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Government Success Series Part 4: Three Essential Features to Find In a New Site Search

1. Easy to Use

Many city government websites are not managed by a single team, but a variety of stakeholders from across the organization. As such, any platform that your cross-functional team uses needs to be intuitive and allow for flexibility. Tools need to be straightforward and as simple as ‘point and click.’ User permissions are also included in ease of use. Creating “seats” based on function and limiting visibility based on content type or access level should allow you to distribute shared access with peace of mind.

Questions to ask:

  • Is this tool going to save me time?
  • How well does the search algorithm work without my intervention?
  • How well do features work with less than five minutes of editing a week?
  • How long will it take to implement this software?

2. Handling the pressure of your site

During times of high traffic, you may be wondering if a search solution is going to be able to handle the demands of your website. Pay special attention to the response and uptime of a solution. When you are experiencing an uptick in visits, the last thing you want users to encounter is a spinning wheel. It’s critical that hosted functionality has a high level of reliability and is able to return responses quickly.

Questions to ask:

  • What is your tool’s uptime and response time?
  • How often did you have downtime or outages last year?

3. Customizable

This is the fun part. One of the most important questions you should be asking of your solution is this:
“Can this software help me customize my user experience?”

Your search should enable you to quickly direct users to what they’re looking for and craft a journey containing the most relevant content. For example, you can weigh different content in your search, driving specific content to the top of your results. You should also be able to manually create a list of ranked pages based on keyword triggers.

The second way search helps you customize this journey is through data. Examining where there are gaps of information, where people are getting lost and what is most popular is critical to your content strategy. The end goal is to increase conversions (where site visitors find what they want) and decrease bounce (where site visitors leave and end up on your main phone line).

As you consider a new site search solution, ensure that the software you are seeking has an analytical tool to categorize, prioritize and improve your website’s content. You’ll be better aligned with your end users, and they’ll be happier with their website experience.

Want to hear more about why site search matters for city governments? Check out a recent Cludo webinar highlighting the many ways intelligent search software can support your marketing team and satisfy your end users.