How to make your internal site search so much better


The internal search feature of your site can be hugely important—it’s actually crucial if you are an ecommerce store. But so many internal search systems suck.

The truth is that no one wants to waste their time searching through your site looking for something in particular when they can just enter a few words into a search bar and find it that way. In your brick and mortar store you wouldn’t have your sales people tell customers to find the products themselves, would you? If they were asked a question, you’d want them to take customers to the exact location of a product.

Your site should work in exactly the same way. If it doesn’t here are some strategies to fix it.


Make your search bar prominent

This may seem obvious if you want users to be able to navigate around your site, but it is amazing how many websites we see where the search bar is hidden. Don’t hide the bar away towards the bottom of your page, in your sidebar or even in your footer. Make sure that it is front and center in the navigation bar. It should be one of the first things that users see. Spell it out, too. Don’t just use a magnifying glass icon that opens out into a search bar. Make sure that the bar is long and has the word search in it.


Use an autocomplete function

If your customers are looking for something, you’re going to want to make it as easy as possible for them to find it. Including autocomplete functionality into your search bar is a great way to do this. As soon as a user starts typing in, your search bar will offer relevant suggestions using the first few letters as a guide. It works great in Google and it will work great on your website to.


Allow for errors

Everyone makes mistakes. You do and your customers do. So your site search should allow for spelling mistakes by offering up similar or closely named products that match the search even if they don’t completely match it. There’s nothing worse than searching for a phrase, misspelling by a single letter and getting no results come up. Your site should be much more forgiving than this.


Use synonyms

In a similar vein as the point above, make sure that your site search is smart enough to include synonyms. Sometimes people won’t use the same term for a product that you do. Headphones and Earbuds is a common example, for instance. If your site search is to be really great, you need to cover for all eventualities.


Make sure you tag posts correctly

If you’re allowing customers to search through your blog posts, it’s imperative that you tag them correctly when posting. All relevant information should be tagged to make it as easy as possible for users to find. But don’t get carried away with it, otherwise users will be left with hundreds of pages to sort through.


To implement site search properly on your website, speak to a member of our team today.