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The Benefits of Adding Search to Your Website
When looking to optimize the user experience throughout your website, an intelligent search function is a great place to start.
While some opt to use the navigation when browsing a site, nearly 43% of visitors go straight to the search bar. When a website doesn’t have a search function, it forces visitors to sift through endless pages to find what they need. How tedious is that?
Having search built into your website is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity. A well-built navigation or chatbot may seem like a priority, but often the best websites take a holistic approach to the visitor experience. Visitors may want to navigate your site but they also may want to search, especially if they have a general idea of what they’re looking for.
Adding search to your site provides a stronger overall experience and takes a personalized approach to the expectations consumers have today. Search allows you to align and guide visitors, while gaining valuable insights you wouldn’t otherwise get from your website data alone.
When looking to optimize the user experience throughout your website, an intelligent search function is a great place to start. Read on as we discuss the many benefits of adding search to your website!
1. Build trust and credibility
If you put a lot of focus into your website’s design, but barely focus on the quality of your site search, you run a big risk of diminishing your credibility. If your search results page looks different than the rest of your website, it may cause confusion and have visitors wondering if they’re in the right place. The overall website experience can become compromised due to inconsistencies, which shake your visitors’ trust.
Search that matches the rest of your website creates a seamless digital experience. When the search also returns accurate and relevant information, you are ultimately building trust with those visitors. Don’t just focus on a magnifying glass icon that opens a search bar – make sure your search is customized to your site’s needs, matches the overall aesthetic, and provides reliable results.
2. Guide the customer experience
Visitors have high expectations when it comes to finding information. They want to find what they need quickly and expect the content to be tailored to their individual needs. With intelligent search, you can intuitively guide them throughout your website without spending significant time or money.
Use features like Instant Suggestions to recommend popular search terms before a query even begins. Once an initial search is completed, you can also offer Related Searches that are similar to what the visitor has typed out, giving them additional and helpful content to explore.
3. Control over results combined with machine learning
Search built on machine learning ensures every visitor is served relevant results every time. Our AI-powered algorithm analyzes and adjusts results with every query to continually improve the search experience.
It is equally important to find a search solution that allows you to fine tune content. You may need to promote key pages while excluding irrelevant pages to best suit your visitors’ needs. With features like Page Rankings, you can ensure high priority or timely content is displayed sooner.
4. Accommodate language differences with natural language processing
As humans our vocabularies, vernaculars and native languages differ. For instance, one visitor might use the term “jobs” while the other uses “careers” when looking for employment. No matter what term your organization uses, it’s important that your website is able to serve results that accommodate your visitors.
Intelligent search goes beyond traditional keyword matching and offers results based on the context and intent of any given search query. With features like Synonyms and Autocomplete, you can overcome these differences and help visitors find precisely what they need.
5. Acknowledge human error
People make mistakes, but that shouldn’t deter them from finding the information or product they need. Intelligent search allows you to add common misspellings that you see within your search analytics to ensure results populate. Whether a visitor is in a hurry or simply doesn’t know the correct spelling for a term, they’ll be served results that can lead them down the right path.
6. Inclusivity and accessibility
It is imperative that your site can be used by everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or impairment. That’s where accessible features like voice search and web content highlighter come in. Accessibility features not only make finding information easier but work with the various devices your visitors use. Every visitor on your site should have a seamless experience finding information on your website.
7. Promote seasonal content
Whether you run a small web shop or a local government website, you know the importance of getting seasonal content in front of visitors in a timely manner. Instead of manually adjusting pages and fixing content, utilize your search.
With intelligent search you can create custom banners that highlight content fit for every reason and every season. The best part is you can schedule these banners so they’ll stop running when you need them to. Measure their overall use and success to determine whether you should run them again next season or change your content strategy.
8. Avoid dead ends
Let’s face it, at some point your visitors may land upon a dead end or 404 page. When this happens, the chances of losing that visitor are high, but not guaranteed. By offering search, you give these visitors a chance to get out of their dead end and back on track instead of giving up and going to a competitor.
You even have the option to optimize your 404 pages beyond the “error” message with features like Intelligent 404. This enhancement lets you suggest alternate routes within the 404 page, encouraging visitors to continue their journey through your site. Just one more way to let search do the heavy lifting for you.
9. Gain visitor insights from your search analytics
Beyond helping site visitors find what they need, one of the greatest benefits of adding search is the amount of visitor insights and data you can obtain. Search queries are your users telling you exactly what they need in their own words. Essentially, they’re doing the work for you! Use this data to transform your content strategy and continually improve your website.
From most popular searches to searches without results, you can identify trends and potential content needs. Discover where your visitors begin their search as well as where they land after. Use this information to fill content gaps or add CTAs that encourage your visitors to convert. Through machine learning, you can distill common themes and objectives, or Intents, to find what the overall search objectives are with your visitors.
It all begins with a search
No two site visitors are the same, meaning no two journeys are the same. Whether someone prefers to use main navigation or a search function, they should have the option to choose.
Search allows you to provide relevant content and engage with visitors while improving processes for your internal teams. The easiest way to encourage self-service and empower your site visitors is through an intelligent search solution like Cludo.
To see how search can transform the way users interact with your website, request a demo today.