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9 Features to Look for in a Site Search Solution

With 50% of users opting for site search over menu navigation, the value of a quality search experience is higher than ever. If you’re in the market for a site search solution, you know that there is a lot of research that goes into finding the solution that fits your company’s needs – which is why we’ve put together this list!

Before taking the plunge and purchasing, read our list below of the nine features to look for in a site search solution.

1. Usability

Whether you’re a one-person show, a team of marketers, developers or a blend of the two, you need a site search solution that can be used by the whole team. Before diving into the remaining eight features, make sure to do some research and find a site search solution that can be managed by anyone, whether it’s an intern or the CEO.

2. Machine learning

In order to provide the most relevant search results for your site visitors, you need a site search solution that is intelligent or machine learning based.

With a solution that is machine learning based, you have the ability to maintain relevance across all search queries because the software is constantly learning, refining and improving as time goes on. 

3. Detailed analytics

Search queries are your visitors speaking directly to you, and you need a site search solution that can analyze your searches thoroughly. It’s not enough to have a list of all searches – you need to know which searches are showing no results, which results are ineffective or irrelevant and even what pages your visitors are performing their search on.

Search analytics are full of useful information that can inform your content strategy, navigation structure and even website redesign. A quality search solution will not only dive into your searches, but will also display them in a way that’s easy to absorb and create an action plan from.

4. Pleasant search experience

While this may go without saying, one crucial feature to seek in a site search solution is its ability to provide a pleasant search experience for your site visitors.

There are many factors that go into providing an enjoyable search experience. This can range from the things you expect to happen while searching like intelligent autocomplete, or a SERP that aligns with your site branding, to the “nice-to-haves” like bigram matching and search results based on derived word forms.

If you really want to provide the best search experience possible, look out for offerings like personalization and search-as-you-type from your site search solution.

5. Insights into user intent

In addition to machine learning and extensive analytics, something a comprehensive site search solution will provide is insights into user intent.

Rather than analyzing thousands of search terms to group into overall themes, you want a search solution that can distill all of your searches into common search objectives among search terms. At Cludo, we provide this through the feature Intents.

By gaining insight into overall user intent, you will save time sifting through search results, and in turn have time to focus on delivering the content your visitors need.

6. Tools

The whole point of purchasing a site search solution is to make your job easier, and one of the best ways to do that is through your search solution’s tools.

Tools are meant to be quickly implemented and have lasting effects on the quality of your search. They can be as simple as adding Synonyms or Misspellings, to as complicated as adjusting the weight of certain pages (Boostings) or directing users to exactly where you want them to go (Quicklinks).

7. Promotion within search results

To continue from number six, an additional offering or tool you’ll find in a quality site search solution is the ability to promote within your search results. At Cludo, we provide this through Banners.

Banners allow you to create visually engaging banners that will be displayed at the top of the search results page for specific website searches. This type of tool or feature is a quick and easy way to highlight related information through your search results.

8. Security

When it comes to user information, security is crucial. Your site visitors trust you with their searches and personal information, and you need a site search solution that can be trusted with that data. With a search solution like Cludo, you’ll be guaranteed security within your MyCludo analytics with features like Private Data Masking and the ability to blacklist IP-addresses from your search analytics.

9. Support

Last but certainly not least, it’s crucial that your site search solution offers support (no matter what type of package is purchased.) Depending on how technical your team is, implementing a site search solution can at times be complicated. And once your search is up and running, you may have questions on how to utilize the search solution to its fullest potential. Whether it be through a dedicated customer success manager, frontend developer or support ticket, a quality site search solution will offer extensive support in order to ensure your success.

So there you have it, the nine features to look for in a site search solution. While no search solution is one-size-fits-all, these features will set apart the subpar search options from the superstar solutions.

Ready to see them in action? Request a demo today!