For example, you could make them much more visible on the homepage.
You could also focus on these products when you run special offers. If you advertise on Facebook, you can focus on these products to generate more attention. You can also set aside more budget to advertise these products on Google Ads.
Use Keywords to Optimise for Search
Another great thing about search data is that you will now know the exact words and phrases that your visitors are using to find what they are looking for, and this is priceless.
You may expect them to use certain words when they are searching for a product, but the reality may be different from your expectations. When you know exactly what they are searching for, you can use these phrases to optimise your website copy, blog posts and product pages to improve your SEO.
Because, if your visitors are using specific keyword phrases to search for products on your website, there’s a good chance they are using those same phrases in the search engines.
This also applies to your Google Ads campaigns because your site search data can provide you with ideas for your ad campaigns.
And the added bonus is that because you are using the language that they use, this can help to build rapport, improve your relationships, build a connection and increase trust – all of which are essential for doing business online.
Clearly See Trends
As you know, things don’t stay the same for long online. When you are selling products, you may find that specific products become more or less popular over time. When you study your site search data, you can get a much clearer idea of which products are becoming more popular. You can then give these more prominence on your website and in your marketing activities.
Discover New Products to Stock
You may find that a sizeable number of visitors are searching for a specific product or type of product that you do not stock. This can help to provide you with ideas for additional products you could add to your store, helping you to make more sales.
Without studying your site search data, you might remain completely unaware of these sales opportunities. You could also highlight similar products to tempt the visitors to make a purchase rather than leaving.
Set Up Your Site Search to Maximise the Benefits
As you can see, there are many ways to put your site search to better use. But to take full advantage of the function, you need to set it up properly.
The specific way that you will set up your site search depends on the platform you are using. You might be using a plugin in WordPress, for example, or your developer may set it up for you.
Whatever you are using, make sure you follow these best practices to get the most out of it:
- Ensure your search bar is large enough for the most common searches. If it is too small this can put people off searching in the first place.
- Use placeholder text which then disappears when they start typing, and this should encourage more people to start typing into the box.
- Have an auto-complete function, which makes it easier to search and provides a better user experience. You can even use it to suggest some of your most profitable items.
- Make sure it is easy to find on any page on your site, but especially on the homepage. You could make it large and use a colour that stands out.
Take Full Advantage of Site Search
Site search is a fantastic tool, but while many stores see it as something of an afterthought, something they know they should have and so add it to their store, you now know that there is a lot more that you can do with this function.
So follow the tips above and set up your site search to maximise its effectiveness. Start tracking the data, and put it to good use to maximise insights and profits by using data that would otherwise go to waste.